Archive for the ‘Design Review’ Category

Snakey Jake

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

An interesting concept for design people. I’m calling them clicking platformers. Everybody’s played Wik, so I wont talk about Wik. This is a game I came across today called Snakey Jake.

Snakey Jake (YouTube Video)

It’s your usual casual game fare as far as graphics and polish are concerned. What I was expecting was a “click on a spot” sort of game and he’ll move to that spot, but it’s actually click on the platform and he’ll move to the nearest place on the platform. Either by slithering or jumping, where appropriate. It’s a good example of an intelligently simplified control scheme, as I expect several designers will be toying with more in the years to come.

Personally, I don’t like this variation of control. True, it’s harder to make mistakes since you can’t click anywhere, but it annoys me as a player. Mostly because I’m a core gamer, and I’d imagine you could do some really interesting things with this gameplay style without the platform restriction. It also imposes a restriction of “you can only click on platforms that you can safely jump to from this platform”. Good for casual gamers, but not so much for me when I’m in the mood for a suicide jump. I’m also totally missing the opportunity for a conversation with myself about how I could or should have sooooo made that jump. Boo.

If I was still doing the roundup, I’d be bouncing back and forth between 6 and 8. Higher because of design merit, ’cause I think it’s a notable game as far as game design for casual gamers, and the only other game I can think of to compare it to is Wik. Lower because I personally didn’t like the decision to go with platform clicking, as a personal gamer preference. I’d muddle over that for a day if I wasn’t behind schedule, or an hour if I was the one holding us back.