TFT-Teamfight tactics

TFT is an eight person free-for-all League of Legends strategy game where players combine LoL champions and items in different formations to defeat the seven other players in a match. As the leading game in the auto-battler genre, players tactically place an army of characters on a grid-shaped game board for a last-player-standing automated battle. Since launching in 2019, TFT has emerged as the top contender in the genre, with over 100M players globally since its launch, providing a fun and deep chess-like gameplay experience for all types of players.


In TFT, all the champions have their unique skins from LoL, and these different series of skins divide all the champions into different professions and races. Also, the skill CG of champions also inheritates from LoL, which are well designed and give players visual enjoyment. Besides the aesthetic design around champions, there are also other things in TFT like the different series of small variants, arena skins and ‘boom’ effects. Players can use any variant or arena skin they like and see all these thing during every game. As TFT allows 8 players to play together, they can go to other’s arena to see or show their variant. So a beautiful variant and arena skin even boom effects can highly improve the game experience of those players who like this(like me XD).

An example of a series of champions(Star Guardian)

Star Guardian:

  • Lux: Tier 1 Spellslinger
  • Rell: Tier 2 Defender
  • Yuumi: Tier 2 Mascot, Heart
  • Kai’Sa: Tier 3 Recon
  • Nilah: Tier 3 Duelist
  • Ekko: Tier 4 Prankster, Aegis
  • Taliyah: Tier 4 Spellslinger
  • Syndra: Tier 5 Heart

The champions in this binding is from the skin series of star Guardian. Designers keep different skills and attributes of champions to divide them into different tiers like mentioned above. Besides tiers, champions also have star levels. Three same star level of one champion can make into a high level version if this champion and also will slightly change the visual, attributes and skills of this champion.


The champions in TFT will change from set to set, so the background story will also change from set to set. The whole storyline is based on the LoL world, like the profession of champions and the story of different series of skins. Then the designer will add some featured champions to fulfill the world view. For example, in the current season the story happened on Spatulopolis, the city that never sleeps—because you’d have trouble sleeping too with all these monster attacks! So this season called ‘Monster Attack!’. And the designer add hero augments in this season to make every champion become a monster!

Another example of story setting is the last season which is called ‘Dragonland’. As the name called dragonland, so there are a series of dragon champions in this season and several main races in this season are different kinds of dragons which have different binding effect.

Lens 1 Problem Solving

During playing, Players can enjoy the process of using their strategy to fight with other seven players and makes their army stronger than them. Their strategy should cover the allocate of money, equipment, champions and so on. First, They need to plan the usage of money to upgrade their shop to get high tier champions or refresh the shop to get or improve the champions they want. Second, Every game Players will get different Dragen augments or hero augment. Third, the monsters at the end of each round will bring different equipment and champions or some other props. Players need to plan what their line-up will be in this game according to all the factors before. Also, according to different versions, the strength of champions will change from version to version so choose a strong line-up is also important.

Lens 2 Surprise & Fun

Since the random equipment and props get from monsters at the end of each round, Players can wait for some surprise from monsters like ‘tome of traits’ or random high Tier champions. Also, Player will have three rounds to choose three augments in every game. There are some super interesting augments and if players can meet the augments they want it will be super fun. So waiting for the augments of every game is also attracted to players. Besides, there is a shared draft every round, random champions with random equipment will appear. All the players will stay together and choose the desired champions in reverse order of their current ranking. During this shared draft, sometimes players can surprisingly meet the champions they hardly can get from shop so they can make their line-up formation earlier. Finally, since the shop will refresh every small round so sometimes there will be high tier champions in the shop which is nearly impossible to appear in the low level shop.

An example of shared craft
Example of hero augment

Lens 3 Gambler’s mentality

As you know, Gambler always think that next time he will get the rewards he wants, so he will try and try and try. This mentality can easily find in many places in TFT like augments or refresh shops. Because there is a lot of luck involved, players will think that it is not due to strength and that they can definitely win if they are luckier next time. As a result, players will try and try again to wait for that lucky time like a great augment or champions of the line-up they want. That’s why TFT can attract players to keep playing it. Another appearance of Gambler’s mentality happens when players refresh their shop to find the champions they want. Since you will never know what will be in your shop next time, so you will keep thinking that it will be here next time! However, players cannot use all their money to refresh the shop because they need to upgrade to put more champions on the arena and improve the possibility of refreshing high tier champions.

