I've played 3 games lately that have illustrated a unique and fun concept, but only last about an hour max usually because it was made quickly for a competition or it had to be released in time for the holiday it's based on. As someone who gets visions of ways an idea can be expanded, I feel like these games could be masterpieces if the person who made them decided to expand on them after the competition/holiday. These are:Christmas Island
- Chris S
This game is a platformer that is strictly tile-based, whether you're moving or jumping. When you jump, you move up 3 tiles, move forward 1 tile and fall all the way down to the ground. If you hold the jump button, you'll move forward 2 tiles instead. The game has platforms, spikes to avoid, springs that act as a forced jump and presents which you can collect and give to kids to get past them.
Special objects in this game include spikes that appear, then disappear, so you have to time your way past them; blocks that materialize after you press a switch; one room has 4 gems, a gem door that opens when you get those gems and a moving wall of spikes that move when you pick up the first gem.
Right now, after replaying it a couple times, it feels like this concept would not get old quickly. Not only that, but many other items could be introduced. You could have a hookshot usable anytime even while jumping that latches forwards to the nearest wall and drops you when you hit the wall. You could have teleports, pushable blocks, water where you need flippers to wade through and iron boots to sink down.Craequ
- Jonathan Whiting
I'd rather not describe the game as some of the fun is figuring out what each object does, so I'll just say how I feel it can be expanded.
Again, I'm getting a kind of LoZ vibe from this game. I feel like there could be an overworld and story and dungeons that contain multiple of these maps. Because of block-pushing, sokoban-type puzzles could also be mixed in with items shown in each dungeon. Ice could be in one dungeon to make block pushing trickier. Some blocks could be used as platforms across water or lava, meaning that sacrifices must be made. Items could include a hookshot again to pull in blocks, a blowing item to push items across pits. There could be massive bosses requiring movement across multiple rooms, etc.Traal
- Jonathan Whiting
Similar to Craequ and by the same creator, Traal is a game set in a dark dungeon and your field of vision is lit up. When monsters appear in your field of vision, you get scared and run away. This can be a good thing as certain blocks can only be destroyed when you touch it while running away, but it can also be a bad thing as there are spikes around. There are 11 scrolls to collect around the whole dungeon and 1 item.
This game doesn't feel like it would suit an overworld, it would be weird traversing one with its concept. Instead a much bigger dungeon with more items and puzzles could be made. The current item does a great job in expanding what you can do/access, and more items that can link well with the concept would be great.Grow games
In each of the Grow games, you are given a number of "items" that you can place on a world one by one. After you place an item, previously-placed ones will level up. Sometimes an item will only level up when another item of a certain level is present, then they interact. Solving these puzzles involves max levelling each item, meaning that you have to get the right order. This is done via experimentation, seeing how each item levels up, what other items influence an item's level up, etc.
I used to fill a notebook with designs for an RPG game that used this as its main concept. You would collect items around the world through quests, and sometimes as an enemy drop. Then you could use them in unique ways. Sometimes, some quests require you to have certain items and use them in a certain order. Other times, enemy battles could be made easier by building big weapons/machinery by using the items in a certain order. Some machines would be enemy-specific, like a magnetic gun that steals the metal armor of a crab greatly reducing its defence.
To get item orders, you'd have a notebook keeping track of combinations as well as hints scattered around the world in bookshelves, talking to people "I heard that if a level 3 ladder is next to a level 2 wheel, it levels up to become a minecart", etc.
Anyone feel like they know a game that could be a masterpiece if expanded?