Deleting Games

Posted on August 5, 2011

A while back I found a wonderful little Geometry Wars clone for my Android phone. It was fun, the controls were great, there was progression to attain, and it was perfectly suited to short but engaging play sessions. So why did I delete it last week?

First, a little bit more about it. The most enjoyable thing about Tilt Arena is the controls. Few mobile games take advantage of their platform the way this lovely little shooter does: simply tilt the phone to move your character. Firing your weapon happens automatically (as it should with that many enemies). Tapping the screen pauses the game and re-calibrates the controls.

The progression is, unfortunately, about as deep as the gameplay. There are a half-dozen extra weapons to be attained by meeting milestones in your cumulative score. Some, like bombs and bouncy bullets, are very fun and add a lot to the 5-minute play sessions. Others, like missiles, cripple the player. The game first stagnates and later rots as good weapons stop coming and the player is cheated by bad weapons.

The controls are good enough to overcome the weapon woes. Why, then, did I delete the game? I began to play it exactly as I played Brick Breaker in the dark ages of the Blackberry. No goals in mind, no expectations at all. Just a weak desire to kill some time and, maybe, get a higher score than ever before. High scores are a fine mechanic but they aren’t everything. I refuse to simply waste time. There are many great games I can spend my time playing that both entertain and edify me.

I highly recommend Tilt Arena, it’s a brilliant little game. Play it for the enjoyable control scheme. When it becomes a way to waste time, delete it and move on.