The right game for the right time, part 5: Action games

Time to resume our journey again for the right time for the right time, so let’s picture ourselves sitting on the couch again with a sea of spare time ahead of us again, to take a look at Action games. It’s an area where I have to tread carefully, I think out of all games these are my least favorite, but I know a lot of people really enjoy them a lot. I’m talking about Platformers, Fighting or shooting games and Endless runners.  They all have a couple of things in common, that separates them from other game genres:

  • They are about learning fighting skills, which means you have to master the button controls and combinations to make your character fight.
  • Usually, the storyline is less important. I mean, how many times can you save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser?
  • It’s all about the battles. Either in a real battle or fighting match, or in kicking off all enemies while you try to clear stage after stage.

Yoshi, wooly world, WiiU, platformer

Platformers are the sort of games that Nintendo is very famous for: think platformer, and you’ll think Mario. And how can you not like the colorful stages, the familiar enemies and the funny noises they make? I’m not good at mastering the necessary combinations of buttons, which is probably why I don’t like platformers, but even I got gaming fun out of playing a few levels of Super Mario Bros 2 for the 3DS and Mario 3D Land, both available for 3DS and WiiU. Nintendo manages to be so inventive when it comes to putting new challenges in the stages, like they did in Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush for WiiU. A game that they made a bit easier (even I could progress) so it can be fun for all ages, but it was still a very enjoyable experience to play it. And talk about beautiful graphics: Yoshi’s Wooly World promises to be a feast for the eyes, everything made our of wool! The Yoshi amiibo’s look so good that you’d almost buy the game just to be able to use them! A platformer I played years ago that was much less colorful, but had a very whimsical quality to it is A Boy and His Blob (Wii). That game added some nice puzzles to the game, where you had to find ways to transform the Blob to make the Boy progress through the levels. Made me think of a cartoon series out of my youth, Barbapappa!

While app games have some trouble in getting the controls right, without the physical buttons available, there are great platformers in the app store as well.  I played Chronology on the iPad some time ago, that made me think of A Boy and His Blob. It had the same way of special atmosphere to it, making you think hard about how to progress because you could play in different time frames at the same time: in the past where the landscape was lush and beautiful, and in the present, after disaster had struck the world. One last Henry Hatsworth, puzzling adventure, match 3game that I want to mention here is Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure (DS). An older game and not very well known, technically I could have saved it for the Match 3 genre, but I wanted to mention it here because I could never finish the game as I was stuck on the platform part. The game lets you match 3 on the bottom screen, thus generating attacks that you can then use in the top screen, where Henry tries to progress through stage after stage, battling all kinds of enemies. Plus, an annoying sort of virus attacks your blocks on the bottom screen, so you frantically try to manage both boards. If you like these kinds of games, I urge you to check this one out, its older and not well known.

Then there’s the fighting and shooting games. I’m afraid I haven’t many recommendations for you there, as I stay away from them because most of the time, they are a bit too realistic for me. If you have some good ideas for this category, please add them to the comments! And lastly there’s the Endless Runners. It’s a game genre that has been around for some time, as I remember my husband playing Pitfall on the PC many years ago. But I do think mobile phone gaming had made this type of games much more popular. Just look at Temple Run, the much discussed Flappy Bird and Crossroads. I took a turn at that last one, and wrote about it here. Other than that, it won’t surprise you that I never make it far in those games. I guess I lack the quick reflexes needed to make a success of gaining level after level.

To wrap it all up I guess we can say that this gaming category is defined by quick reflexes, the ability to master all kinds of combinations of buttons and enjoying clearing yet another level!


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