Commuting Cognition: Bike Race, Phase Spur

What is this?

I’ve never been a big mobile game player, but I ended up working in a mobile games company, so I’ve been trying to expose myself to more games in this market and attempt to gain an ever-better understanding of them. One of the ways I’ve been doing that is in trying out new games, seeing what they do wrong and right, and try to draw conclusions from them that I can use in the future to make our games better. One of the resources I’ve been using for this is TouchArcade (not sponsored), and their columns listing the new iOS games of the week.

This resulted in me playing a lot more new games during my daily bus rides, but I also feel the need to discuss them somewhere and keep a log of my thoughts instead of just internalizing them. So, Commuting Cognition. These will be brief, bus-ride-long thoughts on these games, and should be seen less as reviews and more as first impressions. They also may not be daily, depending on how full the bus is that day.


Racing Games 2017-Bike Race

Bike Race Happy Wheels Keywords SEO is a racing game with waaAAaAaaAcky physics! You have virtual buttons to move forward and backward, plus phone tilting to keep yourself upright.

Is this what the kids are into these days? I don’t get it. As far as i’m concerned, the first level is awful; attempting to hop from platform from platform doesn’t show off the silly physics at all (not that they’re particularly entertaining anyway), only the terrible controls. There’s some potential to the phone tilting, but this doesn’t showcase it. I got sick of it after dying a dozen times.

Phase Spur

Phase Spur is a puzzle game with a simple premise: move blocks on the screen to ensure that no more than two are in the same line, column, and diagonal.

Something very similar to that line is delivered in the initial tutorial, and that’s really all you needed to know. Everything else in the far-too long tutorial is unneccessary. At the very least, let us fast-forward the text.

The game itself is as simple as its premise, with the difficulty never moving beyond basic in the ten levels i played. The whole game feels overanimated, with everything taking longer than it should and dragging the game when you just want to move on to the next puzzle. Coupled with the super annoying sound effects, i just have to guess that i’m not the target audience for this, but the art style doesn’t seem bright and flashy enough for kids, so i’m not entirely sure who their actual target audience was.

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