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Forums > Submission Feedback > zigfried's Canabalt review

This thread is in response to a review for Canabalt on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: February 24, 2011 (12:32 AM)
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Zig, this review made me happy.

I've never played this game, but I would probably agree with you had I. It reminds me of a WiiWare game called Tomena Sanner. Much the same, except running into objects is actually bad, and you're trying to beat a clock. Slightly better, but still pretty meh IMO.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: fleinn
Posted: February 24, 2011 (02:11 AM)
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:) great read. ..It is a game with one button for control. Where the jump is variable in height, which then again varies in length depending on speed. While the animation for the jump and the roll depends on those variables. So as a simplistic running game, that can be played on the holy iPhone and so on - it's a pretty good game. It reminds me of the rolling intro-sequences to the first games that started using simple shifting layers for projecting movement in some direction or other. So even though it lasts.. ten minutes.. it's a brilliant piece of work for what it is.

So maybe not a polished turd - but more like a single drop of water in a desert, or something like that. Not much, but appreciated.. Depending on how desperate you are.

And I agree with your premise and the points you make. A lot of unbelievably annoying things have been said about this game..


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Author: pickhut
Posted: February 24, 2011 (09:45 AM)
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I always thought of Canabalt as a mere distraction, I never figured people had such high praises for the game. o__o

I enjoyed reading the review, you make some good points and observations with so little words.


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2011 (10:42 AM)
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So even though it lasts.. ten minutes.. it's a brilliant piece of work for what it is.

So maybe not a polished turd - but more like a single drop of water in a desert, or something like that.


I get what you're saying in that Canabalt does demonstrate some true talent and imagination, just not as a videogame. Every good game is worth playing for more than 10 minutes, and I do literally mean every good game. "Distraction" is a better word for it (thanks Pickhut!)

One problem with the water/desert analogy is that "desert" implies we live in a dry age... but we're actually surrounded by an ocean of awesome stuff on every console. The second problem with that analogy is it implies a million Canabalts would constitute a videogame oasis. So I'm calling the game a turd (ie, a fundamentally bad videogame) that shines in some ultimately unimportant ways.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: Ben
Posted: February 24, 2011 (11:16 AM)
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This reads more like an editorial than a review - it's as if you're directly responding to some of the other critics' reviews. I've nothing against your negative opinion, but it seems harsh to ridicule people like me who enjoyed the game. I think you could have voiced your views more effectively without focusing on how others feel. Each to their own is what I'd usually say.

I certainly don't believe this game deserves a 10. I believe a game like this should be judged on a different scale because it's not a proper game. However, I like it just fine on the iPhone, definitely moreso than a lot of the more fully-fledged titles on the device.


...


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Author: fleinn
Posted: February 24, 2011 (01:30 PM)
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"One problem with the water/desert analogy is that "desert" implies we live in a dry age... but we're actually surrounded by an ocean of awesome stuff on every console."

True.. and not entirely true as well, I guess. There are a lot of games that are created with the same philosophy in mind as Canabalt... except they are made with million-budgets, careful design, and expensive tech. That's.. difficult to get around. That many game-designers genuinely want to replace navigation and narrative in a digital world with one key-press for any significant action, basically...

If that's what you want from a game - an illusion of participation, rather than what some would... well.. would call an effort that "casual gamers" would never get past. Then Canabalt is the perfect game. Not only does it have extremely simple controls, no complex mechanics and no explicit story-line that publishers may catch on to - it's made on a non-existent budget as well, and can gross $3.99 on iTunes (after costing .99 cent at release.. after it was available for free on Newgrounds.. which it still is.. just like superior games such as Fancy Pants Adventure, or Hapland..).

So it's the usual publisher's wet dream. And they're surrounded by unsellable hardcore niche-titles that only smelly, juvenile adults who are unpopular with the ladies will buy. Etc. Etc.

..but obviously I want to kill people who say things like that to my face as well, I won't lie about that. Specially since I really like the nod to old arcade titles with the moving layers, and so on. And can appreciate how difficult it is to program jumping animations that seem as smooth as this. I mean, it's a small feat. A "demo", maybe, of clever tech.

(Anyway.. I'm off to Zigworks :) )

edit:
"accomplishes the task of giving the user enjoyment, which I think is the end-all goal of any game."

..I can see why you seem a bit angry now.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: February 24, 2011 (04:18 PM)
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Ben:
This reads more like an editorial than a review - it's as if you're directly responding to some of the other critics' reviews. I've nothing against your negative opinion, but it seems harsh to ridicule people like me who enjoyed the game.

A review is a form of editorial. It's true that I attack the views of others; that's because I do not like their views. I don't ridicule people who simply enjoy Canabalt... just people who think it is a good game and therefore praise it beyond its value. I have no problem with people who derive pleasure from Canabalt but acknowledge that it is a poor videogame.

I think you could have voiced your views more effectively without focusing on how others feel. Each to their own is what I'd usually say.

A large part of the Canabalt phenomenon is its public image. When we write about Super Mario Bros 3, we may say how Super Mario 1 changed the gaming world. When we write about competitive fighting games, we may write about how it was received by the competitive fighting community. Incorporating a game's public image into a review is a natural -- and sometimes critical -- piece.

So you may see my review as a response to others, but I see my review as an evaluation of Canabalt's current status in the world, as well as an evaluation of Canabalt's design philosophy. Responding to trend-hopping "journalists" isn't important, but crushing the pedestal upon which Canabalt rests is very important.


Fleinn:
There are a lot of games that are created with the same philosophy in mind as Canabalt... except they are made with million-budgets, careful design, and expensive tech. That's.. difficult to get around. That many game-designers genuinely want to replace navigation and narrative in a digital world with one key-press for any significant action, basically

Yeah, I don't like that concept of game "design" either. We should be pushing designers to incorporate more player involvement and mental stimulation (aka complexity and challenge).

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: S-Cynic
Posted: December 19, 2011 (02:22 PM)
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Embarrassing, and that's putting it mildy.

Leave skewering the Indie scene to people who can actually write.


If at first you don't succeed, give up. Don't make a damn fool of yourself.


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Author: Leroux
Posted: December 19, 2011 (04:28 PM)
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I too find INTERMITTENTLY TYPING IN ALL CAPS to produce a superior QUALITY OF WRITING. Excellent point, CHUM.


When the hammer falls...


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: December 19, 2011 (05:48 PM)
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The gaming world needs more people denouncing Canabalt, not less.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: December 19, 2011 (06:57 PM)
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Oh, how edgy! You're linking to someone else's article and using that as your entire argument. That never got tiresome at GameFAQs.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: S-Cynic
Posted: December 19, 2011 (07:10 PM)
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You're linking to someone else's article and using that as your entire argument.

Using it as an example, actually.


If at first you don't succeed, give up. Don't make a damn fool of yourself.


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