288/365 – Meditation Games #288 – Rocket Heart Hunt

Developer: Fred Wood

Launcher Quote: “October 18th is a day of love for me, so please celebrate that by playing a game that comes from my heart.”

I’ve never really had a good foundation for being able to skillfully play classic games. The ones that have been peppered throughout this project have been pretty big challenges for me. I’m not sure what it is – perhaps it’s the fact that I can’t get the timing right, or maybe that I’m just too nervous when trying to get to where I’m going, or maybe it’s just that I’m getting old and my reflexes can’t keep up any more. Any way you slice it, I’ve had problems – which is why the mechanics of this particular classic collector game were welcome to me.

Throwing in the ability to be able to control my boost and the rate at which I fell seems to be a simplistic mechanic to add to a game where touching any surface that isn’t a heart is death, but it definitely helped with my control issues. Understanding that I could generate momentum and control where I was going just by easing up or pressing hard on a direction meant that I could freely direct things while at the same time navigate the map properly. It helped that the goal was simple, too – collect the hearts without crashing – and that it didn’t matter how you collected them – only that you got to them by any means necessary.

Symbolically, this was about the developer reminding themselves and us of a special day that involved love, and showing that to players through means of a classic game scenario is one of the most straightforward ways of doing that – even if it did mean that I might have a bit of trouble with it at first. Games being fun is partially a function of ensuring that learning how to play them isn’t a slog or a real pain, and in that respect, the rocket heart hunt delivered.

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