Casual Games of Assembly

Originally this was going to be part of the same post as the one on Puzzles of Aesthetics: I started out talking about fashion games, in general. But I quickly realized that JoJo’s Fashion Show was one kind of game and all the other fashion games were something else entirely.

So this half of the post is about games like Vogue Tales, Dress Shop Hop, and — by extension — Cake Mania, Turbo Subs, Go Go Gourmet, and the astonishing Golden Hearts Juice Bar. (That’s not a good kind of astonishment.)

There’s not a lot of IF stuff in here at all, really, since the kind of challenge involved is almost entirely about speed, and wouldn’t translate well.

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Narrative in Casual Gaming: Miss Management

For some time I’ve been arguing that the way forward for interactive storytelling is to heal the long-standing breach between narrative and puzzle, and make the interactive parts of a game reinforce and enhance the story. The player’s action should in some way help him better understand the characters, explore the constraints of the circumstance in which they find themselves, or intensify his feelings towards the participants and the outcome. (There are probably other possibilities too, but those are the obvious ones that present themselves.)

The casual game Miss Management accomplishes all that surprisingly well.

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