Critical Play: Theme Only Games

For this critical play I played two games: Temple Run and Tiny Wings. Temple Run is a video game franchise of 3D endless running video games developed and published by Imangi Studios. Temple Run is a single-player game where the player is being chased by an enemy and the primary theme of the series is an explorer in a temple where the enemy is a group of demon monkeys. The objective of the game is to avoid getting caught by the monkeys while simultaneously dodging obstacles and collecting coins, and the target audience is a general audience with a likely emphasis on younger audiences. The theme of this game complements the game by giving the player a greater sense of urgency, like the player is trying to get away with something. This is really useful to create a sense of challenge, because in a way it provides an incentive for the player to keep playing. Tiny Wings on the other hand is an iOS game developed by German game developer Andreas Illiger. This game is also a one player game but in this case the objective of the game is to advance to different islands by timing falls so that the player slides down hills and flies up them. The theme of the game in this case, serves a similar purpose of creating a narrative–a little bird with wings too small to fly uses hills and gravity to propel itself–but in this case it does not necessarily create urgency but rather, simply sets the tone of the game. In this case, the currency serves a key role that has to do with the theme, which is that the player tries to collect sun coins before the sun sets; the more coins the player collects the longer the game lasts. In both of these games the theme not only sets the tone and creates the narrative, but also complements the gameplay. This is the case for both of these games.

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