Deemo is a mobile music game developed by Taiwan’s Rayark. Its IOS version was published in January, 2013, with Android version followed a month later. In 2015, its PSVita version released.

Deemo builds a quiet and mystery world for its characters, and for its players. Players have to play songs to develop the storyline and speculate the story plots from dubbed animations and tiny changes in the game’s world.

Deemo cooperates with certain indie musicians to provide exquisite original music in the game. It produces a feeling of healing, touching and peace through its music and story. It is not quite popular but has certain die-hard fans in China.

Lens of Elemental Tetrad


The rules in Deemo are quite simple. Players play piano songs just like playing the piano — click on certain position at certain time point. After finishing a song, accuracy rate, grade and some other judgements would be given, along with a new height of the tree, which plays a significant role and implies the total score in the world.

With the tree height increasing, the story goes on, with more songs unlocked and more rooms accessible in the world. Players can explore the rooms and unlock hidden songs as well.


In Deemo, there are only 3 characters, and none of them can speak, one of them does not have a specific appearance, one of them always veils her face. The only way for players to get the story is to watch the dubbed animations, to look out tiny changes after playing certain songs and to combine them with own imagination.

The story starts in a lonely piano hall, with only a piano and a dumb man in black named Deemo. Unexpectedly, a girl falls in the hall all of a sudden. Deemo catches the girl and keeps her company with his piano melody in the following days. In the meanwhile, a sapling appears in the hall center.

Days after days, with the piano melody (played by game players), the sapling grows. Things start to change quietly in the hall. One day, a path comes into existence, leading to a small study, filled with old books and with a veiled girl seated in the midst. Other rooms become accessible afterwards. When the sapling grows into a 14-meter tree, strange broken glass appears. It never grows taller after 20m.

There is no obvious conflict in the story. Actually, no clear story is given. Events are unfolded linearly with the progress of music playing. Author tells the story slowly and imaginably, as an interaction with the players. The story tension is moderate and the imaginary space attract players further.


One of the brightest attractive points for Deemo is its aesthetic, namely, its music, scene and interface.

First, as to the music, all of the piano songs in Deemo are original. Rayark (the producer of Deemo) cooperates with a number of distinguished indie musicians to provide exquisite music in the game. Music style differs from each other but matches current stroy plot, and are divided into different packages, with different illustrations.

Second, the scene in Deemo is attractive. For one thing, it combines some not fashion drawing styles like abstractionism and Baroque, creating a mystery quiet world different from common games for players. For another, every song has its own illustration, which matches the melody style and current story plots well.

Third, the interface of Deemo has achieved much praise. Its interface is simple, clean and clear. Players would feel comfortable and fluent in operation.


Actually, technology does not play a vital role in Deemo. There is no VR, no AR, no sensors and even no modelings. The most “tech” part for the game may be the beats recognition, which is set manually. Unlike common music games, it provides a long-time recognition of each beat click, giving promise to a more accurate judgement for player’s performance.

Lens of Curiosity

A most appealing point of Deemo is its ambiguous, imaginable and gradually progressing storyline.

At the very beginning of the game, the girl falls and Deemo catches her. Players just know something unusual happens but not clear about it at all. Then, the story develops with the tree grows. Some telling details emerge as well. Players play the game to know more about the story, and speculate the story from the tiny details and dubbed animations. Their curiosity on the story impels them to continue the game.

Lens of Experience

Deemo offers nice experience for players.

Psychologically, as mentioned above, Deemo provides a sense of healing and peace through its stories and its music. Different from some popular mobile games on the market which pursue high complexity and make players addicted and frustrated, Deemo is a nice way of relaxation for users.

Physically, the rules and interface of Deemo create great user experience. Some mobile music games require delicate operations, which means players would get much better experience on iPad and some other tablet computers. However, such problem does not happen in Deemo, since Deemo does not distribute certain place for certain key, but each key drops to a wide (possibly overlaps other) key range for players to click on, which made it convenient and comfortable to manipulate on phones.

Lens of Skill

As a music tempo game, Deemo definitely require certain skills.

Deemo requests basically 3 skills for players: tempo sensitivity, response agility and finger flexibility.

Moreover, as mentioned in the technology part of elemental tetrad, Deemo has a more precise judgement system on players, which means it has higher demand on players’ skills.

Lens of Fantasy

The world in Deemo is a world of fantasy with classical music, grand piano and delicate decoration. With the story developing, it shows other fatastic rooms for players.

Also, with more and more story plots emerging, the complete story emerges. Each player has his own guess and story about Deemo. Most regard Deemo’s world a dreamland of the girl or Deemo. Deemo’s world is a fantasy world in name and in fact.

