This year, there have been a few games come out that I really liked the look of, some of which I even own. However I only actually played one of them for any length of time. This isn’t because the games weren’t good, but mostly because they can’t be played in small enough chunks of time. While I am perfectly well aware that the target market for games is probably single men with long stretches of spare time – that’s not me. I love all things nintendo and have both a Wii and a DS, and will happily play on either when I can find the time. BUT “time” for me is 20 minutes, maximum, and not every day (sometimes not even every week).
If your game doesn’t allow saving at will, or as a minimum, quit regularly, then its likely that I’ll get frustrated and stop playing. Last time a Zelda title came out (my absolute all-time favourite), I had just moved to a new town, had a flat I could clean in an hour, and a job where I clocked in and clocked out. This year, there’s a new title, and I don’t know when I’ll even buy it, or how much I’ll actually play of it if I did. The recent Mario DS title required you to *complete* 5 levels before saving, never mind play them. I loved the game, but my lifestyle didn’t allow me to get far. The Metroid titles for Wii had exactly the same issues – I like the game but if I can’t pick it up and put it down, it just doesn’t get a look in. On completely the other end of the spectrum was the Professor Layton game, which was puzzle based and could be saved almost at any point!
So, it turns out I’m not a gamer any more, because the game design doesn’t cater for those of us with real lives … when will the manufacturers learn that actually normal people play games too?