Recently I tried the Kaizo hack known as Invictus, and in 30 minutes I racked up 100 deaths; not even getting to the first checkpoint. Over the last two months, I’ve played over 50 platformers while working on my next book, and this is the first time that I am just stopped dead in my tracks. With a sore hand, I’m left asking this question: Is Kaizo good game design?
With all the games I’ve played via Game-Wisdom and studying for my books on game design, I’ve picked up a lot in terms of game design philosophy. For today’s post, we’re going back to basics and discussing how every videogame every made falls into one of two schools of design.
Intelligent Systems has been one of Nintendo’s secret weapons when it comes to innovative and underrated franchises. Despite being over 30 years old, the company’s best franchises stayed in Japan until the early 00’s. During this time, Nintendo used the popularity of their Game Boy Advance line as a way of testing out franchises and designs in the US that may not have succeeded on the console. One of those franchises was Fire Emblem, which has become a massive success along with a very popular mobile game.
But for today, I want to talk about their other franchise, and how fans of turn-based strategy might have missed one of the best sleeper hits.
When it comes to delivering unique multiplayer experiences, asymmetrical game design is one of the best… and also the worst. Figuring out how to create and balance games when nothing is meant to be balanced is a game design challenge.