Don't miss
  • 2,232
  • 6,844
  • 6097
  • 134

[Gamesbriefers] What are you playing?

By on April 25, 2014


A simple question this week: what are you all playing at the moment? Tell me what’s captured your interest and why.


tadhg kellyTadhg Kelly Developer relations at Ouya

Well, like everyone I imagine, I’ve been checking out Monument Valley. More individually I’ve been playing with a Fire TV and the various games on there, such as Spilt Milk’s Hard Lines, the conversion of The Walking Dead and Sev Zero. And then just for fun the iOS endless game called Smash Hit.

Teut WeidemannTeut Weidemann Online Specialist at Ubisoft

I play Fable Age – which is a Puzzle Dragons clone which seems to fix some problems the “West” has with the original. I still play World of Tanks because its awesome. I fell in love with The Collectables from Crytek simply because its easy to control and its mercs with guns 🙂

I still play Boombeach but somehow it loses my interest after level 10. I wonder if that game has the lifetime of CoC. On a sidenote I enjoyed Robots Love Ice Cream because it manages to combine a shooter with a metagame.

Andrew SmithAndrew Smith Director of Spilt Milk Studios

I’ve been playing The Jonas Brothers DS because I feel morally obliged to play any game I’m bought as a present – joke or not.

I recently finished the utterly brilliant Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on the 3DS (another christmas gift – it’s taken me this long to finish it), and on PC I’ve been dabbling in a bit of Nuclear Throne. It’s purely research for Tango Fiesta really.

I’m excited about borrowing my mate’s PS3 this week, because I’ll finally be able to play The Last of Us. I love a good story, and the Naughty Dog folks really do know how to make a damn good game.

Simon OliverSimon Oliver Designer at HandCircus

Same as Tadhg, I played through (and loved) Monument Valley – such a beautiful experience. I can’t remember the last time I played something so elegant and cohesive.

I’ve also been playing the WildStar beta (PC), Trials Frontier and Boom Beach (iOS) and Tomb Raider on PS3 (thanks PlayStation Plus!).

pecorellaAnthony Pecorella Director of production for virtual goods games at Kongregate

The obsession at the Kongregate office has continued to be Towerfall (I just played a game before this email).  It really nails 4 player same-screen multiplayer, and the improvements made since the Ouya version, including advanced moves like dodge canceling, have enabled higher level play as well.

Oscar ClarkOscar Clark Evangelist at Applifier

Well lots of different games really…

Completed Monument Valley too… Although I’m struggling to think of it as a game – that’s not intended as a value judgement. It’s absolutely marvellous but for me a game (as opposed to a puzzle) has some choice on the part of the player. It left me feeling the same way as The Room… Amazed by the prowess of the developer, the design and the extraordinary achievement; but not feeling I’d contributed much to the process other than following what I was supposed to do.

I’m also regularly dipping into Royal Revolt 2 and Boom Beach… Trying to decide which I prefer and what I can learn from either. Spent a little on each but not a lot.

Also tried to get my head round Device 6. Which left me feeling in a similar way to Monument Valley but this time with puzzles that required too much attention on my part and sadly I couldn’t really concentrate enough to finish it.

Candy Crush and Farm Heroes both occupied my need for matching stuff… But I must admit they are now losing my interest. I’ve instead moved back to endless runners especially Skyline Skaters.

Warhammer also occupied a space… Back to the start replaying Warhammer Quest as well as the Space Hulk game and Storm of Vengeance.

Then somehow I still find myself relaxing with Don’t Starve on my PS4 although I may well pull up Assassins Creed 4 on PS3 tonight… My wife and daughter have a sleep over and I’ve not had a chance to unwrap it since I bought it before Xmas.

Mark SorrellMark Sorrell Game design consultant

I’m mostly subjecting myself to Dark Souls II, which is marvellous, and I did a bit of Luftrausers, but while it’s fun, the scoring system is rubbish, which is a shame. Went mad on the PS3 sale and won’t play any of it.

On tablet, some Boom Beach and a resurgence of Clash of Clans and on my phone, I went through Monument Valley, which was ok, but mostly I just play Threes! because I literally cannot stop.

Basically, I just play Threes. Badly.

CharlesChapmanCharles Chapman Director and Owner at First Touch Games Ltd.

in line with others I’ve been playing Monument Valley (excellent – don’t understand some of the negativity around it), Boom Beach (couldn’t get into CoC due to the fantasy theme, but BB is good, if a bit uneventful so far). Also played a bit of WordForward, which was good, but for me got really hard really quickly.
I’ve also just started FTL on iPad, but haven’t really got into it yet.

My Vita gets the odd play, OlliOlli being the current go-to game there.

Console wise, sadly my PS4 hasn’t been turned on since before Christmas, and I think the only other console game I’ve played since then is co-op Lego Batman PS3 with my 5 yr old.

Bernard ChenBernard Chen Director of Product Management at KIXEYE

Titanfall, World of Tanks (I seem to gorge on this two or three times a year), Bardbarian, Boom Beach, Honorbound, Pocket Mine.

