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FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
So much more than war...
By shandog137
Posted on 04/18/14
The recent blog, Peace in the Era of Call of Duty  really made me think about war games that dig deeper than simply a kill streak reward. The first game that came to mind was Spec-Ops: The Line and although I haven’t played it, I began to wonder if it did the war genre as...

The Best of SoWN Pt. 2: Games Being Fun

Posted on Tuesday, September 25 @ 12:00:00 Eastern by Heath_Hindman


In this second part of the Best of SoWN, I want to talk about the two games that I'm the most excited to play.  Forget other categories or qualifications or whatever, these are the two games that I totally want to own when their final versions are available.


Backworlds

The Tokyo Game Show irked the hell out of me with how many touchscreen-only games there were, because so many of them just feel like total shovelware. Backworlds is an exception to be sure, thanks to its solid design and incredibly unique concept. The game takes place in two worlds that overlap each other, but have different rules. Rubbing the touchpad overwrites one world with the other.

So perhaps in the world occupying the foreground, everything is "normal", but the world exposed by rubbing the screen has reversed gravity. You can bet that moving certain objects around and utilizing the ability to whisk them into the sky will be handy in clearing the path to progress. Explaining it in words is tough, so just check out the above video to get what I'm saying.

Their website claims a PC version is available and includes a download link, but I'm not sure how that works, given what I saw at the show. Perhaps the touch control works with a mouse? That would be awesome if so. Otherwise, I might have to finally get a tablet at some point. For that, I love and hate Backworlds.


Bara Bari Ball

Here's a game after my own heart. It's 2D, for a standard PC, and packs some 8-bit graphics, but don't let that fool you, it's plenty of fun to play. Two players begin on opposite sides of a stage with a simple objective: get the ball and throw it into their specially colored section of the water below. They can do this by stunning their opponent with attacks and carefully using their double and triple-jumps. First one to three points wins. Simple, right? Yes. And that's part of why it's fun. It's easy to pick it up and just start playing.

It reminds me of the types of games my brother and I always play. There are these certain games that capture our hearts when we were young. Now as adults, a lot of times when we get together, we look forward to sitting down for a few minutes with those classics. We play 'em for 15 minutes or an hour, then call it good for months or even a year at a time. But unlike some other games, time just can't slow these games down. They stay fun for years, even if a play session is in a short burst.

Pong might be the ultimate example of this type of game. Who can turn down a game or two, even just every couple of months? I don't see BaraBariBall being the type of game you can play for hours and hours on end, but for some quick play sessions or something to have at a party for a homemade tournament, it's perfect. Bonus points because the default control scheme calls for a Super Nintendo controller. Respect through the roof, man.


Part one of this three-part series about Sense of Wonder Night has a video of the whole event sitting at the bottom of it. If you like indie games or just like innovation in design, check that out. The next and final part will be all about the games that used technology in a way that wowed me.


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