Oregon Trail and Star Court were very similar in mechanics because it required the player to make choices through reading scenarios. These choices would then give you different results and can lead to a different story ending. In Oregon Trail, events like your ox getting hurt can happen if you’re travelling to fast or choosing to try to float your wagon across the river can result in the inability to cross the river without something happening. In Star Court, you have favors that you can use to encourage certain choices like to lessen your sentence or bribe the judge. Each choice these games gives you will change the story line and will never have the same ending.
On a different note, I played 3 of Anna Anthropy’s games. Star Court wasn’t fun to me because I hate reading too much but Frog Assassin and Triad were really fun. I got really addicted to both Frog Assassin and Triad. They’re both puzzle like games and I think that losing easily with no stages or levels makes them great pass-time games because it lessens the frustrating feeling of not being able to “make it to the next level.” There is only one setting in each of these games. I really liked how in Frog Assassin every move had to count and you had to have one move over the bug to determine if you eat the bug or he stings you. I also LOVED the music with how the drum beat hit on every movement of the whole game. It helps the player know when it’s time to move and which bugs could sting you on the next move. On the other hand, Triad reminded me of Tetris (one of my favs) and required the player to figure out how to fit these 3 people with specific sleeping patterns in a rectangular bed without disrupting anyone’s sleep. They were both games that I played over and over, and could have continued playing if I wasn’t trying to finish my homework in time.
While some of the games I played were decent and some were really fun, the observation of watching someone else play is very useful in game design. I wasn’t able to find a partner to play with so I recorded myself playing each game and watched it over. Playing the game yourself helps you understand the mechanics of games very well and can let you know what makes it fun to you, but when I watched the videos of myself playing, it was easier for me to understand the emotions that the different mechanics gave to the player. I could see when the player was getting bored or when the player got confused. The parts that can be fixed were easier to spot when observing another person play.