Posts tagged ‘iPad’

Did tablet kids create the Flappy Bird sensation?


Everyone hates flappy bird. Here is one poster from that neogaf thread:

Opus Angelorum
02-08-2014, 04:34 PM, Post #7
Its a piece of shit, and an excuse for people who know nothing of games to proclaim their expertise.

The later is a kinder variant of what is an increasingly virulent backlash at a small Hanoi based indie developer who just wanted to make a simple game. The problem the game presents is: who is this silent majority driving the game’s appeal? The answer might be these kids.

The number of manufacturers producing low end android devices marketed at children has grown by over 100% in a year in some cases going from 7 kid proof models to over 512 tablets rugged enough for kids play. Children playing on cheap tablets has become so ubiquitous that global toys sales are down, Nintendo’s kid friendly products are failing to appeal to a generation that would rather play Toca Kitchen. So my question is this: are tablet kids the culprits behind the flappy bird craze? Did a group of human beings only recently enabled in the marketplace collectively purchase and play a free game adults despise?

Let’s look at the game. Flappy Bird is so simple it’s almost ridiculous, but for children trying to build hand coordination it’s a self-esteem boost and an awesome way to spend time. The game’s completely free model also means that even with parental lock the vast majority of children could download it easily. So did kids drive capitalism’s wheels and push something adults find odious to the top of the App Store? It would hardly be the first time.

In 1990 John Hughes released Home Alone. The film was almost universally panned by critics. It went on to gross millions and become a staple in holiday films. Did Americans universally enjoy a film that critics despised? No, it was kids. Children enjoyed the story of a kid alone with out parents taking down two bumbling burglars. It was a piece of entertainment that failed the parent kid bridge Pixar and Nintendo are so good at building. Instead the film simply hooked kids in a way that made kids love it. Children could not make the decision to see Home Alone alone though.

In A Visit from the Goon squad Jennifer Egan predicts entire market places geared towards a new generation of kids participating in the marketplace with their thumbs. She even notes an iTunes variant that is full of musicians trying to get toddlers to buy their music. Capitalism in Egan’s fiction stoops down to the level of the pre-lingual. That is how easy the iPad has made purchasing that we can now do it before we can even speak.

I can not prove that Flappy Bird is the product of a generation of internet enabled toddlers, but I can speculate and it does seem sensical. What it says is that children will increasingly be able to determine their own entertainment decisions. That they picked one that adults find so odious that the elders are mystified and in backlash should come as no surprise. After all part of what made Kevin so successful wasn’t that he necessarily more clever that the burglars, rather that they couldn’t believe they were being defeated by a kid. Children will make the decisions on what clogs the top ten lists on the App Store or google play much longer than gamers will.


February 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

For Kakao


An iOS game only has to compete against idle time. When you’re at work and all the work is done, you can boot up Plants vs Zombies and play all you want. An iOS game only needs to be better than another iOS game. So this week I have been exploring that most heinous part of gaming: the casual or social gamer. On message boards all over the net console games decry the social gamer. Social games are often seen as the bane of console fanatics. Numerous triple A publishers have sacrificed time and resources for big budget console chart toppers to dip into the apparently more lucrative world of iOS and android games. This has led to anyone who ever liked Final Fantasy 9 having to ball tears and sheathe with hatred after discovering the director of their favorite game now makes mobile crap.

Mobile crap is the detritus of a market in which cash hungry or merely desperate, but surprisingly digitally literate, desperadoes shovel shit onto a mobile device’s App Store. These games are obviously rip offs of other games or perhaps there’s something there and console gamers aren’t seeing it. Try getting off Candy Crush Saga etc. regardless mobile crap is all the stuff you wish wasn’t on an App Store in lieu of your favorite game. In the midst of sampling these crap tarts I came across a shump that’s a bit of a gem. I have no idea what the name is though because my Korean has shriveled to a neuron in my memory bank and I think some sujo swept the rest away.


Ok so I have a small confession to make: I like big brilliant cartoony graphics. Really, they do things for me. This game makes Mario look like a noir, the colors pop is so vibrant. Another pleasure of mine are Japanese shooters that involve magical girls who often ride brooms and fight hoards of baddies. This game instead has you piloting a robotic cat submarine so double points for originality.


