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    Oct 6th, 2012 at 22:42:26     -    Tiny Wings (iPd)

    Tiny Wings is a very simple game that people of all ages and skillsets can learn how to play. The goal of the game is to get the highest score possible, which is achieved by collecting coins and gaining distance. The player can also earn points by performing a great jump, a cloud touch, or by entering fever mode. Before discussing each of these aspects, the mechanics of the game should be illuminated. The game’s core mechanic is the bird getting heavier or lighter depending on the player’s actions. The player must cause the bird to slide down the many hills on the map in a fluid manner. This can be achieved by making the bird heavier to hit the hills at the right spots. In order to make the bird heavier, the player need only to press and hold their finger to the screen of the device. When the player lifts his or her finger, the bird will no longer be heavy, and it will start to flap its “tiny wings.” In order to gain more points, the player should try to perform great jumps which are essentially the most fluid jumps. In addition, the player is capable of touching the clouds which awards point bonuses. After executing three great jumps in a row, the player enters fever mode which grants a massive point boost. The art of the game creates a very friendly and calming atmosphere. The music that is looped throughout the game also has a very calming effect. These two elements create a safe and satisfying playing experience for the player. The thing that is most appealing about the game for me is that the mechanics are so incredibly simple (even as far as mobile games go), yet the game is extremely fun. The core mechanics when paired with the art design and the sounds produce a very enjoyable game.

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    Oct 2nd, 2012 at 00:00:19     -    Temple Run (iPd)

    Temple Run is a free game that can be played on the iOS or Android platforms. It immediately became an extremely popular game and rose to the top of the application store charts. The theme of the game is basically that the player is an explorer who steals an idol from an ancient temple. The objective of the game is to gain as many points as possible by collecting coins and covering as much distance as possible. The mechanics of the game are fairly simple. The player swipes the touchscreen in order to control what the character does. The player can swipe right to turn right, left to turn left, up to jump, and down to slide. He or she can also tilt the device to the right or left in order to run on the right or left side of the jungle paths. It should also be noted that the player does not control the running of the character; the character is automatically running and gaining speed the entire duration of the game. The art in the game is just right for the type of game that Temple Run is. There aren't any fancy graphics or vast landscapes. In fact, most of the scenery in the game is extremely repetitive. However, the game is not made fun by a big world with many different environments and characteristics. It is the mechanics and the quick-reactions required in order to succeed at the game that makes it fun and addicting to play. There isn't much of a narrative aspect to the game. The player knows that they have just stolen an idol in a temple in the jungle, but that’s about it. Other than the evil monkeys chasing the player and the fact that the player is escaping a temple, there isn't much context to the situation. However, a game as addicting and entertaining as Temple Run does not require an engrossing story in order to keep the player’s interest.

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    Sep 24th, 2012 at 17:57:48     -    Portal 2 (PS3)

    Portal 2 is an extremely fun and unique game that contains mechanics not commonly seen in many games. From a surface level perspective, one may assume that Portal 2 is just another first person shooter. However, it is an extremely different kind of first person experience. The core mechanics of the game involve a portal gun that transports the player from one place to another. There are some surfaces that the player may not place a portal on, making Portal 2 kind of a glorified puzzle game. One must use his or her critical thinking power to navigate the levels within the game. The aspect of the game that makes it so fun, though, is the plot. The narrative elements of the game incorporate humor, suspense, and mystery which make it an extremely addicting story. The art design of the game is also very important. At the beginning of the story, the art creates a post-apocalyptic atmosphere which really causes the player to question what events had taken place before the start of the story. As the game progresses, the levels are cleaned up. This creates an entirely different feel; a feeling of false progression or security is produced (The maps are pretty now, so everything in the outside world is A-Okay). In addition, the size and location of the maps greatly contribute to what the player feels. Having escaped the testing chambers, the player is thrown into incredibly immense maps that make it feel as though anything is possible. Thus, the large maps cause the intended feeling of freedom. Another aspect of the game that should not go unmentioned is the musical composition. Levels are coupled with sounds and music that add to the desired feel of the level, making the game experience that much more immersive. For example, the ending credits contain a song orchestrated exclusively for Portal 2. This song has since become a Youtube hit, racking up several million views. All of the previously discussed facets blended into a single game make Portal 2 an extremely satisfying gaming experience.

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    Sep 17th, 2012 at 15:53:37     -    League of Legends (PC)

    League of Legends is a free to play and extremely popular MOBA or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Sometimes abbreviated as LoL, League of Legends combines some elements of a Real Time Strategy game such as Starcraft with a strong sense of team synergy. The mechanics of League of Legends are as such: the player controls one unit called a champion. The player can point and click around the map to move his or her champion freely. The champion also has a number of skills that can be used in the field of battle. In addition to the player's champion, there are four other champions alongside the player in the most popular game mode "Summoner's Rift." Players are either matched together randomly or can form groups and play with their friends. That is one area where this game shines; League of Legends is a very competitive game where teamwork and synergy are of the utmost importance. When played with four other friends, the game becomes a very skillfull event. This can be confirmed simply from the number of esports tournaments there are that include League of Legends. For example, the most recent League of Legends prize pool was $5 million. The reason I am focusing on this aspect of team synergy as opposed to specific game elements is because it is the aspect that makes or breaks this game. A huge downfall of League of Legends is the bad community. Often, a player will disconnect, refuse to communicate with the team, or rage quit. When an event like this takes place, you might as well go afk. Back to the game itself though: LoL has a pretty large learning curve, but this problem is taken care of by matching players of the same level together. As for the interface, RiotGames did a great job making the game visually appealing and intuitive. Hell, the login screen comes complete with visually stimulating motion graphics that change every few weeks. When you take into consideration that new champions and other cosmetic characteristics are constantly being added to the game along with patches to ensure balanced play, there is no reason not to give this free to play game a chance.

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    Entries written to date: 18
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Angry Birds (iPd)Playing
    2Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (PS3)Playing
    3Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3)Played occasionally
    4Doodle Jump (iPd)Playing
    5Duck Hunt (NES)Playing
    6Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC)Playing
    7Flick Golf (iPd)Playing
    8Guild Wars (PC)Playing
    9Into the Dead (iPd)Playing
    10League of Legends (PC)Played occasionally
    11Minecraft (PC)Played occasionally
    12NinjaFishing (iPd)Playing
    13Paper Toss 2 (iPd)Playing
    14Portal 2 (PS3)Played occasionally
    15Storm the Train (iPd)Playing
    16Temple Run (iPd)Playing
    17Tiny Wings (iPd)Playing
    18Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)Playing

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