Flash Games as Metaphor

Areas reflects a certain perspective on existence. There are tools that are necessary for your survival. There is no explanation of how they work, beyond what you can work out through trial and error. Trial and error may get you killed. The tools and challenge change with no explanation. Nothing guarantees that you will not be crushed to death before finding any of the tools you need to survive. Hostile forces grow inexorably, and you can only hope to hold out for a certain time.

: Zubon

Update: I should note that Areas also has an unfortunate anti-learning curve. What you learn in one level is probably not applicable to the next. As the game gets harder, it requires luck in finding the randomly placed power-up rather than better skills. Stop playing before level 50.

3 thoughts on “Flash Games as Metaphor”

  1. Neat idea, but IMHO that’s only a good design, not a good game. The novelty factor wears off too fast. Compare it with “flOw”, which is somewhat similar, but offers more variety.

    That said, it is nice for what it is, and the idea of having no explanation at all is actually quite refreshing in times of over exaggerated tutorials which are common nowadays. There is a lesson to be learned.

  2. I think the game has more to offer post-lvl 50 (though 50 itself is an unfortunate barrier to that), but it becomes stacked against you toward the end. In most levels there’s a trick you’ve got to figure out, and bad luck will have you replaying one level for every few you beat. In 70+, it’s mostly luck.

    A comparison to flOw isn’t justified. flOw will throw new enemies at you, but the gameplay is the same; the variety is mostly window dressing. Areas throws you the same, unchanging obstacle (excepting rate of growth and number of areas as the game progresses) while changing the tools available to you each level. Progression in most action games, flOw included, focuses on an increase in proficiency with the one set of tools provided. Areas is more of an action puzzle, with each level having a different solution.

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