Game Mechanics


Some of the greatest  games are quite simple; no need for complex rules or steep learning curves.  The reason for their success is the main, underlying game mechanic.  As seen in the diagram, if the game is too hard or too confusing, then it becomes frustrating to play.  On the other hand, if the game is too easy, then it just becomes boring.   In my Art-108 class, Professor Morgan showed us some very interesting games, some of which had simple mechanics and others having very compelling mechanics.  For me, these games have reached the Game Mechanic Zen; all of them weren’t too hard but were still challenging and enjoyable.  I’d like to share with you five games that had appealing game mechanics:

1) Super Puzzle Platformer


What I like about this game is that you keep coming back to play it.  You only  move/jump with the directionals and spacebar/z to shoot, but its so addicting!  It’s really interesting because it uses a tetris-style, having spatial-reasoning and destruction as its core mechanics.  You are forced to think on your feet and formulate strategies.



This game is truly a masterpiece. It is probably the most clever and meaningful game I’ve ever played.  Although the game has a core of race to the end, it is so artistic that makes the game even more than it is.   Using only the directional keys, you are going through the nature of life.  Because it’s so artistic, it can have many meanings.

3) This is the Only Level


When I first played this game, I was amazed what could happen in just ONE level.  The creator uses race to the end as the core mechanic but is able to have multiple variations of it,  which makes the game so appealing.  To me it was like 50 games in one.  Every level was unique and unexpected!

4) Rescue: The Beagles


This was a fun 2D side-scrolling game that employed the core mechanic of race to the end.  What I like about it is that it added on to the style of Mario, having multiple levels of movement (3 layers).  You either use a rope to travel upward or use a parachute to travel downward.

5) Judith



Judith made my heart pound throughout the entire game!  What was so special about it is storytelling factor of it; it was so dark, creepy and gave me shivers multiple times.  The game mechanics were simple and nothing out of the ordinary but that didn’t matter.  The game successfully tells a compelling story that you must play to find out!

When you have the time, I hope you check out these games!


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