“Edutainment” is a term that’s gotten a bad rap over time, conjuring up memories of Mario Teaches Typing, Carmen Sandiego, and even the dreaded Mavis Beacon titles. However, the genre has evolved recently, to the point where the gameplay component is frequently fleshed out and enjoyable, rather than being a mere afterthought. Take a title like Mulaka, which exists as both an educational piece and a highly entertaining video game. Developers are realizing that – to keep people engaged with the game’s subject matter – they have to keep them interested in the game. Plus, even if the inclusion of so much gameplay (the horror!) results in some topics being omitted, getting a taste of a new subject in an exciting atmosphere can whet one’s appetite for knowledge, leading to further research and learning being done outside of the context of the game.
How do I describe Redout?
Then again, perhaps a more accurate question is, “How do I describe Redout without drowning this review in more buzzwords than the average E3 press conference?” The thing is: doing so would require me to pour hours and hours of time and energy into a single paragraph instead of just playing more Redout. Not exactly ideal. With that in mind, allow me to indulge.
Redout is one of the most delightfully high-octane, edge-of-my-seat racing games in recent memory. It’s a thrilling adrenaline rush of an experience that caused more emotional outbursts from me than a House of Cards season finale. It’s a finely-tuned joyride that’s been polished and balanced until it shines in a cornucopia of flashy colours.
What I’m saying is that Redout is really freaking good.
Game developers around the world, a word of advice for you. If you want me to be instantly interested in your game, do the following:
Make it a music/rhythm game.
Allow me to import my own music into the game.
That’s it. It’s that easy. I find that there’s something incredibly satisfying about mashing keys to a tight drumbeat, playful piano, or heavy-hitting bass drop. Games that effectively synchronize with their music can give even the simplest of actions a visceral thrill. Add to that the ability to import your own music, and you have an effectively infinite game. This is the reason that I was (and still am) totally hooked on Audiosurf. In my opinion, it’s the perfect blend of simplicity of design and exciting gameplay, and I’ve spent many hours playing the game with my music library. It’s an amazing game for turning the lights low, shutting your brain off, and spending a few minutes or hours jamming to your favourite tunes. It has very quickly become the standard that I judge many other music/rhythm games by, particularly when they try to use similar gameplay mechanics. Not to say that Audiosurf was the originator of some or any of those mechanics, but it’s the one that I’ve spent the most time with.