恐怖的目标隐藏游戏并不是新的游戏类型，但是在2011年这种游戏的发展却达到了顶峰。今年，几乎所有登上游戏资讯网站Gamezebo头版的恐怖目标隐藏游戏都致力于让玩家“心惊肉跳”。例如《Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker》，《PuppetShow: Lost Town》以及《Twisted Lands: Insomniac》等等。
其中一些游戏，如最近发布的《Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst》收到了不少负面反馈信息。有用户评价这款游戏“在某些方面非常粗野，”以及“粗糙，庸俗”。甚至有观察者认为它“不只是主题阴暗，在某些环节上也太过于怪异。”难道这就是我们想要的游戏？
不知大家是否记得《Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby》这款曾颇受好评的目标隐藏游戏，它至少不会让玩家去寻找失踪的脚或者鲜血淋漓的骨头。这一点很关键！
谁也说不准Zynga是否真的是这种趋势的始作俑者，但毫无疑问，2011年最糟糕的一大趋势便是一些大受欢迎游戏的相继夭折。Playdom便是一大受害者，该公司旗下游戏《Social City》，《Market Street》以及《ESPNU College Town》都在此期间相继末落。
不只是Playdom，还有许多公司也难免同样命运，如Playfish关闭了《My Empire》，《Hotel City》等，PlayFirst关闭了《Diner Dash》，这种趋势仍然在蔓延。
《Zynga Poker》等游戏已经出现有一段时间了，但在2011年此类游戏不仅再次席卷了市场，并且获得了良好的成就。《Zynga Poker》现在仍然能够每月吸引将近3千万的玩家，并且成为Facebook上第四大受欢迎的游戏。如今在App Store的10大热门游戏排行榜中就有两款“免费”扑克游戏，紧随其后的是排名12的《Card Ace: Casino》和排名26的《Slotomania》。
我们不只一次看到许多带着跨平台旗号的社交游戏并未真正具备跨平台元素。尽管你可以在Facebook和iPhone/iPad上玩《CityVille》，但是你却是在建造两座完全不同的城市。尽管《Smurfs’ Village》在今年也进入了Android Market，但是Android版本的玩家却不能与其iPhone版本的好友进行互动。更糟糕的是，Android版本的玩家不能获得iOS玩家所拥有的定期更新内容这项福利。
但也有许多开发者正致力于摆脱这种劣势。《Buddy Rush》，《Shadow Era》以及《Words with Friends》等游戏都让玩家能够在不同设备上获得相同的好友信息。但是这还远远不够，我们希望所有游戏有望在2012年彻底根治这个问题。
Worst Trends of 2011
By Jim Squires
When we look back at the year that was, we like to celebrate the best of the best. But what about the absolute worst? Yep – 2011 was filled with a lot of stinkers too, and some of those lousy things popped up more often than others. That makes them trends. Awful, awful, trends. And while most of them will carry over into the next year, we’re all going to close our eyes and wish real hard that we don’t see any of this nonsense in 2012.
#1 – Scary hidden object games
Imagine, if you will, a world where every movie that came out was a horror movie. There were no comedies, no biographies – no historical pieces that make you think – just edge-of-your-seat, jump-inducing, pushing the envelope on acceptable, horror movies. Now imagine that they’re all set in a haunted house. Or an asylum. Or an abandoned amusement park.
Swap out the word “movie” for “hidden object game,” and you’ve just described 2011 in a nutshell.
Scary hidden object games are nothing new, but they seem to have reached their zenith in 2011. Nearly every other HOG to hit the front page of Gamezebo this year was something designed to give you the willies. Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker, PuppetShow: Lost Town, Twisted Lands: Insomniac… the list goes on and on.
Some of them, like the recent Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst, went so far that the game received a bit of blowback from the Gamezebo community. User reviews have described it as “absolutely GROSS in some parts,” and “rude crude and vulgar.” Even our official review described it as “not just thematically dark, it’s also straight-up grotesque in parts.” Really? Is this what we want in a game?
Note to developers: You know what the first HOG to earn a perfect score from Gamezebo was? Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby. And there’s not a single missing foot or bag of blood-soaked bones to find.
