MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun – Blendoku 2 – Amy Lo

Blendoku 2 is a mobile game designed by Lonely Few, where players are given a grid of squares that may have colors provided and try to find optimal color blends between different colors. In the game, users try to solve color sequences to try to create smooth blends of colors in grids that are shaped in interesting patterns.

Mechanic #1: Levels

For me, what makes Blendoku 2 so enjoyable is how it emphasizes the aesthetic of abnegation through its mechanic of levels. With over 500 levels that range from categories of simple to master, Blendoku 2 scales in difficulty and complexity for each category, offering pressure for players to advance to the next stage and become a color master. However, one unique feature is that you are not limited to your current stage; you can play any level from any category. This creates a seemingly endless gameplay; if you get stuck on one level or don’t like its colors, you can move onto the next freely. This influences the player dynamic as they are not necessarily incentivized to complete any level, but rather wander through different levels’ color puzzles. This is aided by Blendoku 2’s endless, beautiful soundtrack that helps the player relax and mindlessly solve levels. While the levels do add to the aesthetic of challenge, they serve a larger purpose in impacting the game’s aesthetic of abnegation.

Mechanics #2 & 3: Time & Accuracy

Blendoku 2 also offers the aesthetic of challenges. For example, there is the mechanic of time, where the player’s time to solve a puzzle is recorded and compared to a world average. While this may not be important to all players, this can encourage players to speed up their choices and decision-making as a dynamic such that they can receive a satisfying badge and notification that they’ve beaten the world average. Similarly, another mechanic is rewarding players for a perfect gameplay, or accuracy. Players are rewarded for having perfect accuracy in placing colors into the puzzle. This creates an interesting player dynamic as players have an added tension to avoid making wrong choices. The mechanics of time and accuracy conflict with each other, influencing the player dynamic as players now have to choose which of the two – time or accuracy – they prioritize for each decision.

Mechanic #4: Multiplayer Mode

Lastly, Blendoku 2 has a multiplayer feature that affects the aesthetic of competition. Through an asynchronous turn-based gameplay, players can play against friends or random players on their accuracy of color decisions. Additionally, certain spots in the puzzle are worth more points than others. This mechanic affects user behavior, as the competitive drive to score more points than your opponent as well as prevent them from scoring on valuable spots. These dynamics create the aesthetic of competition, and as levels get more difficult, there are more obstacles, challenges, and players to beat. 

Thus, Blendoku 2 features three different types of aesthetics – challenges, abnegation, and competition – that are largely influenced by the mechanics of time, accuracy, levels, and multiplayer gameplay. By offering multiple types of mechanics, Blendoku 2 diversifies the types of players that seek various aesthetics in-game, and creates a relaxing game that can quickly translate to competitive or challenging fun!

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