Much like A Dark Room, the game Gridland is uniquely minimalistic, innovative, and insanely addicting.
Although on the surface it looks like a standard 8-bit match-3 game, it has a few tricks up its sleeve. The most interesting evolution that Gridland brings to the match-3 genre is a sense of asynchrony. Each move made progresses the “day” forward by a notch. After about 20 moves, the game shifts to nighttime and the player again has 20 moves, but this time with the goal of lasting through the night. It’s that sudden shift into something unexpected and different that makes Gridland a little bit special.
Unfortunately that “surprise” wears off after a short while, and the game’s mechanic shines brightly from behind it’s pixelated exterior. Something I’ve noticed in Doublespeak Games’ offerings so far is that there is always a sense of transparency of the underlying system, though iIt may just be that I’m a game designer and am more likely to notice. But, it’s always clear that there is a very clear system; in this game you collect resources, use them to upgrade your “town,” which in turn upgrades the type of resources available to collect, seemingly ad infinitum. It’s a linear progression system, and hits directly at the core of our gathering/completionist human tendencies.
I could see a past version of myself getting very easily addicted to Gridland, though it hasn’t gripping me that way yet.
[ Today I Was Playing: Gridland ]
January 6, 2016