Civilization Beyond Earth: Rising Tide


Game Description:

A 4X turn based sci-fi game where multiple sponsors (civilizations) land colonies on an alien planet in a bid to escape a post-apocalyptic Earth. Subsequently, these sponsors compete to realize their vision of a new idealized humankind by defeating their competitors militarily or discovering and achieving one of four different philosophical objectives to advance humanity beyond its earthbound form.

Image result for civilization beyond earth rising tide

Lens 01: Essential Experience

The essence of the game is to land on an alien, unknown planet, then use its unique resources with your unique leader abilities to achieve success.

  • Mastery through control
    • By studying futuristic technologies and making branched decisions, each civilization will attain affinity experience from one of 3 unique philosophical affinities. This affinity ultimately improves their civilization and their military units visually and game-play-wise.
  • Immersion
    • Every turn taken brings the civilization one step closer to a new technology/civic/building/unit that could boost the player’s game-play, thus encouraging the player to use these improvements to advance the civilization to gain even more or better technologies/civics/buildings/units. This creates an effort/reward cycle that creates immersion.
  • Social experience
    • This game implements a then new diplomacy system where different players can enter into diplomatic agreements with each other where the nature of the agreements depend on the leaders’ unique abilities and non-preset personality traits players acquire mid-game depending on their play style or immediate needs. Even the AI controlled civs like or dislike you based on these personality traits. This allows different players to enter into alliances during game-play where each player’s unique play style are apparent.

Lens 02: Surprise

The entire game map usually starts out unknown to all players and each player has limited vision depending on how many cities and units they have and where they are located. Thus, the player will inevitably occur positive surprises, like resource pods or resource rich locations, as well as negative in the form of hostile alien nests and unexpected terrain obstacles.

Lens 05: Endogenous Value

This game has 2 main forms of collectibles: artifacts and quest objectives. Collecting artifacts and activating them in sets of three gives civilizations unique buildings or abilities that give them unique advantages. Achieving quest objectives grants the player additional story information that gives additional context to the game world, some quantitative reward, and implicitly guides the player to take actions that improves game play.

Lens 06: Problem Solving

To maximize game play advantage, the player has to solve problems like where to settle cities, which technologies and civics to research and what to focus city production on. The correct decision to take is never fixed due to variables like surrounding resource nodes, each civilization’s unique abilities and what the other civs are doing.

Lens 07: Elemental Tetrad

  • Aesthetics
    • At the beginning of the game, all civilizations start out looking like standard space explorers. As they advance technologically and devote themselves further into the in-game affinities, their cities and units visually to reflect this.

  • Mechanics
    • To support the sci-fi alien theme, players research highly abstract technologies while fending off hostile native aliens, researching abandoned ruins that once belonged to an alien civilization and even contacting them with a contact beacon as a win condition. Due to the desire of players to focus on more than one affinity, hybrid affinities with their own perks and aesthetics were introduced in a subsequent expansion.

  • Story
    • The story features a select few human colonies leaving behind the rest of humanity on a post-calamity Earth after an event known as “The Great Mistake” hampered Earth’s ability to support life. After they settled the new alien planet, the civilizations that sprang from these colonies pursued the ideological affinities of technological Supremacy, cultural Purity or biological Harmony to rectify their past world’s mistakes. The victory conditions of building unique affinity wonders that aim to achieve each affinity’s ultimate goal is in service to this story.

Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark: Survival Evolved is an open world survival RPG based on an island full with dinosaurs. The user starts out stranded on an island and has to learn to survive on the island. As you level up, you unlock blueprints to craft equipment aiding in housing, combat and also dinosaur taming. There is no explicit goal and the player determines his own objective from building giant fortresses to exploring every caves on land or underwater and even being a dinosaur breeder. The game offers choice of official PVP, official PVE, player-owned and solo servers to let players play according to their taste.

Link to Ark:Survival Evolved game play:

Lens of Elemental Tetrad:

Aesthetics: The game is in 3D with realistic artwork ranging from the island to water effects and also heavy emphasis on limited lighting when night time comes around. This lends to the feel of actually being stranded during the first few in game days of play when you can only craft a wooden torch for lighting and have limited sight range during the nights.

Technology: Ark: Survival Evolved is made using Unreal Engine 4 to deliver realistic graphics and also has VR support. The developers also allow players to utilize Unreal Engine 4 Editor to create additional content and mods for the game.

Mechanics: The player not only has health and stamina like standard RPGs, some unique attributes to Ark includes hunger, hydration, warmth and oxygen. The game tries to include realistic aspects of life with limited technology at the start: harvesting wood and stones to make your first set of tools like hatchet, pickaxe and spear for self-defense; harvesting bamboo and wood to build your first hut; killing fishes or dodos and even dinosaurs for meat and cooking them on campfires for sustenance. As player levels or explore, they unlock blueprints for advanced technology and eventually are able to utilize modern technology like GPS, auto-turrets and electrical appliances like lamp posts, refrigerators and lamp posts.

