App Assessment: Infinite Frustrations
I pick three of my favorite games on iOS I classify as “addictive-frustrating”. Games that serve no other purpose than to feed on the need to high score.
Since the inception of the endless runner Canabalt, game developers discovered a void never so easily filled by minimalist games fueled only by a player’s frustration and need to try and try again to earn themselves a glimpse of self-achievement.
Mechanic Panic by Jeffery Yim
First off, the most calming of my lot. The little guy in this game hasn’t had the best of luck. Not when you work in a faulty Space Elevator in which you have to get him to climb as a vicious elevator shaft fire rises from the bottom.
The game is not quite as straightforward as a common endless runner. As an endless climber, players control the acrobatic mechanic through a one-tap control for him to leap from one side to the other while dodging falling debris. You can also leap on rising elevators for a bit of a quick ascension before it momentarily explodes. The sides of the sides also are treacherous, lined with fuse boxes, high-pressured steam tanks about to blow and slippery surfaces.
Be the hero and grab falling passengers along the way. They seem to be able to escape just fine, but you have to keep going on climbing higher and higher until a falling lift slams into your face. Fuel your addiction with added abilities and companion robots as you gain XP and utilise in-game coins.
Endless Road by Chillingo
A cute little driving game that is a little piece of frustration on the side. Similar to Mechanic Panic, your little car in default red is facing a crumbling road behind it, and like the action movie Speed, your speed has to exceed 80 mph at all times.
To do so, you have to avoid nicking your car into things and by grabbing the speed-up power-ups that lace the road. This is, however, hampered by the fact the road is filled with traffic and the roads have different attributes with each stage such as a subway system or a maze-like road.
One unique aspect to this game is that each route ends in a choice between two lanes and these lanes split into one of two section of road with another attribute, and there’s a whole new bunch of roads to explore, if you can survive that long on the roads.
Super Hexagon by Terry Cavanagh
From the developer of the reflex-aching platformer VVVVVV comes Super Hexagon. The game has a very simple premise. Guide the little triangle avoiding the incoming hexagon pieces heading towards the centre where you remain.
The cruel part of this game start from the controls. You don’t use your finger to guide the triangle, you hold the sides to rotate it. A similar comparison would be FPS camera controls using a console controller.
There isn’t even an easy mode since the “simplest” mode is already Hard, followed by Harder and Hardest, and three more modes after that, if you can even last a full minute in the earlier modes. Easier said than done.
Got your own favourite frustration on your mobile gaming device? List them in the comments!