There are rumors of a Pocket PC version of the game Myst
. For those of you not familiar with it, it's one of the modern versions of the old "adventure" games. You move from location to location doing things like reading a book or using a key to get in somewhere, etc.
In my mind, the best thing about such games is that it's fun to move around and look at all the cool pictures, and sometimes it's fun to think about the puzzles you have to solve to continue.
What I don't like about these games is that I inevitably find myself wandering around in the same areas I've already covered. A hard-core gamer probably can't relate to this sort of situation. They know what sort of tricks to look for. Like I used to know how to do with games like Defender or Joust that were popular when I was in high school and you couldn't play those sorts of games at home yet!
Fancy new action games are uninteresting to me because of the steep learning curve and time required, and the adventure games get boring because I can't figure out what to do next. Yes, I know there are web sites with walk-thrus and hints, but I guess that requires a little more preparation than I'm ready to do.
It's a shame because games like the Myst series
look nice, as well as PocketScumm , which is out for PPC
and looks like it would be awesome to play if I wasn't always stuck!
So as someone looking in from the outside of the gaming world, I gotta wonder why nobody creates one of these kinds of games with built-in hint systems. I tried Myst on PS1 once, and gave up. I would probably have loved it if I could have hit a help button and had the computer do the next important thing for me, either in the current location, or moving me to a new location.
Isn't player assistance functionality the key to making a lot of money on these games from a wider audience? If someone would make existing games user-friendly for the average person on the street, I bet sales would explode. Just add a simple cheat button that moves you through pretty scenery (either instantly or scene by scene depending on preferences) to the next important location. Then choose a button again to show you what you have to do at that location. It could also have a walkthrough mode that allows you to interact whenever it looks interesting to you.
Surely someone has noticed this is needed? Is it that hard to code? Is that a market no one cares about? Even better, isn't there someone with an open source mentality will could create something like that for the good of all?! Heck, I'd even love some PPC versions of walkthrough guides that's aren't tied directly into the software. I could use those guides while playing on my PS1. I might even upgrade to a PS2!
And if this kind of gaming gets more popular and easier, it will be one more of the many reasons that portable devices sell.