Wed 19 Nov 2008
Casual gaming is enjoyed by readers of Techlife, we have discussed many free flash games in the past, today we present a face-off.
XGen Studio’s new release of Stick Arena Ballistick has been long awaited by the readers of Techlife. How long? We measure the wait in years and comments. We have had nearly 2500 comments regarding the love for this new title.
The Casual Collective also re-launched their top hit Desktop Tower Defense 1.9 as well as a slew of new games including: Buggle Stars, Farragomate and Minons. While not nearly as popular comment wise, there have been nearly 200 comments about the various games they offer.
Here’s the Techlife Take…
Both offer a community with forums, pre-game chat and in-game chat making the games very social. XGen’s users tend to be a bit younger and more bloodthirsty by the nature of the games offered. The Casual Collective’s games skew a bit more global for our experience often with competition in a few countries at one time. Conversation and in-game enjoyment from comments clearly is Casual Collective. XGen could probably fix one important thing here by just offering a team server, since a lot of repetitive and annoying conversation revolves around constant requests for team play. Winner: The Casual Collective
The Casual Collective and XGen Studios both offer a variety of games on their site to keep you addicted busy. I find myself playing only Stick Arena Ballistick despite liking a few others on XGen’s site. The Casual Collective has a good mix of games most of which are fun, but having to wait for multi-play instead of jumping right in (except in Farragomate) loses something. The Casual Collective’s waiting room and game style require everyone start at the same time. Winner: XGen Studios
Both XGen and The Casual Collective design and built free flash games. The nature of these games is that you don’t have a multi-million dollar budget, and that gameplay is more important than graphics. This is not a gaming console or PC game. So these games bring style points to the table. XGen offers a nice array of cartoon violence combined with various weapons and player customizations. The Casual Collective has recently created a Mii style avatar, that doesn’t show up in the games yet. Each of their games has a cuteness factor appealing slightly more to a broad audience. Winner: The Casual Collective
Hacking and Internet Connections
Stick Arena Ballistick has cut the hacking from 100% in the old version to about 2% in the new version. I have encountered a few people who hack and they still ruin it for everyone, but in general everyone seems on a level playing field. The Casual Collective has no good system for when a player loses a connection or stops playing (like when your boss stops by). This also ruins the gameplay for everyone. There is no winner for these issues, only losers. Losers: Gamers
Both companies are in business to make money with a combination of advertising supported games and upgrades. The ads in XGen’s case are well integrated and hopefully drive some traffic to pay for the free games. The Casual Collective also have a nice way of making the ads a part of the site. The XGen Lab Pass offers various upgrades to the user’s character as well as unlocking various aspects of Stick Arena Ballistick including more weapons and maps. The Casual Collective upgrade allows a user to upgrade various game features depending on the game. The winner here is all gamers if these two companies can stay afloat and continue to make entertaining worlds for all of us.
What do you think? Which games do you like the best? Did we miss a game you love? Let us know.