Thursday, April 16, 2009

Top 5 Indie Game Concepts That Need To Die

Everyone loves a good indie game. They're free, they're sometimes fun, and they give you something to do in the massive amounts of free time provided by your lackadaisical schedule of not having a job or a girlfriend. But there are some times when independent games just cross the line. These are the top 5 indie game concepts that need to god damn die.

5. Blood-Soaked Point And Click Adventures
People like point and click adventure games like Myst, right? And people like blood and gore, right? So clearly, people would absolutely love a bloody PnC adventure where the entire point is to kill random people and animals in the most disgusting way possible. Right? Right?

So as to not offend the kiddies I've chosen a non-gory picture. It's a celebration!

It's like an interactive horror movie where you play as the villain, meaning there's no suspense. So basically, it's like any other point and click adventure game, but without a reason to play it. If you desperately need blood and guts there's better places to find that too. Like, you know, a real game.

4. Ragdoll Games
Do you know what's more fun than putting together Flash objects so they look kind of like a disgustingly limp person with no bones, then throwing that person around? As it turns out, a video game.

Look, ragdoll physics are cool when they're used in an actual game. Who doesn't like blasting an enemy and watching his body flip through the air and land in an undignified position? Then we stand over their faces and squat repeatedly and good times are had by all. But when you take the ragdoll out of the game I think all you're really left with is horror

What the hell am I playing and why do I feel the urge to add myself to the sex offender registry for playing it?

Leave the ragdolls where they belong: in underprivileged little girls' toy boxes and between our legs in a Halo deathmatch.

3. Physics Puzzles
In short, a physics game is a game where stuff falls in a realistic fashion, IE precarious structures will topple over rather than just moving downward until they hit something.

Like Sudoku, which offers simplistic puzzles but makes you feel like a genius for completing them by including numbers, physics puzzles make you feel like a genius just by including the word "physics" in the title. Let's face it, isn't wanting to feel smart the entire reason we play puzzle games?

Physics and ancient history? Nobel Prize, please!

So what's the problem? As it turns out physics is unpredictable and difficult to control, even for a scientist. Play a physics puzzle and even if you get everything right you can still fail if your timing is off by one millionth of a second or even for no discernible reason at all. The result is a puzzle that relies just as much on luck as it does on skill and intellect which, if you think about it, isn't really a puzzle at all.

2. Games That Want To Be Portal
This was going to be popular mainstream games in Flash version but as it turns out no one ever makes Quake or Bioshock in Flash. No, it's pretty much just Portal or puzzle/platformers that desperately wish they were Portal.

Not Portal.

The problem here is that they're all missing the point. Yes, I agree that Portal was awesome. Do you know why Portal was awesome? Because it was made by people with vision. The makers of Portal set out from the beginning with the intention of doing something that had never been done before. Then, they succeeded.

Also not Portal.

You took an idea you saw work for somebody else and did the same thing, only not as well. That doesn't make you great, that makes you a copycat. No one likes a copycat. I'm not saying the idea can't work again and I'm certainly not going to say that only Valve has the right to make a Portal-esque game. What I'm saying is, as with Monty Python, these are masters of the surreal and the unique. Their strength is in their individuality. Do you really think the best way to show your admiration for them is by mimicking their every move like a damn trained monkey?

1. AdventureQuest, MechQuest, AdventureQuest Worlds, Dragonfable, ArchKnight, et cetera
No, really. Please, Artix Entertainment, for the love of all that is holy, STOP. Stop remaking AdventureQuest ad infinitum, stop flooding every damn page you can find with spam about your stupid game like it was a penis enlargement pill, and for all our sake stop pretending a silly game that's a fun time waster at best rocks our socks off.

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