Games We Like
This is why, here at Denki HQ, we felt it was time to share the indie iOS games that have caught our eye and aptly decided to call this ‘Games We Like’. We were inspired by the brothers Pickford, to support our fellow indie and independent game developers to promote each other’s games.
We are hoping to keep this list updated regularly but the ‘best laid plans of mice and men often go astray’!
10000000: There’s not many games I see these days that make me think “I wish we’d made that”, but 10000000 is one of them because:
- Great twist – Match 3 meets Dungeon Crawl RPG. Something I haven’t seen before.
- Great convenience – instantly familiar in its Match 3 mechanic, but strategically deep (though not overly) in its RPG elements.
- Great feel – all the critical bits of the product are nicely polished to an appropriate level of finish. The rough bits don’t get in the way of making you feel good.
While beautiful in many ways it’s severely flawed in others – particularly information design, life and drama. But that just reinforces how good the fundamentals are in my mind, because it’s already delivering an engaging experience in its current form and I can see huge scope for improvement.
Orbital: Simply because I could not leave it alone – and for quite some time
Angry Bird’s Seasons: It’s an addictive, well made game that offers jump in/jump out gameplay where you’re trying to better yourself, the controls are easy and it’s not hardcore.
Sword and Sworcery: S&S was at the time (its on PC now, boo) an utterly unique game, that utilised the touch interface beautifully. It has atmosphere, exploration, character — cool and unique twitter integration, beautiful soundtrack and a unique blend of game play. It felt like a full fledged product, with some real craft and depth, and it was enhanced by the device it was on, not limited by it. Lovely and arty!
Karoshi because to put it quite simply ‘it’s silly’.
Pix’n Love Rush based on the gorgeous faux-retro graphics alone only to be drawn into one of the most addictive, refined games I’ve played in a long, long time. It’s the first time I’ve encountered Achievements adding a structure to a game despite it being a high score, arcade-style game. I kept playing the game shooting for that final high score as I learned each level, got my timing to a tee and ensured each jump and shot was pixel perfect until I finally got a respectable high score and nailed that final, elusive achievement. Simply brilliant
Contre Jour: The first thing that grabbed my attention were the visuals. The monochromatic aesthetic works really well and the accompanying soundtrack is a great fit. Beautiful game overall.
Also make sure you check out the Pickford Bros BAFTA-nominated puzzler Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint. For Gaz there’s plenty to like about the game, but here’s what makes it truly special:
- Twist – It’s definitely not like anything else but that’s not what’s important. The biggest twist here is how John and Ste have taken the basic concept of ball-and-baize based gaming and turned it on its head (and inside-out for good measure. Unlike in real billiards, snooker or pool, efficient play isn’t the order of the day in Magnetic Billiards – it’s all about performance: maximising risky flamboyant play (which is counterintuitive at first).
- Feel – Yes, it’s initially quite the downer getting a bad rating for playing (you might think) well by being economical with your shots. But once you start to really appreciate the Twist and the scope for scoring, making the most of buzz shots, rebounds and the like, the emotional and physical Feel lift significantly and you end up feeling like you can make a real difference.
- Convenience – Despite the combination of simple toy set and tactile interface, it’s not the easiest of concepts to appreciate from the off.
- Alive – It’s lively and oozes character – that of its authors, who are present from the outset and during prominent ceremonies. It’s also attentive and informative, recognising and rewarding skilful play, including your making special shapes, which bolsters Feel.
- Drama – The fact that you have no choice but to play riskily (and even deliberately make near misses) to maximise your score makes for some healthy (and hairy) moments.
So there you have it! Let us know what you think, better yet tell us which games have caught your eye.