Steam Library Retrospective: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome

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August 5, 2016 by Devin

The following series idea, shamelessly stolen from List Oriented, is a chronicle of me trying to play through my extensive Steam Library and categorizing my thoughts along the way.

The rules: play through each game in alphabetical order for at least 1 hour. Then report back here with the findings.

The Game: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome

Description: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome is a game about falling from great heights and trying to land in circles. If you can maneuver yourself near floating objects but not hit them, you get points, and those points unlock more levels where you can fall down stuff.

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Previous Experience: Little. I downloaded and played for about two minutes before leaving.

Thoughts: Game design is an interesting beast. It’s part artist working with a canvas and part Pavlovian psychologist seeing if you can make rats jump through hoops. This game is definitely leaning more toward the latter. It is designed to capture the visceral feel of falling from great heights and combine that with the need to get arbitrary points of distinction and accomplishment with rising numbers at the top of the screen and scores at the end of each level. For a large amount of people, this will probably be enough to get you engaged.

However, I feel like I was missing that core enjoyment of the feedback loop. What I found interesting about my experience with AaaaaA… was that I really enjoyed the feeling of the gameplay. Falling down does genuinely feel exciting, and weaving around buildings and through tunnels is exactly as awesome as it sounds, but the game quickly becomes a search for points more than a thrill ride in a trippy landscape. Actually surviving the levels is pretty easy, but getting high scores on the levels so that you can unlock more levels is where the challenge lies, and after playing this game, I realized that I was completely uninterested in high scores.

I was actually considering changing my rules I set out for myself to just 30 minutes instead of a full hour because I quickly became bored with the game despite, as stated, having enjoyed a lot of the moment to moment gameplay. I decided to just skip ahead to a hard level to see how it would be, and I found myself having a lot more fun out of it because, even though my score was terrible, the actual level was way more exciting than what was going on previously.

In other words, I find myself at a weird place with this game where I like the gameplay but am so turned off by the larger progression and larger goal of the gameplay that I have no desire to ever go back to this one.

Score: 6/9 unnecessary vowels

Next up: Advent Rising

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