Sunday, April 26, 2009

Puzzle Games

Since my post about physics-based puzzle games, I have played a few other puzzle games which deserve mention. Right as exam period was starting I decided to buy a new PS3 game (which seemed like a good idea at the time). It is a physics-based puzzle platformer called LittleBigPlanet. The gameplay itself isn't revolutionary, but I found the multiplayer mode and online user-generated content to be extremely fun. The game has a level creator so anyone can publish their own content. I designed a puzzle which I consider to be fairly challenging. It involves constructing a staircase to get over a wall. There are a few tricks to constructing the staircase such as how to move/rotate blocks and how to make the staircase stable. So far only six people have played the level and only one person has solved it (me). It has a rating of 2 out of 5 :(.

Yesterday I got an amazing game called Braid. The puzzles in this game are brilliant. They are based on controlling the flow of time. I had a hard time following the story though, and the ending didn't make any sense to me. I think it was intentionally ambiguous.

Two other puzzle games I played recently I downloaded from the PlayStation Store on my PS3. The first is called Echochrome. It is based on the artwork of M. C. Escher and involves tricks of perspective. The second is a game called Flower. You control the movement of flower petals by tilting the PS3 controller to change the direction of the wind. The graphics in the game are beautiful.

All four of these games have incredible music that really enhance the gameplay experience. In general I am usually disappointed with the quality of music in video games. Two series in which the music made a lasting impression on me are Final Fantasy and Myst.

I am still planning on making my own puzzle game this summer. I have been keeping track of what aspects of the various puzzle games I have been playing work well. I will post updates on the game's development on this blog.

This semester I only have four exams (which is the fewest I have ever had). I think my first three exams went really well. My last exam is on Monday.

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