Thursday, March 29, 2012

Play rhythm

I played Hero Academy on my iPod Touch all evening yesterday. The bad news is that I didn't manage to finish a single game. Worst case was a game in which my opponent never ever made a single move. Best case was a game in which my opponent made a move about every 15 minutes, and I had to resign after 2 hours when it was getting late and I wanted to go to bed, with the game not even half done. I then promptly deleted the Hero Academy app from my iPod. It is a game that I would love to play against a computer opponent, but as there is only PvP and it's very slow turn-based, the play rhythm of the game doesn't fit my time constraints.

Reading about Hero Academy I found out that people usually launch half a dozen games at once to not wait endlessly, but then of course they contribute to the problem because while they make a move in one game their opponent in another game has to wait. If I had time all day, I could imagine just playing a slow game, playing something else on the PC while waiting for my opponent to move. But for playing 2 hours in the evening, Hero Academy isn't really the most suitable game. If you have any limit to how long you can play, you can't be sure to finish any game.

Another game on the iOS turns out to be somewhat too fast for me. I do like the general style and structure of Battlehearts, but I wished the combat was turn-based instead of real time. On the small iPod Touch screen my fingers aren't the most precise input devices for a game that benefits from fast reaction. My dream game would be something that has the combat system of Hero Academy, but the PvE campaign structure of Battlehearts.

But all this is obviously quite subjective. Different people have different play rhythms, and a game that is too fast or too slow for one person might be just right for another. I like games in which you can adapt the game's speed to your personal rhythm, so that usually means PvE, and either turn-based, or a real-time system with a pause function where you can give commands during the pause. But that is just me.

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