But what makes the game stand out is that it’s an endless shooter. Shumps often require you hold down the shoot button for long periods of time, hence this loss of a button is actually an improvement, more shooters should just simplify down to auto-shoot. Now unlike almost every other shump I have ever played my bullets have range. Your stream of damage only goes about 2/3 of the screen in front of you meaning that maneuvering is necessary. Ok so add to this a typical level up super powered beam thing and a distance tracker and you start to get the game. Oh yeah it also gets a bit tough early on and the waves of enemies become almost impenetrable after the third boss, so I am pretty confident practice of in app purchases are required. Probably the later. Additionally instead of being a bullet hell dodger this game is a school of fish dodger if you can damage them enough you can weave a path a through the game other wise you’re just going to have to dodge. Dead fish float in the water till a tap clears them causing bonus points and in the case of puffer fish an additional explosion.


For Kakao is how I found then, these little shumps are all intended to be used on a Korean social network. As far as I can tell none of them are beatable with out in app purchases, but for the 3 days I have before vacation begins they will suffice.

But is that how these games work? Do they provide such small subjective and personal Utopias that cash flush gamers like myself end up punching lots of little transactions into them? Has the App Store fragmented our tastes and little niche bubbles pop up a FarmVille addict there a match 3 fan there? What mobile crap makes me wonder about is how to design a market place that rewards such niche markets, that dots every subjective desire with affection, but then requires them to stand in line with their nemesis? It makes me curious how hegemonies in the industry will strangle it and make it their usual plateau of influence. Big name publishers are desperate to dominate the mobile space, is their consistent and steady output of crappy games and ad campaigns intended to destroy the lush indies underneath who might have your perfect game? And let’s not forgot about those consoles. They compete with your home time, when home cinemas and 3D TVs could be equally demanding pressures as much as family or the joy of jogging could be. Console games compete against time that capitalism requires: your leisure time or the spending moments, it’s that iOS and Android have out a shopping mall in our hands and ask we spend our idle time more productively that worries me.

Tried these two today:



I don’t remember the name of the game, but one is a really direct clone of a puzzle arcade game. The thing about the games is: I had fun playing two of them, so I don’t know maybe the console mobile division is a healthy separation.

September 25, 2013 at 4:04 am Leave a comment

Kickle cubicle, ZiGGURAT, Torchlight, ff xiii-2

In a house in a little area right by where Jandek lives a boy played a game for a day and fell in love. kickle cubicle was a brief dream for me. I still don’t remember why it had to be returned so quickly, but sitting in my brother’s room the game had serious charm. Zelda never quite pulled me in, Super Mario was frustrating, but Kickle Cubicle was my first experience with a game that’s logic seemed intimately familiar. From the way the kickle explodes out of a swarm of hearts to the absurdity of the engine, the game is a nonstop trance of puzzling machines that seem significantly more simple than their behaviors suggest. Emergence is the chemical process where in two or more things produce behaviors that the original ingredients don’t possesses (btw in the middle of delanda’s synthetic reason right now) Kickle Cubicle is often one of those games where the behavior of a slime, a hammer, and a spring can lead to numerous possibilities. I won’t say that Kickle Cubicle is great, but it did manage to marry post Zelda enemy bopping with the push and pull of genuinely engaging level design, but what I primarily remember is that it made me think, something that the puzzles in Zelda or the moments of lolo I played never did. The nes version is available online at the first link, the mame emulation of the Arcade version is also out there. I also like how the leader boards have queer names on them as if some gay couple ensconced in a Japanese hovel in the eighties collected the rom and made it available for mame to emulate.

P.s. have not tired Solomon’s key, but will soon. Also kickle cubicle and bomberman were main line examples of addictive game play when I was young.

ZiGGURAT is the latest game from Tim Rodgers and its a little surprising, because the controls suck. Ziggurat requires you swipe the bottom of the screen to rotate your character’s weapon or you can use an angry birds like sling shot mode. While with time I will probably get used to it, I just wanna touch the screen, have the gun track my finger’s x and y cords and then let go with my projectile of death. Sadly, this is more of an emulation of one of those pong paddles that came with the Atari 2600. Now please look I’ve been harassed by assholes before, and Mr. Rodgers will probably stumble upon this review so let me get to the positives, or what I like about ZiGGURAT. First the game essentially channels the moments of intense play in mega man in thirty second increments, which is awesome. Despite the control scheme I found myself playing it in the taxi this morning and even now it nibbles at the subconscious, a world of chaos is a click away. Two the chip tune music is nice too. I don’t actually understand why indie games are so often consciously retro, but Ziggurat is perhaps a nice example of this nostalgia, it doesn’t require you to spend tons of time playing a full length game to do your reminiscing, rather it gives you the pivotal moment of a mega man game in a seconds worth of game play. That is worth 99 cents. Btw do support it, Mr. Rodgers is quite passionate about his games and this is a step towards further friends based improvisations on the iTunes store and also be sure before you lick to hope that he gets a girlfriend, a hot lesbian girlfriend who dresses in anime outfits and makes out with her girlfriends in private moments before the tentacles strike….

