In my latest game, 4 Games 1 Screen, I try to make the most of a tricky situation. I've embraced the android mobile platform and the control options it offers. Our phones and tablets have accelerometers and touchscreens, the old nintendo and sega machines did not, it's time to think outside the box and make the most of these features.
4 Games 1 Screen is a challenging brain training game, the aim is to multitask by playing four games at one time, and avoid making too many mistakes. Make too many mistakes and it's game over. Each game is kept relatively simple for two reasons - first the game has to have a single objective and control method, second you have to be able to play four of these things at once so too much complexity would be too distracting for the player.
The mini games are:
- Asteroid Attack - Tilt to steer your ship, asteroid collisions damage the shields, and when the shields are gone - gameover man, gameover!
- Tap Jump Cowboy - Classic infinite scroll platform game (like canabalt, and gemserk's excellent vampire runner) tap the screen to jump, save the cowboy from running into the campfires!
- Speedy Sums Math Master - Fully engage the left side of the brain, evaluate the math problem and mark it as correct or incorrect... You not only lose a life when you get it wrong, but also when you run out of time - so think fast!
- Street Race Swipe - Swipe up or down to change lanes in this fast and furious racing game, avoid crashing into the other sports cars, too many bumps and your car will explode!
Each game can be played independently (full screen) in practice mode, but the real aim of the game is to play them all at once - the game is called "4 Games 1 Screen" afterall :) I find it fun, addictive, frustrating and challenging. The frustration is what makes it so addictive haha, I see gameover and immediately try again to "do it right this time" :)
No onscreen controls, and a game that would not really be possible on traditional gaming platforms, this is truly a mobile game designed for mobile devices. I hope you go on to check it out (it's FREE, so why not!) and if you also like making your own mobile games that you might consider some of the thought behind the concept - don't lament the lack of physical controls, instead make the most of what is available!
Finally, does this mean that I won't ever release a mobile game with onscreen controls? No. Definitely not. A future project will be a traditional platformer, with android enabled consoles like the ouya and gamestick firmly in mind. I will no doubt make a mobile version of this game with onscreen controls (it would be silly not to). I'm not against onscreen controls, I'm against not thinking up interesting ways to make the most of what the mobile platform offers. I believe a platformer will only work well with traditional controls, but we don't always have to make traditional games :)
Happy gaming boys and girls!