October 5, 2012 1 Comment
I’m a pretty big fan of falling block puzzlers, with my preferences of which ones to play going in the following order: Puyo Puyo, Lumines, and Super Puzzle Fighter. My least favorite? Probably Columns, along with all its sequels and clones. Oddly enough, Columns is probably the smarter of the four games listed above. Setting up combos in it requires a level of focus and cognitive thinking that most of the games in its family don’t require. Personally, I would rather play the faster-paced stupid people stuff than the slow and boring smart people stuff. Besides, playing the smart people stuff doesn’t make me feel smarter. It makes me feel stupider for not spending my free time having fun like a smart person does.
Wait, I think that means Columns is in fact the stupid person game. Or the smart game for idiots. Which means Puyo Puyo is the stupid game for smart people. Ugh, I hate it when I do this. I have to get off this train of thought before my nose starts bleeding again.
I was going somewhere with the above mess. Senoka is the smart idiot’s smart in a stupid way game. Excuse me, nose bleed.
Okay, so Senoka is like Columns, only instead of clearing colored blocks by matching them together, you clear them by matching them to the color in the background. God, that just sounds like the most boring thing since the World Championships of Coloring Books, and at least that had the drama of young Timmy Johnson being unable to stay in the lines due to a hand cramp. Senoka’s pace is snail-slow, and despite featuring a combo-based scoring system, doesn’t have the ease of actually setting up combos. Without that, the potential for addiction that a great falling blocks game needs is not there.
It’s not that Senoka is badly made. It works, at least when you figure out what you’re doing. There’s no tutorial, or any form of an explanation screen. I would call this a rookie mistake, since Senoka comes from a first-time developer, but come on! This is the type of mistake from someone who has never played games before. You’re thrown into the deep end right from the start. And that deep end is filled with sharks, because the AI is way over balanced. Even on easy mode, AI opponents move and think faster than you and are almost unbeatable. The demoralizing AI and the boring concept make for a game that is almost numbing in its dullness. Senoka is the boring game for boring people.
Wait, he was? I’ll take care of this.
Marky will be back soon.
80 Microsoft Points saved Marky in the making of this review.