Dissolving the Console vs. Mobile debate?
Last week – Nintendo finally spoke at length regarding their next console. Once known as the NX, Nintendo has really taken into consideration the past success of their handheld systems, ensuring that their new “home console”, or Nintendo Switch as it’s officially called, can also become a mobile gaming machine.
As is the tradition with Nintendo, a lot of focus was spent announcing and discussing friendly multiplayer games that highlight the new technology designed into the Switch console. There’s a lot of beautifully integrated design choices made here, most notably the choice to sync up to 8 Switch consoles together for multiplayer, and single screen on-the-go multiplayer with their new Joy-con controllers. Connecting people, with people, much in the same way their DS line-up has done for years.
While mobile battery life still leaves something to be desired–between 2.5 and 6 hours depending on the game/use with the Switch on the road–It’s obvious that the trendsetters at Nintendo want to dissolve the debate regarding where, and when you get to play the games you love.
Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium
Why Play? The idle genre isn’t foreign to anyone at this point, but what AbyssRium offers is a completely different visual take on the gameplay. What may prove to be the most Zen-Like game ever to be put in your pocket, AbyssRium is fluid (pun intended), sets a calming tone with it’s audio, and is so beautiful that it’s borderline unfair to call it anything but art.
Why Play? In what feels like the best attempt at single-handed dungeon-crawling action, Nitrome really proves that love and attention to the target fan-base can pay off. It’s not an easy game, which could remove it from a “casual” market for some, but there’s no shortage of payoff for the torture. It’s endless, dank, and a true test of both reflex and strategy.
Cornfox & Bros.
Why Play? Call it an homage, say it’s “inspired by”, but whatever you want to call it Oceanhorn by Cornfox & Bros is the best not-Zelda game you’ll probably ever play. The controls are superb for a large-scale mobile title, and the setting/story hits every mark it has to in order to evoke those same Hyrulian adventures we all became fond with so many years ago. It’s a beautiful journey.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Game Ever
Lucky Kat Studios
Why Play? Riding on the back of a mildly relevant IP, the grumpiest cat on earth, and his Worst Day Ever bring to mobile a very popular handheld genre; microgames (eg. WarioWare). Quick, reflex-testing minigames that prove substance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. With quirky 8-bit stylized art, Grumpy Cat delivers on a promise that so many mobile devs make; short, fun, and challenging play sessions.
CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s (adriancrook.com) weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).
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Have a great week!- Adrian Crook www.adriancrook.com