Altered Confusion™

The Place For Game Reviews and Comics

  • June 2008
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Posted by Altered Confusion on June 1, 2008

I would like to start off by saying that I’m not trying to belittle, I am just voicing my opinion on what I saw with the games that were currently on the website, I would have left the following in a comment, but for fear that there is some maximum on size I’ll write it here.

The creator of the website and games left this comment on the page which can be found if you go to reviews and then to the Apple page, or you could just follow this link.

Thanks for your concern, but I do have rights for every game on the site. In fact I made some myself. What problems are you having with the games not working on the hardware? I’ve made sure that they’re all optimized well for the iPod Touch and I’ve tested with my own.

And here is the response, this will also be a look at the cons of each game, so I’ll not be giving the games a rating.

Since you asked I will explain
First off most of your games don’t always load of the first attempt to play the game, second there are various problems with the games when they do load.

Battleship: the grid isn’t visible, and the game starts very zoomed out causing the user to have to resize several times until they get it right, the game should auto format to the screen. Half the fun of battleship is getting to place your own ships on the grid, but the game forces the user to play with predetermined placements. In order to touch the location, without the help of a grid, that you’d like to select you have to zoom in even more otherwise risk fat fingering the wrong location, which could be the difference between winning and losing. Also wouldn’t it more user friendly to add a restart game instead of making the user have to refresh the browser window?

Bejeweled: Is a Pop Cap game, that is why I brought up the rights issue. Once again the user is forced to move around in the browser window to play the game. The game also seems to lag from time to time when you have multiple matches occurring.

BlackJack: The game starts you off with a font size that is almost unreadable. You have to yet again continuously resize the screen so that you can use the buttons and be able to see what you are doing, this also takes away parts of the screen that the user might be interested in seeing at all times. If the user doesn’t try to make the buttons large they run the risk of fat fingering the wrong button and once again causing an undesired choice.

Checkers: There is no clear pop up that occurs when you win or lose a game, the player has to scroll around the screen to see that there is a text box below the board and below that a start over button.

Chess: This is yet another game that requires several screen resizes to make it work and depending on how the user wants to play the game portrait or landscape what can and can’t be seen once the user has zoomed enough in differs. This is yet another game that user has to really zoom in or suffer the wrath of selecting the wrong spot which could be the difference between a captured piece and checkmate. The difficulty ratings for the game will turn away seasoned players as they are stupid, middling, slow.

Concentration: After playing all these games I think the main reason why there are problems is because of the google ads that situated themselves on top of each game. The game seems to run fine the first time around, there might be a couple times of fat fingering but overall its fine. It’s the second time around when you first win and hit the ok button that troubles me, the timer which should only start once you’ve selected a piece has already started.

Darts: This is the first game where I had to zoom out to actually see what was going on. The design makes too many assumptions with the 301and 501 at the top, not all users know what that is. They’ll take a look at the game tap on the dartboard a couple of times and then decide that the game is broken. Also even when completely zoomed out the whole game can’t be seen on the screen.

Dominoes: This game will have the user constantly zooming in to select a piece and then zooming out the figure out what the Computer Opponent just did. Another thing is that there is a new game button present when first loading the game, this could confuse users who think that they have to tap that before they can play and after a few times of doing that they may decide that this game is broken. Also there are many different forms of dominoes and players might want to know that there is no such thing as a spinner. The notification that the CPU won may not be immediately apparent to the user causing them frustration as they try to tap on a legal domino and nothing happens.

Dots: Once again the developer assumes that a player already understands how to play the game. Also the user is going to have to resize the screen several times, and in some cases zoom in to an extreme so that they can tap on a little dot and then another one so that they can draw a line. There is also no way to determine who goes first, some players like to see how the CPU will start.

Duck Hunt: It is Copyrighted by Nintendo. Also when a duck is shot a broken image will appear as it falls back to the ground.

Mahjong: There are times where the game automatically fails before the user can even start. Why have an option for tilesets if there is only going to be one, wooden. “Tap the second tile twice to make a match” is very vague and users will be confused by this. Also there is no mention of only being able to use “loose tiles” for matching without that users will think the game is broken after continuously tapping on a tile that is surrounded and having no effect. Also this game once again requires lots of resizing so that the user feels comfortable about the game.

Marbles: This is another game that seems to be fine until you end the first round of playing. First off when you lose with 4 marbles I was expecting to be told that I need more practice. Second, if after you clear the pop up you click on the board and then on a marble you can’t end the game as the board has not been reset.

Mastermind: The only thing that troubles this game is if you accidentally close the rules and then want view it again and are left there wondering why they won’t come up and they you try to play the game only to find that nothing you do works, it is only when the player discovers that the rules have magically been transported to the bottom of the page that they can figure out what is going on.

Minesweeper: Seeing as this is a complete screen capture of the Microsoft Minesweeper players might be confused as to why they can’t view the help or anything on the toolbar. There is also the problem of marking a landmine or leaving it a question mark so that the player can keep track of where they shouldn’t tap. The best part is when you find all 10 mines (Easy Mode) the game continues to run as if you are still looking for something, the only way to end the game is if you then click on a mine. Oh and by the way resizing the screen is a must if you are going to attempt playing the game.

Oasis: I am at a total lose with this game there is no grid so the user doesn’t know where to tap, and when they do the lines magically change. I know that this is a pipedream clone, but I’m not sure what the object of the game really is because there is no timer or anything. I know it says make the pipes connect each other so the water flows through it all, but this really doesn’t do much for the user.

Othello/Reversi: The only thing that will nag a user is the fact that you won’t see the score right off the bat, and possibly the help if you don’t know to scroll down once the game has loaded.

Pipe Drop:  Once again no grid so players will try to tap areas that may not make sense. Also I know that there is a text display that tells the user to start a new game but a pop up would be so much more efficient at getting the point across to the user. There is a good chance that the user will have to zoom out to view the whole board, and also the rules of the game. There is a very noticeable lag between selecting a group of pipes and removal.

I stopped there because I think it is clear that the games are workable but not all that user friendly at times and there are also cases where the games do look like copyright infringement. I take back the comment of I don’t think that the games will play on the hardware, I will replace that comment with one of the games will require zooming on the users part to play. Hopefully that clears up my position a little bit with the games that are present on that website. I really want to see the Apple i-pod touch/i-phone games market take off but I think that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done out there with some of the applications that are present for use currently (That goes for almost every site out there not just


One Response to “”

  1. Dan said

    Wow, thanks for your comments. I actually haven’t had any concern with people about resizing the screen before. I’ve also never had anyone mention the games not always loading – I actually play the games frequently on my own iPod Touch and don’t find these problems.

    I will admit that the resizing on some of the games can be a bother. I’ll certainly take your concerns into consideration.

    As for Duck Hunt and Bejeweled, I am not the originator of these games. I have permission from the creator of this Duck Hunt game to use the game on my site, so I will have to check with him on the legality of the game. Bejeweled is hosted by PopCap and served on my site through an iframe. The creator of the game is clearly noted and I have made no modification to the appearance of their actual game, therefore my interpretation (based on copyright laws I’ve done some research on) is that it is legal. However, I will contact PopCap and see their stance on this. If any game publisher prefers not to have their content on any site of mine, I will of course remove it.

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