#2 – The untimely death of good Facebook games
Zynga is a tough company to measure yourself against. No matter how good your Facebook game might be doing, they’re bound to have one that’s doing better. Maybe that’s why so many companies are so quick to kill they’re great games. Living in the shadow of 50 million CityVille players has got to give you something of a complex.
Whether the Zynga measurement really has anything to do with this trend is anybody’s guess (though it’s clearly my working theory), but without a doubt, one of the worst trends of 2011 has to be popular Facebook games having their plugs pulled for not being quite popular enough. Playdom has been a pretty big offender here, killing games like Social City, Market Street, and ESPNU College Town over the last year.
Sure their numbers were dwindling – heck, Social City was down to 270,000 monthly active users when the announcement was made, which is a far cry from the millions it received at its peak – but at the same time, it’s still in their top 10 most active games. And considering its success arguably inspired Zynga to create CityVille, Facebook’s #1 game, doesn’t it seem like they could have done something to stay relevant? Come on, Playdom. You have Disney money to throw around now.
It’s not like we’re trying to single out Playdom, either. Playfish killed My Empire, Hotel City and more, PlayFirst killed Diner Dash… the list goes on and on. Come on Facebook developers – if your game gains traction once, it can do it again. Don’t be so quick to throw in the towel!
#3 – Casino games that you can pay into, but never cash out of
Online gambling has had a pretty harsh few years, especially in the US. It’s a business where you sign up, deposit money into an account, play as you would in a casino, and then – hopefully – withdraw your winnings without any problems.
But this entry isn’t about that.
What if I told you there was an online casino community that you paid real money into, gambled, won big, and never saw a dime of the winnings? Now what if I told you that you were aware of this in advance, and yet you still spent the money happily? Congratulations – you’ve just discovered the world of freemium poker and casino apps.
Games like Zynga Poker have been around for awhile now, but 2011 saw titles like this not only flood the market, but actually perform incredibly well. In fact despite its age, Zynga Poker still draws in nearly 30 million people a month, making it the fourth most popular game on Facebook. Two different “free” poker titles are currently sitting the Top 10 Grossing Games list in the App Store, followed closely by Card Ace: Casino at #12 and Slotomania at #26.
Seriously, people. If you’re going to spend the money, why not just go to a casino where you might get some back? No wonder Zynga’s launching the Zynga Casino brand.
#4 – Games that aren’t cross-platform
Let’s not confuse matters any – when a developer releases a game on a single platform, that’s totally fine in our books. Likewise, if they release a single-player experience on multiple platforms, we don’t see a single reason to work any kind of cross-platform compatability into it. But when your games are built around the idea of social and multiplayer elements, and they’re available on more than one platform? Those platforms had better be prepared to talk with each other without fail.
Time and time again, we’re seeing social games hit multiple platforms without any kind of proper cross-platform support. Sure you can play CityVille on Facebook and on your iPhone/iPad – but you have to build two separate cities. Likewise, Smurfs’ Village may have hit the Android Market this year, but iPhone Smurfers can’t hook up with their Android friends. Worse yet, Android gamers don’t seem to get any of the seasonal content updates that iOS gamers do!
There are a lot of developers that are bucking this trend, and it’s something we’re delighted to see. Games like Buddy Rush, Shadow Era, and Words with Friends work beautifully between friends on different devices, but we need to see all games of this nature work this way. It’s a problem we complained about back in June 2011, and hopefully it’s one we’ll see eradicated by June 2012.
#5 – The dominance of Facebook in social games
“Well of course Facebook is dominant in social games,” you say. “Where else are people going to go?” That question, my dear readers, is the very point of this entry.
Remember when Google+ launched earlier this year, and people were abuzz with a viable alternative to Facebook? Then they quickly launched the Google Games service on Plus, and it looked like we were in line for a finely curated alternative to Facebook gaming? That was months ago, and in that time, only 28 games have launched – most all of which, it seems, are also available on Facebook.
MySpace was going to reinvent itself as a destination for social gaming. Hi5 was prepping to do the same thing too. But at the end of the day, people are only going to play where the people they already know are, and that’s Facebook.
Could Zynga’s upcoming network, Zynga Direct, be the thing that changes the tide in 2012? We’re looking forward to finding out.（source:gamezebo）