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View Full Version : Too darned easy



06-21-2005, 10:16 PM
A friend who knows I spend way too much time playing Wordyacht & Tangleword & complaining about the low quality of online wordgames said, "You've gotta come over. I bought this game. It's great. Type and kill dragons. You'll love it."

I expected the worst. Another whack-a-mole-guess-the-limited-dictionary game with a fantasy theme. Color me surprised when the game turned out to be rather clever. Flung myself into it, blowing through levels in moments. Hm. Not getting much score. Oh...doesn't reward speed, only length. Fair enough. Ten levels in...hm, doesn't get more difficult. At that point my obsessive compulsive disorder took over and I was *going* to play until I lost. Friend went to work and I spent the next couple hours more and more twitchily poking words in. After level twenty any interest in scoring points was long gone: craving the game giving me an impossible rack so it'd end and free me from my OCD. Finally happened around level sixty. Rack full of U and V. Would have survived that one too but for double dragons. Thanked my lucky stars and fled.

It's frustrating though, because there are so many easy ways the game could be made both challenging and not so endlessssssly long. Getting the best score around shouldn't be a bit of luck, basic skills, and many hours of time wasted. In this regard Dungeon Scroll is no better than most online word games. (The dictionary is better than most though not perfect.) In no particular order:

1] The difficulty settings are a joke. If the game's going to run forty, eighty, god knows how many rounds, what's the difference starting at level four?

2] Longer levels with damage carried over (maybe it does, never really noticed) and a dragon on EVERY level though not always in the same position.

3] More flexible scoring. Reward speed. That'd be a big change so add a speed mode. (Should be the REAL expert mode, actual risk of losing.) As the game exists it's sit and look for a seven while the counter ticks and if health gets low slam out tat/tit/tot to move on. There's zero pressure. (The frantic dragon music is nice. Always made me feel like there was urgency despite my knowing there was none.)

4] Ditch the letter spawning after the last opponent of a level is beaten. It's a waste of time. Letters pop up...then disappear as next round starts.

5] Auto pause at start of a new level.

6] If a word is typed up but not entered when opponent dies it screws up the letters for next opponent. The premium earned stuff is shuffled with the start letters when all (re)appear.

7] Another, darned obvious, ramping of difficulty is for each level to have enemies with more and more hit points. Some will argue this should be coupled with algorithms ensuring every level is beatable. A valid point but I'd argue it is not needed: with ever ramping difficulty, getting the best score still has the same element of luck but each game could be completed quickly, making the game a truly addictive. Isn't it better to have a game playable in minutes for high score instead of hours?