Story: There isn’t much story other than the player being stranded on an island trying to survive. The player determines their own story be it being an explorer, a builder or dinosaur tamer. In PVP servers, there are aspects of territorial control and invading other tribe’s fort to loot their spoils or staying on the low and settling down in areas with heavy foliage to avoid other players.


Lens of Essential experience (#2):


Ark: Survival Evolved revolves heavily around dinosaurs and mythical creatures. There are 142 different creatures reported, with 119 of them released as of this review. Some of the well-known ones included the triceratops, T-rex, mammoth, Yeti and even sea creatures like Megalodon. The different creatures have different levels of aggression ranging from passive and are okay with you getting close to extreme aggression where they will try and eat you upon sighting you. Most of the creatures can be tamed by knocking them out through tranquilizers and tamed with food. The larger creatures can be equipped with a saddle once tame to allow you to mount them. There are flying and sea-dwelling creatures, a vast variety.

Lens of Curiosity: The user starts out with nothing and can see maybe a few different creatures near their spawn location. However, survival is of priority and the player is restricted to keeping themselves alive first. The player is able to swim near the shore as much as his oxygen allows and catch fish for food. It is possible to see Ichthys (dolphin-like creatures) swimming near the shore and circling the player playfully or meet hungry man-eating piranhas that attack you. Also, you can see creatures flying about in the air and also notice that the areas you explore on feet is extremely small in comparison to the in game world. This teases the player to level to reach a point where he can survive comfortably and tame dinosaurs to let him explore the land faster making use of the speed of various tameable creatures to fly from point to point. If dinosaur taming is too tough for the player, they can unlock blueprints for the raft early on in the game and explore the perimeters of the island by sea or even check out smaller islands nearby to harvest resources or just to sight-see.

Friendly Ichthy!


Lens of Triangularity: High risk, high reward and low risk, low reward is a huge aspect of the game regardless of server choice. While the player can choose not to tame dinosaurs, the player will have limited carrying capacity and strength. This limits how fast the player can gather resources and bring back to fortify their base or further research. With creatures, players can share the load of the resources between themselves and their mounts, also, some creatures like the triceratops are capable at gathering berries, allowing them to harvest multiple times faster than by hand. Even in choosing which dinosaur to tame, to get a stronger tame, you have to be able to knock out the creature first.

One of the best tameable creature is the Giganotosaurus (players call it Gigan in game). It is 25 times more durable to tranquilizers than the triceratops at level 1, becoming even more resistant as its level increases. On top of taking a long time to tame and having to try and survive while taming it, the aggressive nature of the dinosaur maintains even after being tamed. If a player’s Gigan takes too much damage, it can go into Rage mode, flinging it’s rider off and dealing increased damage to any living things near it for 20 seconds, regardless if they are ally or foe.


Lens of Freedom (#79): Ark is open-world without an explicit goal for the player. A common way for players on cooperative servers to collaborate is through having players doing specific set of jobs. Those who are more into taming dinosaurs will help tame dinosaurs for the tribe for various purpose. Those who are interested in crafting and gathering can bring these tamed dinosaurs out to gather resources like metal, gold or oil and create building components for the builders. The players who are more interested in building can then take these components and improve the fortress to house more dinosaurs or provide more comfort for the tribe’s characters. In fact, a player can choose to do any of the above mentioned task, albeit this means that progress in any aspect will be slower since the player has to improve each and every aspect. Player made content via UE4 editor can be uploaded on Steam Workshop for downloads and it ranges from new structures to sounds and game mods.

Cruise Ship by Valoule

Lens of Risk Mitigation (#16): As much as this game has a great concept and won various awards, the developers, Studio Wildcard failed to pre-empt optimization problems and also hacking issues. The cost for the realistic graphics took a toll on how smoothly the game runs and there are various reported glitches like dinosaurs clipping through structures or the ground and disappearing or starving to death in inaccessible spots. Also the problem of hacking is not handled well enough to the point that many players have trouble keeping their progress in PVP servers since hackers can level a person’s fort in matter of minutes. While the developers sometimes do mass banning of known hackers, they have not been able to fully prevent hackers from increasing their own damage or enabling god-mode. This makes the PVP component much less enjoyable and kind of restrict the game to cooperative, private or solo servers.