Lens 4 Competition & Cooperation

In TFT rank, you need to fight with other 7 players and get the top four rank to win the game. You need to compete with them to upgrade and get the limited number of champions in the shop. Since the number of one champion in shop is limited, and people always pretend to play the strong line-ups, then some hot champions are always needed by 3 or even more players in one game. When this happen, It’s important for players to find the timing to upgrade and refresh shops. If earlier and unlucky, players will lose neither money nor quality. If later, even though players may have more money, but the champions in the shop maybe all taken by other players so the money is useless. So the competition among players happen not only on the ranking but also on the searching of champions.

Besides classical TFT rank, TFT also have double up mode. Players can choose to compete with their friends in classic rank or cooperate with their friends in double up mode. You know, playing with friends is much fun and can have different experience from playing alone. In double up mode, players will divide into two per group and the two players in one group can transfer champions and equipment to each other. This will change the strategy in classic mode and need new ideas about how to win the game.

An example of shared draft in double up mode

Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight is an asymmetric multiplayer (4 vs 1) survival horror and action game where one player plays as the killer and the other four play as survivors. Essentially, it is a game of hide and seek.

Link to game’s website: 

Link to gameplay demo (Killer): 

Link to gameplay demo (Survivor):

Lens 9: The Elemental Tetrad


Players can choose to play either as the killer or survivor.

The 4 survivors’ role is to repair 5 generators which can be found around the map, power up the exit gates and escape the trial.

While the survivors try to achieve their goals, the killer interferes by patrolling the map and damaging the generators while also hunting for the survivors. Once the killer catches up to the survivor, he/she can strike them. Striking a survivor once will put them into the injured state and striking them again while they are injured will put them into the dying state. Killer can then pick up and carry the dying survivor to sacrificial hooks. A sacrifice will be complete if the survivor is left on the hook for too long, or if they were rescued by their ally and hooked for another 2 more times (Getting hooked 3 times will kill the survivor).

Every killer also has their own power, making each of them unique in their own ways.

Items are unlockable which the survivors can use to help them during the game.

Some of these items include:

  • Flashlight
  • Keys
  • Maps
  • Med-Kit
  • Toolbox

Another core mechanic of the game is perks. Perks are unlockable skills which can be equipped by survivors and killers to help them gain advantage in different ways. Each of the characters in Dead by Daylight have their own unique perks which can be unlocked with the use of blood points earned after completing a match. With many combinations of perks available, even the same killer can be played very differently when equipped with a different loadout.


The main focus of Dead by Daylight is on the gameplay and not the story. However, there exists character’s lore for players to read if they wish to know more about the characters in the game.


The game currently has 34 survivors and 30 killers, composed of characters unique to the game as well as those from popular franchises. Some examples of collaboration are shown below.

Collaboration with Resident Evil franchise
Collaboration with Halloween franchise

The characters are well designed to fit into the horror aspect of the game, as well as the character’s lore.

There are 19 realms and 40 maps available in the game, each with their own distinct landmarks. Realms are semi-procedural locations within the world of the Entity where each realm was a site of tragedy in the past now serving as arenas for the Entity’s trial.

Most of the maps are designed with the environment looking dark and gloomy, while some may appear brighter. However, brighter looking maps are also designed such that it fits into the horror theme of the game.


Dead by Daylight uses Unreal Engine as its game engine. It is available across multiple platforms such as Microsoft windows, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo switch and Xbox. It can be played with a mouse and keyboard or with a controller.

    Lens 32: Goals

    Survivors: The ultimate goal of the survivors is to escape the trial. 

    Killer: The ultimate goal of the killer is to prevent the survivors from escaping the trial.

    There are tutorials for both survivor and killer to understand what they have to do to achieve their goals.

    Outside of a match, there are also challenges available for players to complete. Completing these challenges in game will reward players with blood points necessary for unlocking more perks and items, as well as progressing through the battle pass which unlocks cosmetic items for character customization. 

    There is also a ranking system in the game where players rank up or down depending on how well they play each match. Rank resets on the 13th of every month and blood points will be awarded according to the rank achieved. 

    Lens 44: Cooperation

    The lens of cooperation applies to players playing as survivors as they need to work in teams of 4.

    Cooperation requires communication. Communication is possible when playing with friends where you are able to hop into the same discord voice chat for example to communicate while playing the game.

