Thursday, October 05, 2006

Video Games

Recently, as a reward for good behavior, Ollie was given a Star Wars video game. It's the Lego one, the first triology (when Anakin was little and not yet controlled by the Dark Side of the Force) and it's freaking awesome to play.

First, because everyone is made of Legos, when you heart containers are empty (we try not to say die) you fall apart and the pieces scatter for a few seconds before magically reforming. And, if you were so inclined to mistreat your C3PO or any of the other droids who look like a C3PO but go by a different alphanumeric configuration, he hops around without an arm or a leg until he is completely done it and is scattered Lego pieces across the battleground.

Second, it's a good length for Ollie to play. One adventure takes 10 to 20 minutes, if he doesn't scoop up every nickel, dime, and quarter he sees or solve all of the mini-games. The time is well-within the video game boundaries we've established. But because of those mini-games and various moneys just lying there (which collecting "enough" is a mini-game on it's own) it's fun for me to play too.

Third, and the very best reason, is the two player feature. Player One can play and play until he gets stuck. Player Two can hop in, save the day, and hop back out. The characture temporarily controlled goes back to its protective, but relatively nonactive role.. So when Ollie gets impossibly stuck, he can have help to get him over the hurdle, but still gets to play the game himself.

Interestingly enough, Collision Detection posted about the challenge of developing games for both the casual and hard-core players -- The Myth of the 40-Hour Gamer. Even though Star Wars Legos is meant for kids, it accomplishes bridging the gap between the novice and the pro.

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