By Carbon64 1 Comments
So even though I am a strong believer in video games being able to be enjoyed through the single player alone (mostly because everyone doesn't have friends or siblings) I do really enjoy multiplayer. I think video games themselves can serve as a way to bring people together and what aspect of video games does it better than multiplayer. My focus today will be on video games that you would play at a party or a get together with friends. Please bear in my mind I won't be going into the deep intricacies of multiplayer just basic concepts that make party games more enjoyable.
So one of the most important aspects of a party game is that it needs to be easy to play. Since this is a game you will invite people over to play many of them won't be familiar with it. If the game is easy to play new players can enjoy playing even though they may be losing to the more experienced players because they know why they're losing. I'm not only talking about controls here either. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 has simple controls but, when I play with my friends I die in ways I can't even explain. Sure I know how to play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 but, it seems there are some complicated aspects that cannot be learned without investing countless hours in the game. Now don't get me wrong good party games are not a novelty that you play once and never play again they are games that don't have a big barrier to entry but, you can get better at.
Another aspect of party games that is essential to include is a random factor. The random factor is to ensure that every time you play something different will happen. This prevents the less skilled players from giving up since they always have a chance for things to go their way and conversely the better players may lose due to forces beyond their control making it still a challenge to win. However, the difference between winning and losing should not be completely random as that would eliminate any desire to get better at the game.
Party games should have some depth. When I say depth I am referring to the strategies and techniques that a player develops the more they play. If a party game has no depth it becomes boring quickly because you already know all the game has to offer once you start playing it. On the other hand a party game with too much depth cannot be called a party game because it will have too high a learning curve for a novice to compete with some of the more skilled players. For example Smash Bros is a game that is simple enough for a new player to start playing but, to excel at the game you need to learn some of the more advanced strategies.
I also believe party games are best when they have aspects of both cooperative and competitive play. Even if the game doesn't have a structured team mode a competitive game can attain some form of cooperative gameplay if they give the players a choice to work together. For example, in Gauntlet Legends all the players compete for gold but, they can also work together to defeat the various enemies in the game. In Bomberman 64 all the players fight to see who can be the last one standing but, after death the player can become a ghost and harass the players that are still alive. This can effectively create alliances between some players to prevent the player in the lead from winning.
If you're interested in the kind of party game I would make I would have to say it would be a multiplayer Kingdom Hearts like game. It would function much like Secret of Mana but, the winner of each match would be decided by which player performed the best based on various aspects such as deaths and kills. If you're interested in party games I would recommend Mario Kart Double Dash, Power Stone 2, Bomberman 64, Snowboard Kids, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Conkers Bad Fur Day, Super Monkey Ball, Custom Robo, Pokemon Stadium 2, Metroid Prime 2 Echoes, Gauntlet Legends, Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble, and Sonic Adventure 2 Battle.