by: Daniel Ramirez
If my own house is any indication, casual games are here to stay.
personally am not a big fan of them. While I do find myself running to
whatever free games I can download on my phone whenever I find myself
waiting at the DMV, I would hardly call them games. They kind of remind
of the old LCD Tiger handheld games they used to sell back in the 80's.
would see this colorful picture of two tanks going at it, only to get it
home and realize my whole game is me in what "kind of" looks like a
shooting or dodging a fire ball that sticks to a repeating pattern.
games were fun for a few minutes but I don't think anyone who played
thought it added to their "gamer" tag. Yet every night, my fiancé can be
found plugging away at “Diner Dash” or “Cooking Quest. “
Regardless of what I think of the casual game market, it does have
audience, which means if someone is buying, developers are selling. It
doesn't take a genius to figure out why either. They are cheap to make
can be sold easily via downloads. So you have a product that has little
overhead and an easily delivery system...you can just sit back and watch
your bank account go up. This has lead to some more serious casual games
attempts to make "new" 8 bit games that would seem more at home on your
NES then on your PS3. Games like the new “Mega Man 10” or “Braid,” both
great games in their own right. This brings me to my point...where are
casual horror games!?
I guess the easy answer is that if horror games are meant to scare you
having something on your cell phone is not likely to get those results.
couldn't disagree more. Casual games may do well on the go or while your
playing something on the bus, but a majority of players are happy
games like “Bejeweled” on their laptop or desktop. Even Nintendo has
realized this by making full fledged adventure games for the DS system
involve either blowing into your DS or yelling at it (no lie, if you see
someone on the bus yelling at their hand, they may well be playing
of Zelda Phantom Hourglass... or not, either way, be safe and don't ask
him). So a casual downloadable horror game could work in this medium.
before you start mentioning the games that are out there. I'm well aware
you can download games like Doom on your iPhone. What I mean is brand
IP's. Games that solely designed for the casual market that would appeal
the horror fans out there. Games that come from a franchise like
on Elm Street.” Good games too! Not cheap stuff they release, hoping the
name alone will result in sales. While there may be some there certainly
are not as many as there should be.
One good example of how a game could be made is one game that I was able
find in my research, To make a successful game you really need to find
something that will appeal to your audience and use the hardware needed
it's highest potential. In looking for such a game I was able to find
"SpecTrek." It's a downloadable title and what it does is use your
GPS to determine where you are and it uses the phone's camera to project
ghosts on your screen. As you hold the phone down like a map, the game
tell you where the virtual ghosts are in your area. You then hold the
up in front of you like your taking a picture and you will see the area
are in just like you would with any other view screen expect now you can
see ghosts in view. As you approach the ghosts you will be notified when
you are in range and use your weapons to "catch" it. It's a simple idea
that uses technology almost everyone has and it's brilliant.
I hope for the sake of horror fans we will get to see more games like
SpecTrek. I hope in time some developer out there is clever enough to
figure out that a casual horror game doesn't need to be all that scary
it could be entertaining and as a result lead to sales. Until then..
By the way... my fiancé also plays next gen games....
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