Steam sale! Bought this with the 75% off coupon and just what like a month or two till torchlight 2 comes out and let me tell you… This game is annoying. You see unlike Lara Croft and the Gaurdian of Light which frees you from moving with the mouse torchlight restricts everything to the mouse… Except of course spell casting, item management, and everything else. Torchlight works like this, you left click to move or to attack, your right click for an additional attack or spell. The problem is that playing a ranged character becomes ├╝ber annoying because you run away with your meek ranged based archerer only to turn around and then if you happen to not quite click the enemy chasi you then RUN BACK TOWARDS THE GUY YOU ARE TRYING TO AVOID. This is a serious flaw, one that it turns out you deal with by holding shift, but then holding shift you can’t move and only aim. Compare this to Lara Croft in which you run around with the keys and then use the mouse to hurtle spears, bullets, what have you at the enemy. That control scheme works, Torchlight though, despite these short comings is what I usually play at home these days. Once you get past the carpel tunnel inducing click and play the game becomes at heart one of deep customization. My little archer started in an absolutely horrible leather cap which I replaced with a magically powered hair accessory before upgrading to an enchanting and enchanted Russian navigator’s cap. We now take down gigantic tree folks with ease and swing through lion hearted monsters while unleashing some impressive spells and saving select loot for the moment you get the matching accessories for them. Who thought that point of click of consumerism could be replaced by the shoot and gun of diablo? That’s what these games really are, they’re like magic packs, you open one you get a shitty rare u can’t trade but someone will buy it for nothing and maybe if you open a few more you’ll get the cards you need. Someone needs to make a mall based after Diablo where your hard earned cash is spent in blunt kicks and the swing of the mace. All that sweet schwag coming down on you. I guess I continue to play Torchlight for reasons very different than league of legends, LoL I keep finding new things in the play, Torchlight just gives me more to consume. A little strategy is involved with the enemies, swordsmen with shields need to run from, big spiders avoid and whittle down, but for the most part this isn’t really a game of skill or adrenaline, rather it is just shopping. It’s
Iike having a little mall in your pc, one that you wonder around shooting and maiming in, and then you rob the bodies. J.G. Ballard should have played this game.

Still trying to finish Final Fantasy 3 on iOS, watched the entirety of ff xiii-2 on YouTube and loved it! Really liked Serah and the romance angle the game is increasingly taking also the Snow ending was awesome. Going to pick up Chaos Rings Omega when I get a chance or my steam coupons expire… Also Ghost Trick which is now out on iOS is great and really enjoying the demo. Will probably get the full game. Anyway, my life through software increasingly seems to be me life, which brings up another thing. My coworkers have all been commenting on my iPad addiction, for the past two weeks I have showed up everyday with a Bluetooth headset and a YouTube full of final fantasy xii-2 videos. Not even playing the game, simply going through tetra ninja’s walk through took up at least 20 hours of my life. The game became a very real story and one that actually touched me in a way an anime hasn’t in years although it’s still at times cheesy. But what occurred to me is that we’re increasingly living in virtuality almost all the time. The cost of a nearly endless supply of world of Warcraft is small and as terra nova has noticed the total amount of work done in virtual worlds is increasingly reaching the same level of as the actual economy. Mmos aside, the rate of production of games now exceeds the time required to consume them. Watching ff xiii-2 took almost two weeks out of my programming practice and steam at home takes even more. Passions come and go and post final fantasy YouTube is bereft of anything to attract me for awhile, but games continue to rain in and their worlds still feel fleeting. This is where ff xiii-2’s endings come in hand, the game can actually end multiple different ways. While this has been tried before something in the variety of endings suggests the staggering possibility of the narrative. These possibilities also lend the game consequence, it begins to feel as if the narrative is weighty and full of holes, sockets, places to hang a spare lesson or two. What it also suggests is that the future of these games is story, ones where players spin off from each other and separate teams of digital weavers keep their audiences occupied all within a single virtual world, just one that splinters and portals into different experiences. Kinda like the historia crux itself, the act of playing many modern games creates parallel worlds, paradoxes, and other things. Consequence is important in a game, and in ff xiii-2 I believe u can still go back and get all the endings, in fact I know you can because if u get all of them u get a special secret ending, but the necessity of games to be likable often means that they don’t let players get locked into the consequences of their actions, we like replayability, the ephemeralness of the digital world, in skyrim I can still go back and kill the monk on top of the world if I so choose, but I have never made that choice, I wanted him to live, And the idea of replaying that much game is tedious. Anyway, ff is less a game and more the skin of a movie on which you surf. I like ‘m, but only because I like the stories (ff 9 I loved ff 7 bored me), it doesn’t quite have the open narrative structure that skyrim has, but what it does have is worthy of a game and better than many RPGs out there. I really wish they would release it on pc.

