Dong Nguyen is at it again, with a fresh new game called Swing Copter. It’s still 8-bit style, still obstacle-filled, but this time around the difficulty factor has been crazily upped, it’s almost impossible. (I got a high score of 1 and never bothered again.)
Swing Copter lets you navigate a bulging-eyed character with a propeller on his helmet, up through the sky, with steel bars and swinging hammers blocking your way. Even the sides of the screen are off-limits. What makes the game devilishly hard are the unwieldy controls and the unforgivingly screwed up physics. There is no such thing as narrowly missing the hammer, you will hit the hammer whether you like it or not.
Already, vile comments of frustrated players have cropped up at the Play Store. If frustration and high-blood pressure were the goal of the game’s creator, then hats off to you for a job well done.
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But no, the insane difficulty is not the problem.
THE PROBLEM LIES IN THEIR LACK OF A STORY.
All the great games are propelled by a story: Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Halo, God of War, Grand Theft Auto, Left for Dead, Resident Evil, and more recently Badland, Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery, Reaper, Plants vs Zombies, to name a few—all these have a compelling story to tell. Other games let players create the story themselves: The Sims and Minecraft for instance.
|Scene from Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery|
Even Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, for all their mindless fun violence, have a story. The endless runner game Temple Run and Cut the Rope also have a loose plot line more or less. Or consider Another Case Solved, it could have been just another Candy Crush clone, but it deftly added an engaging detective story, and that made all the difference.
The story is important; humans are innate story-tellers since the dawn of time—from the caveman and their cave wall paintings to the cat photos we post on our walls today.
The story invites us gamers to dive head on to the various awesome universes provided for us. The characters have motivation, we relate to them and to their cause and goals, we fight their fights.
Okay, granted Swing Copter is a pure game, an arcade game where your only goal is to move your character from point A to B. Does that mean there’s no story to tell? Well that should have been a challenge to the developer.
All the serious and honest game creators want to share the story that they’ve carefully crafted in their games. They might put all sorts of obstacles along the way because life’s like that too, but at the end of the day they want us to win, to defeat the baddies, to save the Princess, to survive the odds, and experience the story along the way. These games were created for our enjoyment, and not at our expense.
Clearly, Dong Nguyen doesn’t take his audience seriously.