Aspects of Play: Ultimate Flash Sonic

As part of the module, the task was to look into the various types of games within the 3 specific bands of play. The band this game I shall be discussing ‘Ultimate Flash Sonic’ belongs to is Internet Based.

When playing Ultimate Flash Sonic, I found that it belonged to the following categories of play in relation to Roger Caillois’ theory of play; Mimicry and Alea

In terms of Mimicry the player takes control of either the iconic Sonic the Hedgehog, Knuckles, Tails or Cream as they try to traverse the levels to beat Sonic’s arch-nemesis Dr. Eggman, the game takes its form from the player running through the level by using the navigational keys on the keyboard and has a mode for the player to duck and go into a roll-able ball which makes the character move faster. Agon doesn’t take its form in this game as it is a single-player game that has no multi-player nor any regard that would promote bragging rights as it’s a fairly linear setup for the player to go from A to B with 3 zones with multiple acts. Illinx doesn’t come into this game as there isn’t much to disorientate the player because of the fact that it is a flash game on a 2D perspective. Alea comes in the form of the enemies and their movement paths that the player can encounter at various states of which aren’t pre-defined from entering the stage at a certain point.

In terms of the elements in this game that I liked, I really liked the level design and the various routes that Sonic can take through various zones instead of having a distinct singular linear route. Also I liked the fact that the level flowed particularly well and that there was little break in the moments of which I had to stop running and take a moment to think about the situation and how I would approach a particular obstacle in the level.

State of Flow, was it achieved?

Yes. I found that even though it didn’t require an intense amount of focus and concentration, the flow of the level made it easy for me to slip into a state of flow.

If I were designing a game similar to this, I would improve the competitive aspect of the game. As a whole the only motivation to make it through the level is personal desire, that isn’t something that a game should rely on for replayability and should address this by either a highscore system or a competitive co-operative mode that pits players against one another in an attempt to finish the level first.

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