Ark: Survival Evolved costs $29 on steam at its default price but there is a free-to-play, micro-transaction driven Chinese server launched by snail games China on 1st of January 2017 at the following site:

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is an open world action role-playing video game developed and published by SquareEnix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. The game features an open world environment and action based battle system, incorporating the ability to switch weapons and other elements such as camping and vehicle travelling.

Official Website:

The Lens of The Elemental Tetrad

Mechanics: The gameplay mechanic of FFXV is an action-based battle system. It is known as the Active X Battle system, designed and directed by Hajime Tabata. When the player comes into contact with an enemy, an encounter gauge appears on screen, allowing the player to flee before the gauge fills and avoid battle. This made it easy for players who are at a low level, should they encounter a high level monster.

Wait Mode System

There are two modes that the player can choose to experience the battle system, Active and Wait. In Active mode, it is real-time, while in Wait mode, the game suspends the fight and allow the player to select their target enemy or change weapons at their own leisure within the time limit. This appeals to different types of players, and can enhance their experience.

Story: The main story plot told in FFXV is pre-scripted, however since it is an open world environment, this means that the players can progress through it at their own pace. There are also “side” stories to be discovered as the player progresses, through camping/lodgings or side quests. The side stories help to improve the overall experience of the game.

Aesthetics: The graphics in this game is stunning and realistic, the surrounding environment has its own characteristics in different areas of the map and the music creates the mood of the situation the player is in, allowing the player to easily immerse themself into the fantasy.

Technology: Most cut scenes are rendered to follow the settings of the character the player have chosen. Playable only on PS4 and Xbox One (currently) and not older consoles due to technical troubles.

The Lens of Curiosity

With the exception of the main quests to progress the game, most of the other areas of the game are not compulsory to complete. Instead the player gets to freely choose to do different things; side quests, hunts, camping etc.
The game creates the curiosity in players to want to explore the open world environment by rewarding their actions with new recipes, secret quests and additional cut scenes.

The Lens of Interest Curve

In my experience of this game, I find my interest curve constantly fluctuating above my “line of boredom”. Just as I think my interest wanes and it is a good time to break, I find myself hooked in again with new information or something else that picks up my interest again. As the game progresses, this curve is gradually increasing, making it harder and harder to stop. However, at the end, while the finale was not a huge disappointment overall, at the point I had reached the end it was not as engaging as the rest of the story had been.

The Lens of The World 

The world of FFXV is similar to that of ours, relatable through the use of technology, and also similar to the previous Final Fantasy with recurring creatures, though it is not a requirement to know, can create the sense of nostalgia for fans of the Final Fantasy series.

The Lens of The Avatar

The avatar of FFXV is Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir of the Lucis Kingdom, at the same time, he is just a regular guy who likes to sleep and play mobile games. It is an ideal form where the player can be a prince to a kingdom, and also project themself onto the avatar because of his relatable personality.

Megaman Battle Network 6 Cybeast Falzar

01 Description of the Game

Megaman Battle Network 6 <Cyberbeast Falzar> is the last series of the Battle Network game designed for Game Boy Advance. This is RPG game where the player will take the role of a 6th grade boy in the world where a virtual partner ‘NetNavis’ is essential to everyday life. Lan will work with MegaMan.EXE (a Navi combined with Lan’s identical twin-brother DNA) to stop WWW from their evil plots and destroy the dangerous Cybeasts before they destroy the Net.

*Side note: There is an alternative version with identical
storyline called Megaman Battle Network 6
<Cyberbeast Gregar>.

02 Game Walkthrough

03 Lenses of Elemental Tetrahedral

.:: Technology ::.

  • Targeted for Game Boy Advance but is able to be simulated on Windows.

Paused battle to select battle chip

Other Link Navis

.:: Mechanics ::.

  • The game play is summarized as a real-time tactical role playing game. There are multiple characters to explore, but the playable characters are:
    1. Lan: To explore the map and interact with other characters in the ‘real world’.
    2. Megaman: To explore and interact in any Network and battle other evil Net Navis and viruses.
    3. Link Navis: Other Navis that have their own special attacks that can be controlled by the player but the Network they access to is fixed. Each of them have special moves that allow the player to remove obstacles either for side quests or for the main story line.
  • The battle game play is solely on a (3-length x 6-width) board where the player is given x number of battle chips / cards each turn which he can use to attack the enemy. The basic enemy does not have any Artificial Intelligence but each of them works solely on their set of attack cycle which makes the game play easier and more predictable.
  • Off-battle strategy will involve deciding the battle chips the player want in his folder depending on its MB and restrictive customization in Navi Customizer to install programs or risk of bug.
  • Mini-Games to create dynamics of gameplay like strategy planning and arcade style

Lan exploring the aquarium

.:: Aesthetics ::.

