Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Can't Get it Out of My Head

The Escapist Staff | 13 Feb 2007 07:00
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In response to "Free Fall" from The Escapist Forum: Good to see Armadillo Run getting more exposure - this is probably the most fun I've had with a game for the last five years. A perfect example of less is more in game design.

Oh and reading your discussion of Croquet is a great example of another feature I liked about the game: you don't have to produce mechanically ingenious solutions. You can also sidestep the "intended" solutions with a bit of lateral thinking in many cases. [SPOILER WARNING] Instead of trying to build a better mallet, use a cheap, rubbishy mallet and build a support to stop the anvil from falling so quickly. Croquet? No. A win? Yes!

- Dom Camus

In response to "Free Fall" from The Escapist Forum: Armadillo Run is definitely a great game. I wish I could say the same about the article.

I can't help but wonder how in 5 pages of text, neither the developer nor the writer saw fit to point out that AR is a much-improved revisit/remake of the quite popular and famous Bridge Builder , which amongst other things won the audience award at IGF2003. It's had several sequels, including the 100% free, minimal "Bridge Building Game" from the original author.

While AR certainly made vast improvements to both the interface/useability, range of building materials, aesthetic, etc. the article seems to suggest that the game idea itself is original, when it's quite simply not. BB features all of the basic mechanics found in AR, the similarities are far too striking to be accidental, and frankly it saddens me when such a great, literate magazine fails to do at least a cursory amount of research before heralding a game as a great innovation. A great game it may be, but it is a game whose greatness lies it its refinement, improvement, and advancement of a concept introduced by others. The choice of introductory quote was much more apt than perhaps intended.

Not to mention, both games owe a debt to the various "The Incredible Machine" games, as a previous poster mentioned.

If you were writing an article introducing Duke Nukem 3D, it would be irresponsible if you failed to mention Wolfenstein or Doom, wouldn't it? And yet this is exactly what you've done by omitting any reference to TIM or BB, respectively.

- raigan

In response to "Chaos" from The Escapist Forum: Chaos was like a secret lover. You thought you were the only one, then years later you discovered - to your shock - that there were others! My love affair with Chaos reflects Kieron's, except in my case it involved my entire family. It is the only computer game I've ever played that had three generations sitting down in front of the TV screen playing together, and which gave every one of them the occasional, gratifying victory. Chaos was an ideal party game, because everyone would win at least once, but only the best would win most often.

Even today I can sit skeptical non-gamers down in front of the PC monitor (or the original Spectrum, if I feel like trying to get the cassette tape to work!) and entirely beguile them with this masterpiece of game design.

- krayzkrok

In response to "Chaos" from The Escapist Forum: Hey. It's fun to see Chaos getting some recognition. I discovered this game pretty late and I've only played it on an emulator. At a glance it looks pretty weird by today's standards, but I managed to get really into it and I was amazed about just how deep the gameplay is.

I'm a graduated game programmer and I used Chaos as basis for my finals project, which was a game I developed by myself called "Chaos Reborn". I took what was basically Chaos, and added my own ideas into the mix.

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