As the Tower Defense genre has become popularized, it split into two different styles over the years: real time strategy based and shooter based. We have great titles like Defense Grid in the former, and Robot Entertainment’s first foray into the latter with the series: Orcs Must Die. Last year OMD became a hit for the new studio and they have recently followed up with the sequel: Orcs Must Die 2.

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A few weeks ago I posted a look at negative game mechanics which were: mechanics designed to stop the current player from playing the game. In that post I talked about how social games are making use of them and that it is stifling the game design in them.

What is frustrating to me is twofold. First is the denial or delusion of social game designers that they are making unique products by using these mechanics. And second is that the current design philosophy behind social games to me is killing what could be great ideas.

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One area that both Sega and Nintendo share similarities is how both have certain game series that fans have been clamoring for a sequel to: Sega had Shenmue and Nintendo has Earthbound. Interestingly enough, both series were unique in how they were designed and marketed which led to their popularity.

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In the 90s, there was a lot of experimenting with game genres in the industry, with some of my favorite games featuring multiple system gameplay. Where the game is made up of several different game systems combined into a new genre. Titles like Star Control 2 and X-Com are some of the most famous examples of this design.

Today’s game is one of the first games designed exclusively for the consoles to feature this kind of design. Thinking about it, I can’t believe it took me this long to talk about this game, especially after writing about Hinterlanda few posts ago.

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