  • 2D pixelated art. Personally I love the graphics a lot. There are a lot of cute sprites. This make me feel very interested to explore and interact with the environment. I love the sound they used like the bell ring to signify after class, or a fast paced music to create suspense to remind the player about attack by an enemy.

.:: Story ::.

  • The game is heavily dependent on story-line. The player will have to complete the storyline sequentially in order to complete the game. At any point of time, the player can ask Megaman for hints to what should the player do next. There are so many side quests to explore and even multiplayer battle with friends through link cable

04 Lenses


.:: Lens of Reward ::.

  • There are constant reward in the game play. At every end of a battle, you will get a reward based on your battle time. The reward increases when the difficulty of the viruses goes up.
  • During each move in the battle, if the player targets the viruses at a certain timing, the player will get a x2 boost to its immediate attack.
  • Completing the story line at your own target allows you to unlock the next story.
  • Exploration is encouraged in the game by discovering random rewards around the map. There are special rewards, hidden bosses and NPCs giving special rewards who are hidden at some corners of the map.
  • Side quests open up new maps that the user can explore and gain rewards.
  • The rewards are meaningful that allow user to earn zennies to buy chips and programs; battle chips to improve battle and custom programs to improve attack, special moves or add interaction to the user like saying jokes.
  • Player who collected too many of the same chips can exchange them for a random chance to get a rare chip.
  • Collecting all the chips will allow the player to unlock a special hidden map.

.:: Lens of Time ::.

  • Personally I feel that the game is paced really well. For a person who wants to complete the story quickly, the player don’t need to put too much efforts into training to unlock the next story to complete the game.
  • Alternatively, if players who want experience and play the game to the full, the player can explore the map at any point of time and collect battle chips and complete side quests.
  • Compared to previous versions of battle networks, the time paced of the battle experience is better paced. Since the battle is ‘real-time’ and you only have choice to pause the game to select battle chips after a period of time, a better paced game will give players of different level of experience a better game play experience.
  • In the game, there is a board where the player can apply to do side quests. Some of the quests requires rare battle chips or need certain quests before they can be applied.

.:: Lens of Story  ::.

  • The game is heavily dependent on story line. Personally, I am very interested in the story of the game. I’ve played Megaman Battle Network from 4 until 6. I have developed some feelings for the character.
  • In the game reviews that I have read online, a lot of players were more interested in unlocking the story line to know the final ending to megaman battle network. I have seen a great improvement in the aesthetics of the game and the repetition of the ABC map which makes me feel familiar and more interested in the final ending.
  • After I finished the game, I got this sad feeling of I wish there could be more game play of Lan and Megaman. It make me feel interested in completing all the side quests and repeat the game.

.:: Lens of Freedom ::.

  • Unfortunately, this game does not allow a lot of freedom. New maps is only unlocked when the story progresses. I feel constraint at times and wish that I could battle new viruses without going through the next storyline.
  • However, the restriction of freedom by showing the possible maps but unreachable is also a way to create a ‘wait factor’ for players to feel suspense.
  • On contrary, I feel that if I gain too much freedom in the map and battle viruses in future maps, I might get bored to battle the same viruses again as the story progresses.
  • Though, it might be even more exciting if there are more maps and networks to explore.

05 Summing Up

Megaman Battle Network 6 Cybeast Falzar is a easy game to pick up to play and allows different genre of players to spend sufficient time to immense in the game.


Game Description

Neopets allow players to rear virtual pets called Neopets and explore the virtual planet, that Neopets inhabit, named Neopia. Players are expected to feed and care for their Neopets when they get hungry or ill. They can also interact with their pets using items such as books or toys purchased with virtual currencies known as Neopoints which can be earned through playing games.

Game Website:

Gameplay Link:

The lens of the Element Tetrad


Neopets was launched in 1999, where user can play with just a web browser and Adobe Flash Player.

The technology used was simple and remained so till date. This thus eliminates problems such as lagging and would cater to most players.


Neopets was targeted at kids, hence the mechanis was simple but yet is a reflection of the real world. Players will have to earn money through playing games to purchase items such as food and medicine to care for their virtual pets. Money can be placed in the bank and interest can be earned. Players are also able to build customizable houses known as Neohomes for their Neopets.

There are also different themed lands on the planet which players can explore. Each themed land has their own games, attractions and shops.

Neopia runs on its own calendar, economy and stock market.


Neopets has cartoony 2D graphics that is suitable for all ages.

The Lens of Surprise

While navigating between different pages, the ‘Something has happened!’ box may appear at the top of the page randomly, but not often. It may bring unexpected fortune or misfortune upon the player or it simply does not have any impact.

Players are unaware of such a situation beforehand. Sometimes, it may bring super rare items to the players and this is where the element of suprise comes in.

