“I’ve never owned a mobile phone,” says Vertex Dispenser’s designer Michael Brough at the start of what promises to be a very short “What you playing?” interview. Luckily, he bought an iPad quite recently, “when a friend suggested that some of the games I was working on would fit better there.” Since then, Michael’s been busy making his own games, like the brilliant roguelike Zaga-33, but he has also found the time to try out some other stuff, too. That’s handy.
Stuff like ZiGGURAT. “What I find really special about this game is that when I lose, I don’t want to play again straight away,” he says. Put that on the box. “Often games like this there’s a “just one more time” effect, and I get into an cycle of starting again straight away after losing and end up spending a lot longer than intended. But with this, I know I’ll play it again later and try to do better, but right now I’m satisfied. It feels like solid nourishment, not addictive snack food.”
Interesting! Anything else? “Ascension.” Ooh, I’ve bought this, but never played it. Like the logo, though. ”I’ve tried to use board-game elements in videogames in the past, inspired by Vic Davis’s excellent Solium Infernum, and I concluded it wasn’t a great idea because you lose the tactility that makes them intuitive. But the Ascension app is fantastic, it’s very tactile, it suggests that touch-screen devices are the right place for mixing board games with videogames, and that’s exciting.” Rich Stanton agrees, BTW. He’s all about that Assassin’s Creed one. “On the other hand,” Michael continues, “they’re absolutely the wrong place for a lot of traditional videogames, e.g. platformers. Work with the grain! Acension’s also a great board game in the first place.”
That’s it? “Puzzlejuice is fantastic, I love the mashup of ideas, I love stretching my brain by trying to do too many things at once. It’s impressive that they’ve managed to make a weird overwhelming mashup that’s also mainstream-popular. Unfortunately I ran into a bug a couple of times so I’ve stopped playing it until it gets patched, but still it’s very very good.”
Thanks! And that about wraps it– “Horse vs Planes is a terrible terrible Pirate-Kart-style game with hilariously awful controls that for some reason I keep playing.” Really? “I’m
#2 on the leaderboard.”
Prices and whatnot time! ZiGGURAT is priced at 69p, and we love it. Ascension is £2.99, and we, um, haven’t played it yet. Puzzlejuice is brilliant and yours for 69p, and Horse vs Planes is 69p and looks terrible.
OH! And Zaga-33 is 69p and it’s amazing. DONE.