    However, there is not enough opportunity for survivors who are playing with other players to communicate. There is no chat and voice chat function during the match, making it difficult to know what your teammates are doing unless you can see them on your screen. Without knowing what each other are doing, it is hard to make a decision on whether you should be repairing the generator or make your way to rescue a survivor on hook.

    Fortunately, there are plans for future updates where the in-game HUD will indicate what action each survivor is performing with an icon.

    Lens 34: Skill

    Although it is a game of hide and seek with additional conditions, Dead by Daylight requires different skill sets.

    • Decision making
      • During the match, players are constantly making decisions. For survivors, they have to make decisions like what action they should be performing or which part of the map should they be staying at.
      • For killers, they have to make decisions on which survivor they want to chase and also which generators they might want to defend.
    • Mind game
      • During a chase, mind games can help the survivor to create distance between them and the killer or help killers to catch up to the survivor. Knowing how to fake your movement is important and this also requires players to know the map well.
    • Knowing the maps well
      • Knowing the maps and landmarks well can help survivors to survive longer or help killers to take shortcuts to intercept the survivors. 
    • Understanding both survivors and killer’s perks and abilities
      • Survivors will not know which killer they are up against until they see or hear them in the match. 
      • Both the survivors and killers will not be able to see what perks they equip prior to entering a match. They can learn what perks are equipped as they play the match.
      • Hence, understanding the different perks and killers’ abilities will be useful to know how to play against them.

    Lens 94: Atmosphere

    The atmosphere of the game is well designed to fit the horror theme. The visual and audible design of the different characters will make you feel like you are in the game itself. 

    At the start of every match, there will be a short 8 to 9 seconds intro theme depending on the map you are playing on. The theme really helps players to feel like they are part of the world.

    There are also other sounds such as heartbeats and the killer’s unique soundtrack which only the survivors can hear in game to tell them that the killer is in their vicinity. This helps to make players feel nervous especially if they can hear the music but not see the killer, making them uncertain of the killer’s exact location.

    There are a few exceptions for killers who can stealth, meaning there are absolutely no audible cues to alert the survivors, allowing those killers to launch a surprise attack.

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    Sekiro: Shadows die twice is a single-player action-adventure game developed by FromSoftware and released by Activision in 2019. Its breathtaking aesthetics, intense boss fights, and seamless gameplay won the 2019 Game of the Year awards among many other accolades. 


    The game is set in the Sengoku period, following a shinobi known as Wolf. Wolf has been raised to be a shinobi by his adoptive father Owl. He was eventually tasked to protect the immortal Divine Heir Kuro. As the Ashina clan withers and the interior ministry encroaches on Ashina lands, the grandson of Isshin, the clan leader, Genichiro seeks the power of Kuro to create an immortal army. 

    The gameplay begins with Wolf’s engagement and defeat at the hands of Genichiro. Upon recovery, he assaults the Ashina Castle, battling through Ashina’s defenses to rescue Kuro. Kuro then asks Wolf to gather the materials to perform the Immortal Severance ritual to stop anyone from fighting over his powers. Wolf abides and journeys through the land of humans and monsters to collect them. There are several ending possible, from plainly performing the ritual at the cost of Kuro’s life to accompanying Kuro’s spirit to return the Dragon Heritage.


    The game’s art is befitting of its background. The orangish maples, the Buddha idols, and pagoda architectures play right into people’s impression of Sengoku era Japan. There are various regions in the game, each with a different atmosphere. Some examples include the magnificent Ashina castle, the mystic Fountainhead Palace, and the abnormal Senpou Temple on Mt. Kongo. The skill tree menu adopts the texture of yellowing paper, hammering in the sense of history. Character designs are intricate and speak volumes about their background. The weathered cape and prosthetics of Wolf are signs of a battle-hardened warrior. The extravagant armor of Genichiro can only be worn by high born. The sheer size of the Great Serpent demands respect from players.


    As with the Bloodborne and Souls installments, Sekiro demands player mastery of the combat system. There is no alternative. Weapon and skill upgrades are obtainable only by defeating the boss in a region. Thus, players cannot farm to level up, capping their strength for every encounter.

    Slash, thrust, and sweep attacks from enemies are countered by parries, Mikiri counters, and jumps. Combats are fast paced; decisions must be made in split-second time. Players are encouraged to keep close, steel on steel to break an enemy’s posture and deal a critical blow instead of slowly chipping away at his health. The back-and-forth exchanges plus the exquisite animation make for an almost cinematic yet organic sequence. Brute force will not get a player far, as the enemies hit hard. Even the weakest foot soldiers can overwhelm you with numbers. 

