Some iPad games I played recently:


A lovely art style, and lovely sound design. And I like the idea of having a world that appears as you walk around in it. The gameplay beyond that concept didn’t grab me, though. (Or, for that matter, the learning aspects: it’s an openly didactic game.) And, similarly, the art didn’t quite come together, despite the beauty of the approach.


I wish I’d blogged about this sooner after playing it: it’s a slice of life story with interaction used in effective ways, and that’s a design space that I should probably spend more time thinking about and exploring. And I suspect that I had a thought or two about it after playing, though nothing too deep; that was two and a half months ago, though. At any rate: definitely my favorite of the four games here, and the only one that I actively recommend.

Donut County

You’d think that more games would have imitated Katamari Damacy’s mechanics, but this is the only one that I’m aware of. And the main thing that I learned from Donut County is how fragile the Katamari magic is: Donut County seems close in many ways, but adds up to something much less.


This game caught my eye when it first came out but I never got around to playing it back then; but I recently learned that it was by the same developer as Holedown, so I tried it out when I was on a trip earlier this month. Alas, continuing the theme of this post: Rymdkapsel is no Holedown. Holedown had slight timing issues, but those were around the fringes: with Rymdkapsel, though, you spend a full hour making just a few dozen decisions. I suspect that there would actually be a pretty interesting learning curve here if the game were just sped up five or ten times, but it’s not, and the presentation, as lovely as it is in its own way, isn’t enough to make up for that.

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