Mobile games are often sold on how convenient they are to play in short bursts, while you’re waiting for a bus, say, or sitting on the toilet. In other words, the biggest selling point of many games these days is how easy they are to switch off.
Talk about faint praise.
Developer Subtlabs has taken a different route with Save Blaza, an ostensibly casual title that the studio is pitching as, “the world’s first mobile endurance game”.
Blaza, the star of the game, is a cute cartoon dog from another planet. Unfortunately for Blaza, his rocket was damaged in space and he ended up crashing to earth.
There are two silver linings for Blaza. The first is that a stream of snacks gushed into space after his ship was hit, giving him a handy way to retrace his steps. The second is that he met you, a helpful human who’s going to help guide him home.
It may not sound out of the ordinary, but Save Blaza is built on an innovative formula that prioritises endurance over difficulty. It goes, “game satisfaction = (time x focus) + reward. So, the theory goes, if you get a good reward for maintaining your focus for a long time, you’ll experience maximum satisfaction.
That means stages in Save Blaza take time, and the further you get the longer the stages last. Fortunately, you don’t get sent back to the beginning if you fail – you just restart from the same point, though your score is reset.
The lesson? Sometimes the most important and gratifying thing is to see something through.
We can’t remember having played a game like Save Blaza before, or not for a long time at least. For that reason alone we can’t wait to give it a go when it lands on the App Store later this month.