I’ve been thinking a lot about some casual game ideas just lately.
In my notebook under future reference / potential game ideas I have so many things jotted down. Games such as:
- Beach Head
- Bomb Jack
- Jet Set Willy
…the list is about 20 long !
But the point here is that regardless of this list the games that I’ve been playing a heck of a lot just lately are bubble popping affairs. Games such as Bubble Bust ! (above)
I’ve always resisted these games. Figured they were just mundane and far too repetitive for my tastes.
I was wrong. The challenges are clear and tough enough to keep me coming back for more on a pretty regular basis.
I’m a huge fan of any game that contains a strong core theme and with clever design presents numerous ways to challenge you around it.
For example, in Galaxians we shoot aliens. We also have to shoot them as they dive. Galaga expands on this and forces us to time our shots when the captured fighter is being flown around.
Bubble Bust! plays with its core design beautifully. Essentially we are in the business of matching colours (3 or more in contact pops the bubbles) but of course it doesn’t end there. Different bubbles presented to the player have different abilities. Bombs destroy bubbles in a small area. Rainbow bubbles can be used as a generic colour. Steel balls tear through bubbles destroying everything in their path. So on and so forth.
At its heart Bubble Bust! is a race against the clock.
As the bubble pack descends you have less time to think about your next move. The game ends when you either fail to clear the bottom most bubble before it crosses the line or when you pop the “key” bubble.
The pace of the game is high and for a casual game it’s perfect.
I know there’s a glut of games in this genre but of the ones I’ve played this one captures the excitement best.
So now I’m thinking about the whole “lots of decisions in a short amount of time” scenario and trying to apply it to some ideas of my own. Soccer, Horse Racing, Bingo … those types of things.
What’s more I want to try and honour the idea that if you fail you’re left with a sense of “with one more go I can crack it”. To achieve that I need to make the process of actually playing the game equal parts fun and rewarding.
It’s a new direction for me. To date I’ve pretty much made shooters in some guise or another. With my next project I’ll most likely be stood outside of my comfort zone !