As consumers we often make snap judgements about the games we play; in my article Analyzing games: studying vs consuming, I discussed the challenges we face when trying to study games for their true value as opposed to simply going by our user experience as consumers. However, in the mobile market we often come across games which look great in their trailers, advertisements, or screenshots only to be let down by the final product. This means that we often end up making quick assessments about whether or not a gaming experience is worth investing our time in, which are informed by our opinions and preferences.
Today I will be reviewing Risky Road, a simple tilty car game in which the player tries to cross a series of procedurally generated obstacles with a loose egg in the truck bed. The review follows my thoughts from my first boot of the game to the conclusion after a few matches.
- Boot flow: Right as the game launched I was given an ad. The gut reaction of being presented with an ad very early on in an application, especially a full screen ad, is that the application will constantly be interrupting the user experience.
- Tutorial: The tutorial consists of two text lines given to the player each time they begin a level:
– Hold to accelerate
– Don’t drop it !
While the instructions are easy to understand they only indicate what the controls are, but not the goal or the method of using the mechanics to achieve said goal. In this case, since the gameplay is so simple it benefits the game to have a limited tutorial than one that complicates the easy gameplay with instruction.
- Mechanics: Although twitch mechanics in nature, meaning they require quick reaction times, the hold and release mechanism for locomotion begins to gain some finesse as the player gets into the groove of gameplay.
- Revenue model: After looking for an in-app purchase I was surprised to find that the only purchasable is a one-time payment of $1.99 to remove ads. This explains the heavy-handed use of ads throughout the game’s flow.
- Conclusion: Ad woes and simple gameplay aside, Risky Road surpassed my expectation and actually made me keep it around long enough to serve as a simple game I can play when I want a really quick fix of tap gameplay.
Have you ever played a game and made a snap judgement after only playing it for a little bit? Do you know yourself and tastes well enough to make a snap judgement or do you give things more time and consideration in case they surprise you? I welcome discussion on this topic and if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please do so in the comments below, or write in to email@example.com.
Andrew Mantilla is a ludologist and video game journalist for Play Professor. You can check out more of his content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.