The Lens of Punishment

In Neopets, there are certain items that are available for free once per day per account. If users are found to make duplicate accounts to exploit this system, users will have their accounts frozen. The items and Neopoints will not be returned.

The Lens of Secret

There are some hidden locations and gameplay in Neopets which cannot be found on the map itself. These gameplay are usually magical and can provide the user with benefits.

The Lens of Fantasy

There are many themed islands on Neopia. Each island has different attractions, shops and games. It mainly fulfills the fantasy of children whom wants to live in a fairy land, underwater or in a haunted woods.


Posting on Behalf of Joey Yeo – A0127127L

Overcooked! is a cooking simulation game developed by Ghost Town games. In either single-player or local cooperative or competitive mode, players control a number of chefs in various hazard-filled kitchen levels and aim to fulfil food orders as rapidly as possible.


The Lens of the Elemental Tetrad



Players must cooperate to complete recipes and earn points within a set amount of time in one of numerous kitchen levels. Players must pick up ingredients, put them down on chopping boards to chop them, then place them into cooking devices such as pots or ovens before serving them. Each level has its own set of obstacles that requires players to devise strategies to complete the orders as efficiently as possible. In competitive mode, players play against each other in side-by-side kitchen levels to earn the most points.



The game is rendered colourfully in stylized low-polygon 3D, with cute character designs and simple, responsive animations that make the hectic gameplay feel more immersive and exciting. The user interface is pared-down and usually absent, using only icons and graphics to instruct users on the steps needed to complete new recipes.



The story of the game is simplistic and has little bearing on game mechanics: the players are transported back in time by the Onion King to learn how to cooperate well as chefs in order to defeat a giant, apocalypse-causing spaghetti monster.



Overcooked was made in the Unity game engine and can support up to four controllers, and most interestingly, Shared Controller Mode where a single controller can be used for two players.


The Lens of Fun

The game’s fun factor largely stems from the chaotic cooperation between players, who in local co-op, are likely sitting near each other and can interact both in real life and within the game. Playing the game becomes a bonding and socializing experience with their friends.


The Lens of Skill

The skill tested most in this game is in single-player mode, the ability to multi-task, and in co-operative mode, the ability to cooperate with their fellow player. The basic actions in the game such as assembling the recipes are all done with a single button push, but completing the recipes with the other players requires a modicum of skill in communicating effectively and collaboration. After replaying certain levels, players will devise strategies and become more skilled in navigating them.


The Lens of Challenge

Levels get more challenging as play goes on. Earlier levels only introduce one type of obstacle at a time, for example, rats which will steal ingredients or earthquakes that cause parts of the map to become inaccessible. Later levels ramp up difficulty by combining these obstacles, causing players to have to restrategize.


The Lens of Cooperation

As the game only allows local co-op, players must communicate by talking to each other and can do so at all times. All players have the same abilities, but in some levels, players may be split up and only have access to certain kitchen equipment, requiring them to co-operate by passing each other items on conveyor belts or opening doors by standing on a button.


The Lens of Parallelism

Completion of each level earns players 0 to 3 stars depending on their performance. The next level can only be unlocked if players have obtained 1 star for the previous one, but later levels require also an additional number of stars for players to proceed. This is a rather frustrating way to gate later levels from players who may just be bad at dealing with a certain map’s obstacles and are not keen on replaying earlier levels to obtain more stars.



Onmyoji is a mobile CCG-Corporate Community Game and RPG-Role Playing Game where players engage in part real-time, part turn-based combat with characters in the form of cards. The game story is based on the traditional folklore of Abe no Seimei, who was a famous onmyoji in the middle of the Heian Period in Japan. The game portrays a world of Yin and Yang with a rich collection of character cards. Player can use card to summon spirits with varying abilities, involve in 3D battles to train and level up their characters, and gather resources to evolve them.

Entering into the well-designed game world of Yin and Yang, and Japanese anime style architecture give people a sense of peace and joy. The high quality graphics and professional voiceover makes the game experience more enjoyable. The rule is simple enough for everybody, even if you are new to the rapidly evolving game industry. Even though the way to level up your skills and break to the next level is simple, or rather repetitive, the game is still quite addictive,

Next I will analyse the give from the following lenses  of game design, which is adapted from the book “the Art of Game Design”:

  • the Lens of Elemental Tetrad

In terms of aesthetics, the game provides a smoothy and soothing environment. The combination of background colours bring warmth to players.  Both the visual style and culture elements originated from Japanese Hyakki Yagyo story. The traditional Japanese character design plus high quality illustrations, together with the excellent voice acting, set a new visual and aural standard for the anime mobile game. The game also uses Location Based Service Networking to assist in 3D game play.