February 22, 2012 at 2:36 am Leave a comment

iPad games quickly

Bumpy road
The road is what you control, smirking up into waves of texture and down into obsolescence, bumpy road is a plat former with inventive touch control, tap to jump or hold to run your car at speeds up the games never-ending road. Never ending road is just that, a generative level that ends when you die or run out of gas. Leader boards reveal that some have cruised for days on end, me? I’ve managed a few hours. When you get used to it, the game rocks, but it lacking the story makes platformers special. The generative level can’t substitute for the satisfaction of a level done, or a world conquered. Still, it’s probably my favorite iPad game so far.

Infinity blade
This one took me by surprise. Chair, a European developer, has genuinely crafted a fever dream of knights and ogres. The game itself is an addictive take on punch out, but it’s the fact that you can complete the game in minutes that makes it stand out, this game’s weird surrealist narrative hints at a world far more horrible than our own, a past you don’t want to be there. It’s really the feeling of grotesque that makes it absorbing and worth the replay. Have submitted to the demon king, but have never bested him.

Jenga hd
Rocks. Love it. It’s so awesome to be able to play Jenga on the go. The pass play feature is also essential.

Spider-man hd
Is surprisingly pretty good for what looks like a ps2 game with a virtual analog stick. The controls work rather well and the game is fun, the only problem is the games mechanics stagnate quickly,i found myself annoyed with the combat after awhile, but does go to show the iPad can present a pretty good brawler.

Final fantasy 3
The graphics aren’t as good as the ps one premiere game, but this remake of the original final fantasy isn’t bad either, the controls are amazing and navigating the games many submenus is easy. Really liking it so far, the instant save feature also helps cuz I like to just pop it up and battle a few times on the bus.

This one really impressed me, the difficultly is amazing, I love how hard I had to work to finish the last levels. The graphics are also really good and the mechanics are just great. I love all the ways the team thought of making ball rolling into a platformer. This really goes to show what the iPad can do is about the only game I recommend you play on the iPad.

Storm in a teacup
Was recommended by kotaku, sucks. Don’t like it.

Is really hyped, but didn’t get into it yet. An impressive feat of indie programming, but didn’t really buy it.

Man did this disappoint. Has a good story, good acting, well done cgi, but just doesn’t grab me.

Coin drop
Not an angry birds clone, rather an angry birds spiritual successor, I found the graphics a little trite, those sprites need to move, but really enjoyed what is basically a kinds reverse pin ball with coins. Fun and fairly long for 0.99 game, but no where near the birds in terms of length.

Have not finished this, but I like what square Enix has done with the comic book manga format. The games are fun, although a little simple, the little interactions are good, but I just enjoyed the experience in general.

Is it just me or is it just having the money for publicity that seems to matter in if your game makes it or not category?

June 23, 2011 at 9:03 am Leave a comment

The shopping spree

I am in week three i believe of post-ipad being. My once quaint idea of shopping has been expanded by my bloglines having become impulse buys. Indie game blogs offer me new and exciting ipad apps, i nearly bought katamarin and those interactive story games, the new one involves rain, plus of course bubble harp and oh yeah that bubble harp guy is making bjork’s interactive apps for biophilia. But the question I find myself pondering is, are we really intended to consume this much? I have over 8 ted videos waiting, a friend of mine has gigabytes of ebooks pending, gluttony is a sin and while the bible’s ethics? Morals? Quick google search leads here: which in turn leads to kindle store search for p singer and do look at his Speech it is great. Btw word press app for ipad is an absolutely horrible text editor and keeps skipping forward to the last word after i go back and try to type a word. But hey now i got an idea, what are the ethics of shopping here? What makes it permissible to buy online and for that matter is android’s stagnant market a result of apple’s customers’ morals?