    The prosthetic arm adds another dimension to every engagement. From firecrackers that disorientate beast-type foes to the grappling hook that allows Wolf to use the landscape to his advantage. 

    Beyond head-to-head exchanges, as a shinobi, stealth blows can soften enemy defenses or clear one of the boss’s health bars. When intruding into heavily guarded areas, it is often ideal to kill as many enemies as possible stealthily before entering open combat given the game’s difficulty.


    As with most AAA titles, the game’s top-tier graphics likely rely on advanced rendering techniques to support the demanding frame rate needed for smooth melee-style gameplay.

    The Lens of Challenge

    To defeat a boss often takes dozens of attempts. With each iteration, players remember a bit more of the boss’s attack patterns and calibrate their actions. They discover windows where they can dash in to attack and tunes their parry timing amidst a flurry of exchanges. The result is true gratification when the enemy falls and the calligraphic words, “Shinobi Kill” flashes across the screen.

    The Lens of Flow

    The game progression is relatively linear and straightforward, players have but one mission to hack and slash their way through monsters and humans. Albeit a steep and sometimes frustrating learning curve at the start, as they grow used to facing the animosities in-game, there is an almost Zen-like feeling when Wolf seamlessly switches between his katana and prosthetics to repel each enemy blow. Player control transits from conscious thinking to muscle memory.

    The Lens of Fantasy

    Though the Sengoku Era is heavily referenced, much of the game’s characters are fictional. Some abominations include the Headless Ape, Demon of Hatred, and the Corrupted Monk. Parallels can almost be drawn from how vampires, goblins, and banshees are products of the mysteries of the Middle Ages. We crave to let our imaginations run wild with vicious beings lurking about the outskirts of human settlement.


    This is my favorite FromSoftware game. Compared to the dodge and roll in Souls, I appreciate the blow-for-blow style of Sekiro more. If you haven’t tried, please do. I will argue that it has the best pure combat system. Personally, I enjoyed Sekiro more than Elden Ring.

    There Is No Review: Wrong Blog


    There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension is a puzzle adventure video game that references other games like The Legend of Zelda and The Secret of Monkey Island. It was released for Windows and macOS on August 6, 2020, Android and iOS on December 17, 2020, and Nintendo Switch on April 14, 2021. This game is a sequel to another 2015 game jam-winning entry There Is No Game, developed by the same creator Pascal Cammisotto. 

    Official Website: 

    There Is No Game Official Trailer


    The point-and-click gameplay aims to break the fourth wall in an innovative way while creating a light-hearted experience. Each chapter in this game is a parody of different existing game genres, and the game mechanics thus varies chapter to chapter. The player plays as The User in the game, which is essentially themselves, and is not able to control the characters in each chapter directly. Bugs are hated by players but in this game, it is used to provide the player with obstacles and complications. The player will have to find a way to fix them while trying to explore the game world.

    Different items collected in the game are not stored neatly in an inventory tab, but rather just dumped at the bottom of the screen. They can be collected in the strangest ways like knocking down words from the title screen. The player is also not just limited to using items but also icons like pause and menu. 

    The puzzles are designed for players to think outside of the box, yet a hint system is provided by the developers “because you can’t think outside of the box”


    There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension(not-a-game) starts with a classic title page with options for The User to choose from, and soon a narrator, which represents The Game itself, starts talking and destroying the game experience by telling The User that “there is no game” and continues to try and stop The User from playing. After finding the narrator’s hidden files, a software anomaly, Mr. Glitch, then appears to explain his “evil plans” to The User, but always fails to do so due to random events. The narrator and The User will find themselves trapped in different games and they have to find a way to escape, which then officially starts the not-a-game. 


    The visual art in this not-a-game adopts a pixel-art style. In each chapter, instead of focusing primarily on background music, the not-a-game chooses to prioritize the conversation between The User and the narrator, which gives the player a feeling of companionship with an invisible friend. The usage of specific color palettes and UI design allows the player to experience different moods. As the game progresses, the conversation with the narrator becomes more significant and therefore the great voice acting exponentially adds to the experience.


    The not-a-game is developed on Unity, which allowed the developers to make it cross-platform easily. The not-a-game chose to adopt highly customizable rendering technology to create detailed and high-quality visual effects. 

