Pun Driven Game Design: Witchgarden Leafiosa

Time for another installment of my oft-hastily written blog on game design / puns.

This time we focus on a Ludum Dare entry with a pun which made me chuckle.

This season’s game jam was focussed on growing, and Witchgarden Leafiosa is a game in which you play as a witch in a garden and make things grow. It has gorgeous art from Faye Simms (who you may remember drew 2015’s smash hit game RememBear), a lush chillout soundtrack, and a cool bit of game design! Play it through the link below!

Witchgarden Leafiosa

But enough about the game, what about the pun? I think this is a near perfect pun. You’re a witch, in a garden… what do witches use? Spells! Boom! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better we throw a leaf in there too. Superb. ./applaud.

If you made a game for LD34, this surely is worthy of your votes! If not, it is certainly worthy of your time. The Witchgarden is a nice place to explore whilst you attempt to craft potions and it’s incredible to think it was made in just 3 days. Arbitrary scores inbound.

Game: 8/10
Pun: 8/10
Pun Implementation: 9/10

Pun Driven Game Design: Square Rave

Time for another installment of my infrequent blog on pun driven game design. This time I turn the focus to Square Rave, an absolutely superb music game with a very punny title!

For those who don’t know, Square Rave is a game in which you must drag your finger across different coloured squares, and make sure your finger is in a blue square at the end of each bar of music. Sounds easy, but of course there is a twist in that you drop red squares behind you which block your path. Uhm… take a look:

So it’s a bit like Chime and a bit like Snake but not very much like either. It’s its own thing, and it is superb!

Enough about that, what about the pun? Well, Square Rave is a game that contains squares, dance music and square waves, so it’s pretty descriptive. The title of the game does not disclose the gameplay concept, but the user knows they are in for a music led square-party!

I asked, and this game’s was not completely driven by pun, though it’s art style and musical direction has clearly benefitted from it! The game is great pun and you can nab yourself a copy here (iOS)

Time for some arbitrary scores:

Game: 9/10
Pun: 9/10
Pun implementation: 7/10

Pun Driven Design: Cat-a-pult

I published a blog recently about pun driven game design. This started, mostly, as a joke between friends, and since then we’ve been coming up with pun-led game concepts. There are many fine developers already working in this area, and so I thought a few blog posts acknowledging their work would be a welcome addition to this blog whilst I decide which game I’m going to make next.

This post is dedicated to Cat-a-pault: Toss 8-bit kittens, the wonderful single mechanic mobile game in which you fire cats across the screen in order to stack them. You want to download it already, right? Here are some links:

Android
iOS

The game is as simple as it sounds. Pull back on the cat to launch it, Angry Birds style, and with some skill you’ll be able to land it on the podium. Any following cat must land on the cat pile, to which it will adhere as if it’s fur were made of velcro.

The game is as tricky as it is addictive. If you’re lucky enough to reach the top of the screen without the tower falling, your game view will rise and you’ll be able to keep on building. Be warned, creating a sturdy structure on just one cat is a huge challenge!

But back to the puns. Assuming the developer started with the pun and went from there, there is one disappointment in this game. There isn’t a catapult on screen. The cats just launch themselves using an invisible force. Luckily, the game is hooky enough that you don’t care, but come on. Good puns need good follow through, and this is the one area which leaves you wanting.

I’ve decided, as is my whim, to award some arbitrary scores to this and any upcoming pun-based blogs.

Game: 8/10
Pun: 9/10
Pun Implementation: 2.5/10