I’ve never been a big mobile game player, but I ended up working in a mobile games company (opinions are my own etc), 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 internalising 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.
Gummy Heroes is an auto-runner platformer. As you run you free your fellow gummy compatriots, who run behind you mimicking your actions and effectively work as extra lives. I quite like this idea.
The level design is solid. Obstacles have a circular aura around them that not only draw attention to them but also hint the player when to jump, as does the placement of coins above pits. Standard tools, but it’s nice to see them being used well.
Once you hit an obstacle it is destroyed, meaning you only ever lose one of your lives at a time. This is likely done to avoid the frustration of losing many of your lives at once, but with the sheer amount of characters you have running behind you at any one time it barely feels like a punishment. Especially with the theme of gummy characters, i don’t think losing a few at a time if you jumped a bit too late would feel too terrible.
Monetisation is primarily done with a shop where you can buy cosmetics to customise your characters, which historically works well and is cooler than skins IMO.
Vista Golf is a mini-golf game. Its physics don’t fell terribly fine-tuned, everything seems a bit too sluggish. Oddly enough, i didn’t spot any monetisation model.
The game doesn’t do much to reinvent itself, each stage being nearly the same as the one before it. It’s possible that further “worlds” do something different but, if that’s the case, each “world” having 18 levels is overstaying their welcome for far too long.