Monday, April 16

Orisinal Games: Cats

Ferry Halim is like the Robert Frost of video games. His games are about nature and beauty and, cute things. Orisinal games are very soothing. Lets talk about one of my favorite Orisinal games, Cats. If you have not played Cats, please do so now.

What is so awesome about Cats? Well, lots of things. The game is very simple, you must order every cat to copy the leader cat, which is either sitting or standing. The cats could be walking either left or right, and sitting or standing. Aesthetically, Cats is very simple and pleasing. White Cats against a black background walking on white lines. Thats it. All Orisinal games have a single repeating song. Each is charming while somehow never becoming annoying. There are two things in particular, though, that are really very cool about Cats. One is the simple but demanding gameplay. The second aspect is that of randomness. If you played long enough, you'll notice that more and more levels of cats show up for you to deal with. And darn it, they just won't do what you ask for more than three seconds. I tell you what, this game is addictive. There is something very satisfying about ordering your cats to sit or walk, then watching as they obey. That is, until one misbehaves. "Sit!" These cats have massive ADHD if you ask me. The gameplay is very intuitive and also flawless. If a cat is walking, scroll the mouse and it shall sit. Need a cat to get off its tail, lo and behold it will with a simple touch of the mouse. The randomness of Cats is what makes it so captivating. "OK, all my cats are walking. 34,35,36. What the? Get up lazy." Then the leader cat will switch suddenly and you will be all over the screen ordering the cats to follow their newly appointed leader. Its great.
The last thing I wanted to discuss was the concept of endless games. Pretty much all of Orisinal games are built on endurance. It only takes moments for players to learn the skills required to play a given game. Then, therefore, gameplay boils down to just how long players can keep it up. Why does this work? What is appealing about doing the same thing over and over. I've pondered a couple of reasons. One is that they aren't entirely endurance based. The gameplay is simple, sure, but players strive to truly master the skill it takes to play the game well. Secondly, endurance itself is a skill. Why do you think players engage in thousand mile races in Gran Turismo (auto-driving aside)? Endurance is a show of prowess. Playing for a long time says, "Hey, I just scored a xillion points in this game without breaking a sweat." Because of its unpredictability and more skill based gameplay, however, Cats is somewhat of an exception.

Do you like Cats? Why or why not? are you an anti-animal robot!
What do you think of endurance based gameplay as opposed to skill based?
What other Orisinal games do you like? Why?

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, Finn,
    Nice to see people remember Robert Frost.
    Would you like to be the guest judge of this week's Blog Awards? See my blogpost titled `You Be The Judge' and let me know.
    Keep smiling