From The Vaults: Looking at Juicy Game Design
Particle effects, cutesy animations, and casual games are what one might think of, when they hear the term "juicy game design". Â And they'd be right.
Sushi Cat 2Â is a great example of typical juicy game design, which it uses to help facilitate flow.
Sushi Cat's (literally) top-down design takes after Peggle, by PopCap Games. Â For example, in a Peggle level, when the player clears the board of orange pegs, (the level objective) the songÂ "Ode To Joy"Â is played and the message "Extreme Fever" appears, providing the player with both audio and visual feedback to indicate "a job well done". Likewise, in Sushi Cat, "SUSHI FRENZY" appears when the player has acheived a "full belly", the level objective. Â However, unlike Peggle, there are no loading screens whatsoever in Sushi Cat. Â This allows players to immediately continue playing without a sense of time being spent or lost while waiting for the next level to load, and ensures that the flow remains uninterrupted. Â In fact, not only are there no loading screens, there's only a single-click (a "continue" button) required to continue to the next level, which is presumably pre-loaded, as it appears instantly and drops you right back into the gameplay. Â The only time that this seamless experience is interrupted is during one of the few cutscenes, that serve to transition the player to a different environment.
One of the other reasons that Sushi Cat excels is its ultra-simple control scheme, "click to drop".
What could be simpler?
However, Sushi Cat isn't unequivocally the best of the two. Â In Sushi Cat, if you fail to collect any sushi during a turn, you've still used up a cat. Â Peggle is more forgiving of mistakes;Â if you fail to hit any pegs, you get a "free" ball. Â Essentially this means that if you completely mess up a shot, and you're say...two pegs short, you're given another try.
One might think that casual games are slow-paced, real-time affairs, like Zynga's Farmville, in which one must wait several hours for crops to grow.
Contrary to that belief, juicy games like Sushi Cat and Peggle are incredibly fast-paced, fun casual games. Â Both of these games have their merits and can stand on their own as masterpieces of juicyÂ flow.