Sign in to follow this  

Why are platform games enjoyable?

This topic is 4555 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Super Mario World is one of my favourite ever games, but what exactly is it that makes platform games enjoyable? What interactions are pleasurable, what is it that makes it fun even though you've fallen off the same cliff three times before? (But not fun the hundredth time).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think because there aren't complex goals. You get to cross the level and that's all. Maybe you can set yourself an extra level of difficulty, by gathering ALL the coins or gems or whatever you encounter. Or doing it without touching an enemy but the boss. But basically, I think it's enjoyable because there isn't much at stake. You are doing it because you can, in fact, that's taking away most of the frustration of the other games where you drop it because you CAN'T do it... I remember dropping MGS after about fifteen minutes, because I couldn't understand how to handle Snake...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They're generally quite simple in terms of gameplay, meaning that pretty much anyone can understand them. The controls also tend to be very simple. They tend to reward you constantly, with coins, points, etc. giving the player some instant gratification.

In the case of falling off a cliff a few times, the enjoyment generally comes from finally managing to get past that point - it's a success and players enjoy succeeding.

Also, you don't really lose much if you fail a level, you just start again (sometimes even part way through the level). Like Fournicolas said, there isn't too much at stake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The goals and interactions are simple enough to be easy to solve, but complex enough to be a challenge. The main skills are coordination, timing and reflexes, which maybe humans just get a visceral thrill out of. There's often quite a bit of potential for Neat Stuff happening, at least in Super Mario. And I for one utterly LOVE it when I get the timing and rhythm of enemies perfectly figured out, and can simply run, jump and fly through an entire level without stopping once (Sonic the Hedgehog and Supertux are really good for that). [grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
... what is it that makes it fun even though you've fallen off the same cliff three times before? (But not fun the hundredth time).


I think it's important to present a challenge, but there's nothing worse than getting to a point where the game seems almost impossible to complete.

Generally I think platforms are great fun just because they are easy to pick up and play. You don't need to remember 20 different keys, run and jump.

Puzzles are always good. The old Dizzy games on Spectrum were great - pick up items and use them in certain places. But then the competitive angle of games like Sonic are also great too.

Add some good graphics and a catchy tune and you're onto a winner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I dunno if you are familiar with the concept of Parkour, (or freerunning as it is called more generally, urban freeflow, also), but I think this is something that platform games are tapping into.
Some really deep seated part of our brain must be wired to enjoy "the flow", that feeling you get when you practice freerunning, and I think this is what happens when you play a platform game.
A game like Prince of Persia (the first one, I haven't played the other newer ones) was the purest form of platformer I could think of.
You had a time limit, the levels were deviously, fiendishly hard, and in some cases (was it level 7 where you would just fall and fall and fall...) success was just a matter of dying twenty times in a row until you could make a sequence of jumps and grabs with a timing worthy of an atomic clock.
Oh, and the fighting sequences were utterly enjoyable.
In my case they just kept me going, as I was so eager to see what kind of tricks the next enemy would pull out of his hat.

Truely a masterpiece. And yes, it was still fun after the hundredth time I fell from a cliff [grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Icefox
And I for one utterly LOVE it when I get the timing and rhythm of enemies perfectly figured out, and can simply run, jump and fly through an entire level without stopping once (Sonic the Hedgehog and Supertux are really good for that). [grin]


(I think this is one of the ways that Yoshi's Island falls down for me, it is too much of a stop and start experience, get hit then try to capture baby Mario again.)

Everyone is posting some great views on platform games! Keep 'em coming.
I had the thought of a platform game - with selectable difficulty levels. Easy, Normal, Hard. On easy you don't die when you fall off the level, you just get warped back a short distance to the start of that screen. (Although this might break the flow.) Ie. There is a long platform blocking off the drop, that either teleports you or you can run back along it.There are also some extra platforms to make really tricky jumps a little easier.
On normal, the platform has holes in it so that you need to try to steer yourself to hit it. // Or, it only works several times before disappearing. On hard it is just a regular platform game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4555 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this