First i would like to get back to what i was building towards: the ipad allows massive amounts of consumerist desire to be expressed. In terms of consumerism this thng is the orgasm inducing shower massager to the mall’s measly seductions. Dresses, software, comic books, real books, anything yout fancy or just fancied on fancy can be bought, the app store even open up to other mrkets, kindle opens another world of consumerism and the ipad does make amazon’s products look great, all my indie literature blogs have becodme try a sample blogs, back logs of inventive lit await me. Board games that sit a meter away can be played online, neuroshima hex, carcassone, even some orignal designs are there, fuck dude i was playing jinga on my ipad today, and then realized i was sitting in front of a jinga set. But consumerist desire has usually been confined by space, availability, time, and delivery, price, and probably a lot of other things i can’t quite quantify. Shopping in real life is slow, book stores most be browsed, stepping out to buy a board game might end three hours later when the store manages to sell you on a demo, comics can be flipped through, and even better their stands show all the covers and your local clerk even has them organized. The ipad allows transactions at speeds faster than anything possible, and the problem is we just don’t react to impulse buys with the same taste as we do measured transactions.

Impulse buys were invented first conceptualized by giant retail markets. As shoppingu movd from mom and pop to chain the loss was an accumulated intuitive knowledge of the customer. Your five and dime knew the trinkets that sold at the register, it took a genuis and possibly ceo of gap to figure out that chocolate bars should be at the chec out stand at old navy. Such also notes the ineffeciency of the chain model, authority extends so far as to block the local worker from actually developing an idea of the store. The app store is perhaps even worse off, it actually is written in stone, and the accumulated linguistic architecture that derives its display is hard to work with, physicsl space is more mutable than c. The app store needs to step back to web 2.0 and let mash ups bring taste to the market. I would die to have kotaku’s app store select games for me andorganize my shop front, although app recommendations are already running rampant.

Oh geez, yeah so anyway in terms of s college essay i am rambling, impulse buys the last paragraph ended with, shout outs to able bodied game journalists in need of another dime ended it. Consumerism in the impulse era means more than walking away. To tempted by that flat screen tv? Walk away, the ability to purchase it won’t follow you. That impossibility means you don’t worry about it… That much. Ipad purchases stick with you, if you want a comic book series on comixology, well guess what, even if you resist at 9 am, the same option will be there when a spare moment at work opens up around 12. The ipad makes consumption neurotic, the id knows the item is purchasable at anytime, hence the desire becomes neurotic, we begin to worry and obsess over purchases, the ability to consume is readily at hand. Consumption becomes as attainable as self stimulation, it jut requires a moment by yourself. Impulse buys require proximity,the ipad is often close to you, hence the satisfaction of s purchase lingers in each touch, checking email? Get that comic book dude. Additionally, the type of impulse purchase has changed, at barnes and noble impulse buys are chocolate, tea, and bookmarks. On the ipad 1.99 video games, 10 usd graphical apps, 15.00 usd books, and that’s just in my pile of junk, if i’m understanding correctly americans can get movies via netflix, tv shows via itunes, andof course music. My ipad remains music less because apple bans any nonitunes mp3s and itunes music store isn’t available in thailand, but not to worry bjork’s ipad album will fix that.

What makes such purchasables permissible differs. For me at least, its mostly the idea of education,i love learning to learn and being shown new things. My kids will soon be making circuits with play dough while i probably read another interesting book via kindle (provided apple doesn’t ban kindle after ibooks takes off) consumerism, especially digtal consmersm, has been sold to us on the idea of freedom, but all this information, all these games, all these little ways we’ve been taught to desire often just endin stagnation, my games pile remains a festering burr in my garden, my kindle is unmanagably burdened with books, weeding through what i bought remains difficult, but more daunting is not aquiring more.

P.s. As for biblical morality, jesus had some great things to say, a quick google search reveals

Proverbs 23:20-21 “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”
Proverbs 23:2 “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.”

Additionally gluttony in the bible appears to be linked to the king james version of the bible suggesting that the use ofthe church’s authority to warn against the evils of excessive consumption was an after thought to god’s word. Btw the bible really does advise killing yourself if you like eating to much.


June 11, 2011 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment


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