The Fun Gun Award™, is an award given to video game guns that aren’t necessarily effective, don’t necessarily give a player any tactical advantage, but which have creative behavior, unique design, and are fun to use. These guns might suck, they might be overpower, they might be unbalanced, but they’re so fun that I want to use them over and over.
I remember playing a small mobile game a while back called Lastronaut (by Darrin Henein and Stephan Leroux) and there was one particular weapon that I really enjoyed using: the Multilaser (although I don’t believe any of the weapons have official names, you just pick them up and use them).
I used to play a lot of a mobile FPS game called Midnight Star and I thought it was pretty good. Several months ago I beta-tested its sequel, Midnight Star: Renegade. I thought the changes between the two games were fascinating to observe.
Midnight Star is designed like an older PC FPS: it consists of large, hand crafted experiences delivering the developer’s specific vision to the player. Meanwhile, Midnight Star: Renegade is designed to consist of smaller, quickly iterated, quickly consumable experiences which focus on letting the player create their own “vision”. The changes feel like a microcosm of the changes taking place in the game industry in general, especially in the mobile market.
I thought the shift in game design was so interesting that I wanted to write this post back when I was playtesting Renegade, but I didn’t have time then (ironic considering I had the time to beta-test the game). At this point in time, both Midnight Star and Midnight Star: Renegade are available on the app store or google play store or what have you. They are micropay games where you can play for free and either grind a heck of a lot or pay real money to get equipment and upgrades.
Both games were developed by Industrial Toys, which was founded by Alexander Seropian (one of the co-founders of Bungie Studios and Wideload Games).
Sinbad is a game on the iPhone. Maybe it is on other phones as well; I don’t know.
The game is free.
The game starts with an unskippable cutscene.
In the game, you play Sinbad. Sinbad looks a lot like Disney’s Aladdin. He also sails a ship without a name, and he is always barefoot for some reason. Your goal is to sail to different places and gather pieces of ancient relics for a mysterious stranger. Presumably this will save the world and stop evil.
One of the things you do in the game is upgrade and maintain your ship. The other thing you do is run around levels fighting bad guys.