I’m also downloading Ghost Recon Phantoms because it’s finally on Steam and I spent 3 years working on it.

andy payneAndy Payne CEO of Appynation

Well for me it is all about Monument Valley which has fascinated me. I am also playing to death a game that is not yet released, but it is ace (not a game I am involved in, yet, sadly). My PS4 has gained some dust, but I completed The Last of Us at last on my PS3 last week. So many games, so little time. Oh yes and FIFA of course. At least once a week….

jaspurewalJas Purewal Lawyer at Osborne Clarke

Faster Than Light on iPad. I’ve been waiting for some time for the iOS version and it’s brilliant (and at a piffling price point of £6.99). I can’t remember the last time a mobile game occupied me for an hour or more at a time, regularly.

Next up will certainly be ustwo’s Monument Valley; their previous game Whale Trail remains one of my favourite mobile games of all time and I’m looking forward to seeing what they have been able to do next.

Also, Hearthstone. I was never a fan of card games historically (and Magic fans tend dismissively to call it ‘Fisher Price for card games’) but I love Blizzard’s polished, simplified take on this genre. It’s out worldwide on iOS soon.

Interesting: both FTL and Hearthstone are examples of me engaging with and spending money on a PC-first game, then moving immediately and long-term to a subsequent mobile version of the same game.

DarrenJoblingDarren Jobling CEO of Eutechnyx

Currently spending a lot of time with Smash Hit from Mediocre Games. I’ve also monetised….

Met the two guys who did it at GDC.

Really nice application of physics from the guy that wrote PhysX from AGEIA.

Oscar – many thanks for playing Storm of Vengeance.

Melissa Clark-ReynoldsMelissa Clark-Reynolds Founder of MiniMonos

Monument Valley 🙂

I am also obsessed with 2048 on my phone while commuting, having clocked the similar Threes games.

nicholasbwNicholas Lovell Director at Gamesbrief

I don’t normally answer but this seems fair enough for me to wade in on.

Kingdom Rush: a paid game with a marvellous retention game. Superb reuse of assets using achievements, a bonus “Unlock” system and a “play the same maps three times in slightly different ways” campaign. Worth studying, and lots of fun.
Boom Beach: Really struggling to get into this. I started playing, my brain ran through a montage of everything I would do over the next 4 months until I got bored in about 10 seconds. Then I got bored. Same thing happened to me with Frontierville after playing a lot of Farmville and Cityville. I am concerned that Supercell needs to break out of this genre (resource management, whether with fighting or without) or risk the $3 billion looking like a bit of a stretch.
2048: Because it is more fun and less annoyingly polished than Threes!

And FTL. Lots of FTL (270 hours so far). Partially because my 5 year old is a big fan. But only partially.

Stuart DredgeStuart Dredge Journalist at The Guardian

“My brain ran through a montage of everything I would do over the next 4 months until I got bored in about 10 seconds. Then I got bored”

I regularly get this now, I think it’s one of the big challenges for free-to-play games that follow a template of a previous game(s) that a lot of people will have played to death. I already have a few friends saying “I’m not playing another Saga game again, Candy Crush was good but I’m tired of it now…”

I’m trying to migrate from Football Manager Handheld 12 (PSP version) on my Vita to the brand new one, but it’s proving a bit of a struggle. Also dipping in to Hearthstone, and about to try FTL.

tadhg kellyTadhg Kelly Developer relations at Ouya

Yep, The attraction of ludemes (a portmanteau of ludic and meme coined by David Parlett meaning mechanics that travel from game to game, such as levels and experience points) for developers and players is their certainty. Since you already know how they work, you don’t have to learn them. A good example is the first person shooter genre, where there are a pile of conventions derived from ludemes.

But the flip side is that familiarity breeds contempt. The prospect of grinding yet again through and all-too-familiar game can be a big disincentive. For me a personal example is Hearthstone, which I’ve heard about for a while but only played for the first time yesterday. It seems too close to Magic for me, too much like any one of a number of collectible card games I played back in the day. Too derivative.

Martin DarbyMartin Darby CCO of Remode

Still playing GTA5. Started Link Between Worlds on the 3DS. Thinking about getting Don’t Starve on the PC.

Havn’t got much gaming in this year, hoping to correct this soon.

The thing I like about GTA5, apart from the technical witchcraft obviously used to make it, is level of polish. I havn’t got on with GTA in the past but I feel like this one has really nailed it. The OTT satire of Los Angeles works well in a playful medium like games and the level of polish allows better suspension of disbelief than previously.

The thing I like about Zelda & most core Nintendo franchises is the fact they are just ultra-refined simplicity, and a lot of customers just want simplicity. They understand that when all is said and done allowing a player to do a few things really well trumps everything, including cliche. If that ‘thing’ is then *easily* communicated via marketing then jackpot. I always get the impression that an institutionalised acceptance of this (what games do & don’t do well) internally must allow the designers to just stop kicking and come up with the results consistently. I think this runs at odds with a lot of the rest of the industry.

harry holmwoodHarry Holmwood CEO of Marvelous AQL Europe

Yet another gushing post in favour of Monument Valley here. I think it’s overtaken The Room games and Device 6 as my favourite iPad game so far. Also (belatedly) playing Broken Sword 5, which is as great as ever, but infuriatingly doesn’t autosave often enough which is a cardinal sin on a mobile device.

Other than that, playing a vast amount of Touch Racing 2 in preparation for our test launch submission, which finally happened this week. It’s ace.


About Gamesbrief

Gamesbrief is a blog about the business of games. We look behind the headlines to tell you not just what is happening to games, but why it matters to your business.