    Lens of Essential Experience

    The narrator was the heart of the not-a-game. The User accompanies the narrator through different games to hunt down Mr.Glitch, and The User slowly learns more about the narrator and the intentions behind his actions (like stopping every player from playing). The not-a-game’s exceptional writing contributed significantly to the player’s experience. From the conversations between The User and the narrator to the interactions between different characters, it made the not-a-game immersive for the player to have their own impression and understanding of the not-a-game and its plot.

    Lens of Surprise

    The gameplay was a standard point-and-click game, but the unexpected plot twists and innovative interactions with the items gave the player plenty of surprises, which motivates him or her to continue with the not-a-game to know what would happen next and what are some other unique but interesting ways to use a certain item.

    Lens of The Puzzle

    As a puzzle-solving not-a-game, it has successfully utilized most, if not all of the 10 Puzzle Principals. The puzzle-solving started off fairly easy to understand and solve, and the difficulty gradually increased. When the player is about to give up in frustration, a hint system is available to renew hope and arouse curiosity again. If the player is truly stuck and has no idea how to progress, the not-a-game also provides the solution directly.

    Lens of Freedom

    The only downside of this not-a-game is the lack of freedom. Unlike some other story-based games where every choice leads you to a different ending, the not-a-game has only one storyline and it is impossible to progress without following a linear path. Which can be frustrating for players that want to see a variety of different endings. The sometimes lengthy and unskippable cutscenes can slow the pace of the game down.


    Gameplay Demo

    Game Website:

    Personal Gameplay Footage:

    Control is a third-person action-adventure shooter game. Developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by 505 Games, it received near universal acclaim for its storyline, action, art design among other elements, with many video game media selecting it as one of if not the best game of 2019.


    The game follows the protagonist, Jesse Faden, who turns up at the secretive Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) to look for her brother, Dylan, who has been missing since a paranormal event (referred to as an Altered World Event or AWE) at her hometown almost 2 decades prior. Unbeknownst to her and the outside world, the FBC (which responds to and covers up AWEs) has just been infiltrated by an interdimensional force that corrupts reality and is on the brink of proliferating beyond the FBC. Inside, Jesse finds the current Director of the FBC dead, and upon wielding the Director’s shapeshifting gun, the Service Weapon, becomes the new Director. She then has to fight her way to not only cleanse corrupted sectors of the FBC, but also reveal clues about Dylan’s fate and whereabouts within, gaining supernatural powers such as levitation and telekinesis along the way.

    The initial part of the game is admittedly not very intriguing, with Jesse showing up at a seemingly regular office building strangely devoid of life. Despite the deliberately not well explained beginning, as the story progresses, the player is able to understand more and more of the rich lore behind the game, explaining some of the events that underlie the context of the game and various paranormal phenomena which appear common in the FBC. There are also collectible documents, videos and audio recordings scattered throughout the various sectors, some of which do not contribute to the main storyline but as a whole add depth to an otherwise apparently serious FBC.


    Control is designed to encourage exploration of the various sectors, and as such has very well-designed areas. From the exquisite Research Sector to the industrial NSC Power Plant and the otherworldly Quarry Threshold, each level is full of detail and really brings out the theme of the location. Even small items like lamps and books have not been spared the developers’ attention, adding to the overall immersion of the location. Special effects are used liberally but tastefully, such as explosions and flying debris. Some side bosses like Former and Mold-1 are well-modelled; as they are interdimensional beings, their unusual appearances complement the weirdness of the game and do not feel out of place. Lighting has also been used to great effect, as will be discussed in the lens of atmosphere below.


    Most of the gameplay is centred around defeating enemies to reach objectives. This is accomplished either via the Service Weapon, which can take on the function of various firearms like a shotgun or rocket launcher, or via the various supernatural abilities that are acquired as the game progresses. This mix of regular shooter and having supernatural abilities ties in nicely with the kinds of enemies faced; some enemies have extra shielding against the Service Weapon’s attack but which is vulnerable to objects flung at them with telekinesis, so it would be more effective to hurl a few things at it before shooting. One unique mechanic that I’ve not seen in other shooters is that the player can possess enemies to temporarily turn them into allies to fight other enemies. There is also an element of puzzle solving, such as matching patterns, using telekinesis to attach energy sources to plugs or levitating to otherwise inaccessible areas to do actions. These offer a brief reprieve from the fast action pace of shooting up enemies.


