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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cell Gaming Rut

The Washington Post has a feature about how cell gaming just ain't all it's cracked up to be. Sales are sluggish, purchasing interfaces suck and it's hard to earn brand recognition. In other words, not enough people are buying and most of them are getting Tetris or Monopoly over webpages that look like your grandma designed them.

I keep hearing about how cell phones are a whole new frontier for gaming, but at the moment I'm just not buying it and those are several good reasons as to why. Most of the games I've tried have been cheap, sure, but that's about the best I can really say about them. For instance, I recently downloaded Monopoly Tycoon ... a sort of remix of the original game ... and found it has one major flaw: you can't lose. I mean, I suppose you could, but you would have to try really, really, really hard. If you just buy properties and randomly build on them, the computer will usually go bankrupt or just mismanage everything. It's way easy to trick the computer in spending all of it's cash on a single property and possible to win the game in just a couple "days" (turns) by getting it to go broke.

And the purchasing portion definately lacks inspiration. Demos are scarce, screenshots misleading and mostly you're just hoping the $3-$5 is cheap enough to justify giving it a try. Not good enough for the iTunes generation, I'm afraid.

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Thomas said...

Don't make fun of my grandma's design work.

Josh said...

That was rather schoolyardish geriatric bullying of me. I'm in a weird mood today. The kind of day I might get my assed kicked by a senior citizen.

Good thing most of them can't use a computer to find out :P

Thomas said...

Actually, I was just thinking that this is the solution to the dismantling and forced bankruptcy of social security systems. Gaze with me into the future: with the government coffers emptied by war and tax cuts, and the twin devils of outsourcing and immigration dogging the heels of the uninformed, what to do? Why, turn our retirement homes into gently run sweatshops for keyboard labor! I look forward to the days when, in between Matlock reruns, I'll sip metamucil and hack together business front-ends.

Josh said...

Damn, I was hoping I'd get by being drunk and crippled. Maybe we'll have cybernetic bodies by then. I would really like a cybernetic body.

On a side note, I'm trying an expirement by playing Monopoly Tycoon but not actually doing anything at all. Not building anything, not buying any properties, nothing. Just try to get the computer to spend during the auctions.

After like five turns, I'm up by like $9,000.