  • the Lens of Community

The game attempt to foster strong community involvement by using Location Based Services Networking. Player can choose to play with those geographically around him. They can add friends and send love to each other, form team to beat the strong spirits, or even donate some spirits to other friends in need. There are occasional community events as well, when player can invite other friends to join the game experience, and earn himself some credits.

  • the Lens of Emotion and Curiosity

The game manages to maintain a balance between the player’s frustration and happiness. If the player did not summon the character from the strongest category “SSR” for 100 times, the player will receive a special reward, which is kind of both humorous and sarcastic. Upon the completion of one chapter, the game will give you a glimpse of what is coming in the next level, as well as the reward for completing the next level. In this way, the player will always be curious and aroused to player even harder.

  • the Lens of Character Transformation

In terms of character transformation, characters in “SSR” , “SR” and “R” category can be awaked by collecting several necessary materials. After the evolution, the character will be stronger in battle or even acquire a new skill. However, since each character can only be awaked once, the character transformation thereafter is to simply level up their skills. Many players may feel bored as the characters after being awakened are no longer providing any surprise to them.


Dungeon Keeper 2

Game Description

A strategy / god game that let player play as a dungeon keeper. It involves building and managing a dungeon in order to attack or defend against the “good guy” or other dungeon keeper.

Lens 1: The lens of the element tetrad (7)


Core mechanics of this game is to create a dungeon to attract different kind creatures into living in your dungeon. These creatures will work and fight for you.

There are different kind of gameplay in dungeon keeper. Sometimes, there are specific hero that you will need to kill. Occasionally, you will just have to defend your dungeon.

Defend the dungeon heart

Every dungeon will have its own dungeon heart.

The enemies will try to seek their way into the dungeon heart to destroy it. The player must do whatever he can from preventing the enemies from reaching and destroying this dungeon heart. Once it is destroyed, the game is over.

Create your own dungeon

Different type of room or fascilities attracts different kind of creatures into your dungeon.

For example, a library will attract wizards, while a torture chamber will attract succubus into the dungeon.

Besides, attracting the creatures into your dungeon, it is also very important to keep them happy so that they do not just leave your dungeon.

For example, instead of a chickens farm (used for feeding the creatures), a tavern can be built to better feed the creatures and make them happier.

Play as the “god”

One interesting thing about dungeon keeper is that, you can pick up any creature in the dungeon and drop them anywhere you want.

Besides that, you can play direcly as the creature (by posessing them) in first person mode. This sometimes offer a totally different game play mode as you can attack and cast spell as the creature.

See video:


A 3D dungeon style + medieval art style.


In the story of this game, the player will play as the dungeon keeper, who will need to seek and collects 20 Portal Gems in order to break through the confinement in the underworld. More detailed plot can be found in Wikipedia:

The kingdom of Harmonia, ruled by King Reginald, has been under siege from dungeon keepers for a while, and his wizards have devised a device known as a Portal Gem to confine evil creatures to the underworld, while still allowing good forces access. Reginald has twenty Portal Gems, each assigned to a realm and safeguarded by its guardian. These devices have forced even serious dungeon keepers into retreat. An evil warrior known as the Horned Reaper (or “Horny”) believes he has the ability to remove Portal Gems from Harmonia, and has enlisted the player’s assistance in conquering its realms so he can claim the Portal Gems. –


Unlike it predecessor (the first Dungeon Keeper game) that is developed in 2D graphics, Dungeon Keeper 2 is developed in 3D with hardware acceleration. All models of the creatures and room are now in 3D. It also uses Direct X to enhance the lighting effects in the game.

Lens 2: The lens of imagination (45)

I like the part where you can possess different creature inside your dungeon. Apart from playing as the dungeon keeper, managing the dungeon in a higher level, I can play as any creature in the dungeon. It entice me to imagine myself as the creature in the game.

Lens 3: The lens of freedom (71)

Player are given the flexibility to design their dungeon to their desire. Player can dug out the dungeon anyway they want in order to place different rooms and trap.

They are also given the flexibility to plan how they want to execute their attack.

Best of all, the game allow you to play as a “god” by allowing you to freely pick up any of your creatures or possess them to do whatever you desire.

Lens 4: The Lens of Unification (9)

Dungeon Keeper 2 emphasise on a dark sense of humour. Their narrative, theme and game mechanics geared towards that.

In their narrative, besides constantly mocking the “good guy” in the games, they will also mock the player with humorous pharses. e.g. “your dungeon is emptier than your head”.

In terms of their game mechanics, one of the special element is that you can “slap” your creature to make them work harder for you. Or if you desire, you can even torture one of your creature, by picking them up and throwing them onto a torture chamber!