    Control is built using Remedy’s proprietary Northlight Engine which debuted on their previous game, Quantum Break. It is also one of the first games that have support for real-time hardware raytracing, which allows for more realistic lighting effects. Remedy also implemented Nvidia’s PhysX engine, for physics emulation to make telekinesis more seamless within the game, and DLSS, a RTX specific upscaling feature. I was unable to make use of most of these as I run an older generation AMD card, and I would have appreciated upscaling as the game is very intensive (deservedly so, the visuals are quite something).

    Lens of Atmosphere

    The element of mystery surrounding the FBC is central to the game, and the general lack of music and lighting help to enhance that effect. The background noise is mostly silence, which gives the FBC a very serious and secretive tone, and when there is sound it sounds like it was made by otherworldly beings, reminding players of the weird and unnatural phenomena that is commonplace in the game. Many areas of the game, especially previously unexplored ones, are dimly lit, as if to appear ominous and uninviting. Once enemies spawn though, the red lighting that accompanies greatly contrasts the dark areas and draws attention to danger in the area. The background noise also gives way to fast rhythmic music, adding to the tension that comes with conflict. These elements continually reinforce the atmosphere of uncertainty and trepidation.

    Lens of Curiosity

    One of the main storyline elements is searching for Dylan. Little is revealed at first, including his and Jesse’s backgrounds and her motivation to find him. However, as the story progresses, breadcrumbs are dropped that partially explain the history of the characters, and that draws the player to play more to know more to get the full picture. This piquing of curiosity is also applied to the FBC; as many areas are freely explorable, players can roam around places at their own pace. This is encouraged by a reward system for finding hidden locations, for example areas behind destructible walls or places that were visited before obtaining levitation and hence out of reach initially. As mentioned previously, many internal documents and media scattered around as collectibles build a rich story of the Bureau’s history and organisational structure. Getting the complete picture at the end of it was personally quite fulfilling and mind blowing.

    Lens of Novelty

    Many weird things happen in the FBC, but this is perceived by the staff as just a regular day at work. Being the Director means that the player needs to get used to it too. The collectibles help explain some of the phenomena; for example, canonically the FBC building internally morphs fairly frequently to the point where there is a standard operating procedure when it occurs, but this is of course not what happens in real life. Special items that can cause or are a result of AWEs or can grant supernatural abilities to people are also a dime a dozen, though they usually take the form of mundane objects like a rubber duck or a refrigerator. Again, these are not what one might expect from everyday objects and hence reading about their backstories in the collectibles are interesting and refreshing. This also made me come back for more and try and find all the collectibles.

    Lens of Obstacle

    The player mainly faces corrupted FBC agents. These can be simply possessed agents who retain the use of regular firearms or corrupted to the point that they gain supernatural powers like having the ability to become invisible or levitation. As such, there is a wide variety of enemies that require different tactics to take out. When exploring new places, there are usually a few hordes of enemies, and often before a major goal, there is a boss fight involving a few different types of these enemies that the player has to defeat before being able to advance further.

    It Takes Two: A Game Describing Love and Divorce

    It Takes Two: Official Trailer

    It Takes Two is an action-adventure video game developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts in March 2021. It is a cooperative game played by two players, each controlling a main character: May or Cody. In the game, the clashing couple Cody and May are transformed into dolls. The players are required to work together to solve puzzles and go on an adventure to transform back into their real form.

    Personal Experience

    The story of Cody and May (which will be discussed in the analysis below) is not special or unique. In fact, the conflict between them can be said to be very common for couples, which makes it more relatable to players, especially those who are or have been in a relationship. Though the story is not that special, the game mechanics and gameplay experience deliver the story in an interesting way, by making use of fictional characters (such as the Book of Love) to guide them in fixing the relationship. Almost everything in the game is interactive, which helps me to constantly get engaged in the game, knowing that there are a lot of new things for me to discover and enjoy. The game does not get boring as each level assigns me and my friend a new tool or special ability, which we will have to figure out and make use of it. Even when we feel stuck or frustrated in finding a way to progress the game, we could always walk around and interact with the surroundings to distract ourselves from the main task and have a break by playing some simple small mini-games inside.


    This blog will analyze how the game brings such a unique and fun experience for the players that make it the Game of the Year 2021, given by The Game Awards. The analysis will be done using the elemental tetrad and lenses defined in The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses by Jesse Schell.


