Friday, 23 November 2007

uninstalling plant tycoon

So I wake up in the morning and everything's dead.

Now, I do understand the concept. The plants grow in 'real time' which can be set to much faster than real time and therefore you are supposed to adjust the time before sleeping. However -

Who is going to go to that kind of trouble for a game they're just trying out for a demo?

Who is going to be in any way entertained or pleased by finding all their plants dead the next day?

With Creatures, as mentioned, it was actually *interesting* to leave the computer running for long periods of time on its own. The ecology would carry on without you, if not as well. You'd want to come back later and see what had happened. Would a new, stronger breed have developed that could deal with these challenges on its own? Which bloodlines would continue and which would fail?

'All Dead' is not fun in any way.

Why do they do that? If when you left the game for a long period of time you logged back in to find all your plants *very sickly* so that you had to spend a bunch of time nursing them, that would be fine. This would still teach you that leaving your plants made your plants suffer, and it would involve you in the recovery process, rather than leaving you with nothing to do but start over.

If I were given this game as a present, I'd probably get into it. I could relax and enjoy the atmosphere. I could stare for hours at my nursery screen, waiting to see if someone would buy my plants. I could zone out looking at flowers and bugs. I could have the game running a lot and therefore remember to adjust the time when not playing it.

But as an upsell demo, it's an immensely lacking experience. Things either don't seem to happen or happen in an unwanted way. It doesn't lend itself to a trial period.

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