Lens 5: The lens of surprise (4)

Player is only able to see area that they have preiously discovered. All other area will be pitch black to the player. This game mechanics is perfect for creating element of suprise for the player. Sometimes, the player may find area filled with golds. Sometimes, the player may accidentally digging into enemy territory, triggering a fight earlier than expected.

Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2 is a cooperative first person shooting game that takes place in a zombie apocalypse setting. The player plays as one of the four human survivors, who needs to fight through a horde of zombies in order to get to safety.

Game website:

Gameplay demo:

Lens #7 – The Lens of the Element Tetrad


There are 5 modes of gameplay, all with single player or multiplayer options, each with a different set of rules and goals.

The standard mode is the Campaign mode which pits you against the director. Simply survive five stages of zombie attacks and you will be successfully rescued.

My personal favourite and the most popular mode would be the Versus mode which involves a maximum of eight players split into two teams. What I really like about the Versus mode is that you may either choose to play as one of the four survivors, or as one of the eight special infected zombies which presents a whole new point of view of the game.

There is also the Scavenge mode which requires your team to search for and return gas cans to a generator in order to escape the scene, the Survival mode which pits you against wave after wave of zombies to see how long you can last and the Realism mode which takes you another step further by removing all assistance and hints in the game, so that you can experience the situation in the most realistic way possible.

You may also select a difficulty level based on your gaming skills, which scales the health and damage of the zombies and the frequency of replenishment points.


The main story of the game revolves around the four surviving protagonists, who are fighting their way through a bunch of zombies, each with a unique character and personality. There are 13 maps in the game, with a range of settings and activities in which you have to complete in order for you get rescued. The storyline of Left 4 Dead 2 may be simple, but it has captured the hearts of players by portraying them as the heroes of the story amidst crisis.


Left 4 Dead 2 is a lot more detailed in terms of graphics compared to Left 4 Dead, which can be seen from the zombies’ reactions and environmental effects such as dirt and blood splattering. It generally introduces more gore and tension via visual and sound, which are important components that gamers look out for when playing zombie shooter games.

In terms of player experience, one great selling point of Left 4 Dead 2 maps lies in its diversity. Instead of hunting zombies on the streets in broad daylight, you have the opportunity to fight against them in swamps, riverfronts, plantations, hotels, malls, abandoned highways, amusement parks and more, presenting you a movie-like experience. The weather condition in the game is ever-changing as well, leading you through clear night skies and heavy thunderstorms, constantly challenging you adapt to your surroundings.


Left 4 Dead 2 was first released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. It was subsequently released for OS X in 2010 and Linux in 2013.

I believe that the mechanics aspect is a huge part of Left 4 Dead 2, seeing how it caters to different players based on their skillsets and preferences. It also allows the players to view the game from various perspectives. The aesthetic aspect acts as a strong value add-on and the story, along with the technology, makes the game complete.

Lens #3 – The Lens of Fun

Whilst on the quest of staying alive, you may equip yourself with two weapons of your choice: a primary weapon and a sidearm. The primary weapons range from submachine guns to grenade launchers and have varying ammo capacities and abilities for you to experiment. The sidearm, on the other hand, is far more interesting. You may find yourself holding onto a pistol, slicing through the infected with your katana, whacking the zombies using a frying pan or even smashing them with a bright red electric guitar. It really surprises me whenever I get my hands onto a new-found weapon, because who would have guessed that you can kill a zombie in so many different ways?

Furthermore, grenades such as molotovs, pipe bombs and bile bottles are provided which adds on to the element of fun and the list of dumb ways to die for the zombies.

Lens #27 – The Lens of Skill

Alike most first person shooting games, playing Left 4 Dead 2 trains you to be alert and adaptive to your environment. You will learn to react quickly to attacks and listen closely for sounds made by the special infected in order to avoid them. Teamplay is an important part of the game as well and it requires you to communicate and strategise with your team in order to survive and complete the final quest. A progress report will be displayed at the end of the game which gives you a breakdown of the number of zombies you have killed and your headshot accuracy rate compared to your teammates, so that you can track your improvement over time.

Lens #38 – The Lens of Cooperation

Cooperation is essential during the multiplayer game modes. Left 4 Dead 2 allows communication between players through text and voice. It highly encourages player-to-player interaction by allowing you to heal your teammates using a medical pack and transfer healing items to them so as to give them a temporary health boost. If your ally has met with an unfortunate mishap, you may also revive him from the dead using a defibrillator.

This game also puts you in situations where you will definitely require your allies’ help. There are several special infected which are set for this purpose, including the smoker who abducts you using its tongue and the jockey who rides on your back and controls your movement. And trust me, there is nothing more comforting than being rescued by your teammates from the hands of these zombies.