SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Admitting that the market for casual games has remained largely stagnant in quality despite its growth in popularity, publisher Roobisoft Games promised to revolutionize it with their newest game, titled My Babiez, due to be released for the Wii by the end of the year. In its press release, the company laid out the overall progression of the game and detailed some of its most important features.
“The main goal of My Babiez is to be as authentic as possible to the parenting experience, as our surveys of casual gamers overwhelmingly agreed that realism was the most important factor in the quality of a game, with 'moving around like an idiot' in a close second,” Roobisoft stated in its press release. “Therefore, our game will be excruciatingly accurate from a baby's birth until he or she enters preschool.”
Yoshi found the game to be much harder than he had anticipated.
The press release acknowledged that there were already quite a few video games about parenting, but promised My Babiez would be vastly superior due to its focus on realism. In order to create the most genuine experience, players must first have a baby themselves.
“After suffering a traumatic head injury, one of our lead designers noticed how easy it was to connect a Wii to most hospital televisions, and the idea for this game immediately entered his mind,” said a press representative in a subsequent interview. “As soon as the mother's water breaks, she simply has to pack up her console and drive to a hospital. After giving birth, the game will prompt the parent for some initial information about the infant, such as its name, weight, and approximate volume of crying. Also, the player can upload a picture of the baby on an SD card and a special Mii will be generated to represent it in-game.”
That will only be the beginning of the experience, according to the representative. Every copy of the game comes with a baby-clothing peripheral to be worn by the player's new bundle of joy. It will contain a special pouch in which a Wii remote can be placed. With this, the game will be able to constantly monitor all of the baby's actions, including how much it sleeps and how often the player holds it, which is a deciding factor in calculating how many experience points the player receives.
In addition, the game also contains a small microphone to record how skilled the player is at dealing with the baby's cries. More experience points are awarded as the length of each outburst decreases.
A Wii remote can be inserted into a small pouch on the back of this baby-clothing peripheral.
Talented parents, however, may find the game of child-raising too easy, so they will be happy to know that the difficulty can be increased. On hard mode, the Wii remote in the baby's clothes will periodically make loud noises or rumble in order to startle the baby. “It makes parenthood almost as challenging as a Mega Man game,” commented a female QA lead. “I recently had a baby in order to test the game, and I found that the higher difficulty definitely adds to the experience.”
Dads will not be left out for long, as My Babiez: Fatherhood Version was also announced in the same press release, slated for Spring 2011. It will include a few exclusive quests, such as lying to your coworkers about how smart your kid is.
When asked where the series would go next, the press representative mentioned that the developers were working on a device to be inserted directly following conception in order to monitor the baby while it is in a prenatal state. “This would greatly expand an already deep game, but the technology is really far off right now,” the representative explained.
In the months leading up to the game's release, Roobisoft promised to demonstrate the many multiplayer modes which will be included, such as the race, in which up to four babies must crawl as fast as possible across a room. “We are very excited to show off what will surely be a great time for both mothers and fathers alike,” concluded the representative. “Parenthood is about to get a lot less boring.”
I have nothing against casual games and gamers; I am really glad that they can find some video games that they enjoy in the first place. The problem is with developers and publishers who aim for the lowest common denominator, making terrible pieces of software that I refuse to consider being “games”. If anything, this poor-quality work will only serve to alienate those who are just starting to play games, and they will leave the medium with a bad impression of what video games really are. There is certainly a way to reach out to new gamers while maintaining quality; just look at Nintendo's catalogue for the past four years. Why do some publishers not realize this? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
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