Crush Crush Crush
My most recent game addiction has been Crush the Castle 2, an online flash game. Apparently it’s highly related to Angry Birds, a game I haven’t played, but now understand some of the going obsession with. I guess this is one of those new(ish) genres. In this case, you’re lobbing objects (be they bombs or birds) at a structure, aiming to break it down in a minimal number of attempts.
It’s a typical casual game experience: the challenge level is pretty low and extremely forgiving (you don’t have to meet the minimum shot threshold), it’s visually entertaining (little people falling over, walls falling down), and easy to understand (“lob this rock at that building”). That all combines, as the many, many casual game developers well know, into something you end up playing somewhat uncontrollably. I’m sure someone has distilled it down into some excellent little set of guidelines.
I think that the most interesting thing about playing Crush the Castle 2 is just how ordinary an experience it’s been. It’s been just like playing a casual game. Addictive, easy, brainless, vaguely titillating, and inordinately distracting from the important things I’m actually meant to be doing with my life. Normally, when I play a game I have some kind of angle I see in it which is of interest to me – something about the narrative, or the mechanics, or the social aspects. Here, though, I find myself stymied.
Go play it. Relax.