Numolition (iTunes Store, Google Play) is a math-y puzzle game from Q42, makers of the previously discussed Quento. For me, it scratches a similar itch as Threes, despite being a very different game. And it has way more explosions.
More to the point though, Numolition makes an effort to get players up to speed with the most minimal amount of instruction possible, which is really cool. There are a couple of places where it might actually border on too little information…but for a game that looks like a well-illustrated comic book, that’s certainly the side of the line you want to be on.
In this article, I’ll take a look at a couple parts of the Numolition UX. And as a bonus, I had the chance to ask some of these questions to Martin Kool, designer of Numolition – so you’ll see his responses sprinkled throughout.
Quarriors(from WizKids/MFV) is a “dice-building” board game that’s been adapted to iOS. Board game to digital conversions are becoming more and more common, they offer some unique challenges that purely digital games don’t need to deal with. Not only do they need to make a fun experience, there’s also the need to emulate real-world components in a usable and realistic way.
With that in mind, today I’m going to run through a quick usability review of Quarriors! for iOS. There are four topics that I’d like to point out, and they are…
- Rolling virtual dice
- The GameCenter icon
- Chaotic notifications
- Visible highlights and hidden gestures
I think it’s fair to say that Valve’s Dota 2 is an intimidating game for new players. There are a lot of choices to be made at every turn – over 100 heroes to pick from, each with their own set of abilities, and lots of different items to purchase to fit a variety of strategies. Plus, it’s a team-based player-vs-player game, so you need to have a good deal of teamwork to be successful.
Thankfully, Dota 2 has gained a number of features that are designed help new users get their feet wet in this deep pool of gaming goodness. I’d like to take a minute here to point out one of my favorite features, Hero Builds. A Hero Build is an in-game, user-contributed strategy of how to build out your hero. And they are awesome.
Rogue Legacy from Cellar Door Games (Steam link) is a rogue-like platformer that is difficult to quit for two reasons. One, because it does a good job at activating my “just one more turn” syndrome. And two, because it’s not immediately apparent how you actually quit the game.
After booting up your game, there’s only one thing you can be sure that players will actually do – that’s leave. Like death and taxes, it’s inevitable. So, you might as well make it easy to find. Let’s look at how Rogue Legacy handles it.
Out of the Park Baseball (from Out of the Park Developments) is a PC-based baseball simulation that started back in 1999. iOOTP 2013 is the most recent iteration of the franchise that was released for iOS in the spring of 2013.
Putting a fully-featured, text-based baseball sim on the screen of a mobile phone is no small task. All the “gameplay” of iOOTP 2013 is essentially done through a series of menus and tables. It’s complicated for sure, but so is baseball, and that’s kinda the whole point.
When dealing with a big menu structure in your game, website, webapp, TV, ATM machine, car wash, or anywhere else, one of the keys to making it usable is consistency. If whatever the interface is keeps changing on your users, it’s going to be frustrating. And in iOOTP 2013, there are a few places that are frustrating because of needless inconsistency in the menus – let’s take a look.