Critical Play: Puzzles

 

  • Name of game: Factory Balls
  • Creator: Bart Bonte
  • Platform: Steam, itch.io, Kartridge, iOS, Google Play
  • Target audience: anyone who likes to solve logic puzzles
  • Important formal elements:
    • Players: single player vs game
    • Objective: solution
    • Outcomes: everybody wins (if you eventually solve the puzzle)
    • Resources: the center object that goes in the box, the side props (paint, helmet, goggles, etc.)
    • Rules & procedures: The goal for each level is to create the target ball outcome using the side props. The player begins with a white ball and some tools that, when used in the proper order, will cause the white ball to match the goal design. The player does this through trial-and-error, and the difficulty increases as the level increases.
    • Boundaries: the screen/canvas
  • Types of fun:
    • Challenge: game as an obstacle course (especially as the level difficulty increases so quickly!)
    • Submission: game as pastime (I would imagine a bored person play it)
  • Moments of particular success or epic fails
    • Level 12 took me 3 minutes to solve, which was a bit too long that I got frustrated, and when I got to level 13, I finally found it too overwhelming (with 7 side tools) to play, failed to solve it, and just stopped playing.¬†
  • Things you would change to make the game better
    • It was really fun as an obstacle course, and the feeling of triumph at the end of each level kept me playing. The only thing I would change to make the game better is make the difficulty curve a bit less steep, so I could enjoy completing more levels before it becomes too overwhelming to solve.

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