The Devaluing of Puzzle Games

Once upon a time, Tetris on the NES was sold as a full-priced game. Even back then, its feature set was lacking, as it didn’t have local multiplayer. All you could do was chase for a high score. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop the world from buying it in the millions.

Imagine asking players to spend full price on a Tetris game now? No way! Even with the VR support and numerous gameplay modes that it offers, Tetris Effect didn’t launch as a full-priced game. That still didn’t stop many from being critical of its value proposition, specifically its distinct lack of multiplayer. Tetris 99 isn’t full-priced if you buy the standalone edition, nor is Puyo Puyo Tetris, which is essentially two full puzzle games in one. Even I complained about Treasure Stack, a game that I bought on sale for $5 CAD, because its value proposition felt thin.

Taking a step back, it’s been interesting to see how one of my favourite genres has been devalued over time.

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Florence Review (Nintendo Switch Version)

The story of two hearts colliding is one that’s explored to great effect in virtually every medium. Except gaming. For numerous reasons, the medium has been slow to create experiences around the themes of love and romance beyond more juvenile dating simulators or bolting on elements of romantic relationships into established genres. As much as I love headshots, juggle combos, and stacking blocks, I’ve always felt like there was a whole world of possibilities that could arise when combining the interactive elements of gaming with the themes of love and romance.

Originally released on mobile in 2018, Florence takes a clever approach to bringing a love story to life within the boundaries of gaming. Though I meant to play it at the time, I didn’t get around to it until it was released on the Nintendo Switch in February 2020. The experience of playing through it has weighed heavily on my heart ever since.

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Reminiscing on the Good Old Days of HQ Trivia

“Have you heard of HQ Trivia?”

It was the fall of 2017 and my former coworker was selling me on the virtues of this hot new mobile game he’d discovered. “You can play for free and you have the opportunity to win real cash!”

A few days later, during the middle of the workday, we stepped aside to play a few minutes of HQ Trivia. Those first few minutes would form the start of a ritual that carried on for quite some time.

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From Affiliates now earning ad revenue to the new Creator Dashboard, let’s look at some of the new and upcoming features on Twitch

At the end of September, Twitch unveiled a host of new features coming to the platform in the coming year. There’s a lot of exciting stuff for viewers and creators to enjoy! This post won’t cover all of the announcements, but I wanted to cover the things that I found the most interesting. Let’s go!

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Dr. Mario World Review

The original Dr. Mario is game that I like, but don’t love. The theme of having Mario cure viruses by smacking them with pills is great. Mechanically, you can create some interesting combos with the two-part pills splitting in half. However, that game becomes a slog the moment you have to put a pill in a bad spot. From there, you spend much of the level in a negative mindset, stressing out over the mess you made and how difficult it is to clean it up. It makes me feel more like a first-year med student rather than a world-renown professional such as the game’s namesake.

Dr. Mario World┬átakes quite a few liberties in adapting the classic puzzler to mobile devices.┬áPurists may raise an eyebrow at how much the game has changed at first glance, and I don’t blame them for that. However, I don’t think its gameplay is this title’s biggest cause for concern.

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Hands-On with PvP in Pokemon Go

It’s been an incredibly long wait, but Pokemon Go finally has PvP battles! Having played a few matches and poked my head around the game’s new systems, let’s discuss how it works, my thought on its current implementation, and where the system could go from here!

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Lost Cities on iPhone Review

Lost Cities on iOS is the adaptation of the Lost Cities physical card game. In it, two players compete to create the best routes to five different ancient civilizations by playing numbered cards in ascending order. In short, it’s like an awesome version of head-to-head Solitaire that I’m completely smitten by.

Ports of board games to mobile devices have generally gotten better over time, though there are still no shortage of duds out there. Going into this, I would have been devastated if this port of a game I adored sucked. Does Lost Cities successfully make the jump?

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Camel Up for iOS Review

Camel Up is an award-winning board game from Steffen Bogen and Z-Man Games. Though my hype for the physical game has cooled with time, I still think that it’s a novel and entertaining title with the right people at the table. This time, it makes the digital jump on iOS platforms. Well, to be more precise, it crawls to the iOS in a sad and sorry state.

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Splendor on iOS Review

Board Game Geek’s 2014 game of the year makes its way to iOS courtesy of Days of Wonder. Splendor is a chip and card collecting game where players will build their gem merchant empires by buying mines, means of transportation and shops. Despite some of its thematic flaws, I really like the physical version of this game. Does it translate well to iOS?

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Out Today: Splendor on iOS

One of my favourite board games of 2014 is out today on iOS! Splendor is a game where gem merchants are working towards building their empire. The theme is actually inconsequential to the whole thing, as it’s really about using gems to buy gem cards, and then a combination of gem and gem cards to get victory points. Yes, that sounds dull, but the mechanics are so tight and engaging that it’s easy to fall in love with and one that can stay on regular rotation for a long time. Expect a review from me on this soon!

Buy Splendor Now From Amazon.com

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