    The elemental tetrad consists of the 4 basic elements of a game: aesthetics, mechanics, story, and technology. It Takes Two made use of all four elements to create a fun gameplay experience for the 2 players. Though the Technology part might not be as visible as the other three, the implementation in Unreal Engine makes the game smooth and allows the players to focus on the other 3 elements and have a more immersive gameplay experience.

    • Shadow work, dazzling visual effects, and realistic textures
    • The player does not get bored as the environment and surroundings change every chapter, which gives each chapter a unique design, color scheme, and sound effect.
    It Takes Two in-game screenshot
    • The mechanics change in each chapter of the game, giving 2 players a different set of abilities. Players therefore will need to explore around and figure out how to make use of their tools to work their way through.
    • For example, in one chapter of the game, Cody will have the ability to throw screw nails and summon them back by whistling. May gets a hammer that can smash most things in her way (including Cody). Through the chapter, the players will have to realize that they will not be able to get through certain parts of the game without each other. At some point in time, Cody will have to throw the nails on the wall and let May swing over to travel to another location.
    • In each chapter, the game also provides some simple mini-games that allow players to make use of the tools they currently hold. The games are all extremely simple and well-known worldwide, allowing the players to relax and have fun without any tutorial needed.
      • In the ‘nail and hammer’ chapter, players will walk past a box with holes where they can play whack-a-mole, where Cody can be the ‘mole’ and May can whack with her hammer.
    Mini-game in It Takes Two
    • The story in the game is relatively relatable for players because the reasons for them having conflicts are common between couples or families. Although it is somehow expected that the relationship will slowly fix as the game progresses, the game mechanics and aesthetics make the story more enjoyable and engaging.
    • Use of metaphors: The chapter where May and Cody use magnets to solve the puzzles is the phase where they find their attraction to each other again 


    • The essence of the game is to collaborate with the player’s significant other. One of the essential experiences most players will have is the satisfaction of progressing through the game by communicating and collaborating with each other.
    • The other essential experience players might have is from the aesthetic part of the game. The realistic textures and choice of color schemes give players an immersive gameplay experience.


    • The environment and surroundings in the game are very interactive, allowing players to get rewarded for their curiosity.
    • The puzzle-solving journey will sometimes be intense and stressful. Therefore, the mini-games that players can discover provide great help for letting them relax and have fun, even though they do not help in the progression of the game at all.


    • As mentioned, each chapter gives May and Cody a different unique tool or ability. They will have to use these tools to puzzle through the obstacles. This ensures that the players will not get bored as they will always need to learn a new set of mechanics in each chapter.


    • The title of the game reflects its theme of love and collaboration
    • The storyline of Cody and May fixing their relationship and rekindling their love is also coherent with the theme. The game made use of a ‘living book’, called Dr. Hakim, to teach Cody and May (and the players) the importance of each other in the relationship and each other’s lives.
    • The game mechanics emphasize the theme by making the players realize they can only finish the game if they communicate and collaborate with each other. They cannot leave anyone behind.


    It Takes Two has done well in much more lenses other than those mentioned in this blog. Using technology to support the aesthetics, mechanics and story of the game has made is such an enjoyable game for players to play with a good friend, family member or life partner.

    Orcs Must Die! 2

    Orcs Must Die! 2 is a trap based action-tower defense video game that Robot Entertainment developed as the follow-up to the original Orcs Must Die!, with Microsoft Game Studios publishing the sequel for Microsoft Windows on July 30, 2012 in the United States.


    With a redesigned spellbook, players have a broader range of options to build a deadly arsenal of defenses. Investing hard-earned skulls allows players to cater to their favorite methods of burning, grinding, tossing, or dismembering orcs. Orcs Must Die! 2 begins days after the ending of the original game. With the rifts closed and the magical Order dead, the War Mage finds himself suddenly thrust into a new battle against the mindless orc mob. He has a powerful, if questionable, new companion. The Sorceress, an ex-War Mage responsible for the destruction of the Order.

    The Elemental Tetrad


    Like its predecessor, Orcs Must Die! 2 is a variation on a tower defense game. As either the War Mage or Sorceress in the campaign mode, the player must attempt to defend Riftsfrom an onslaught of orc armies that emerge from one or more doors in a given level. The orc armies arrive in waves, between which the player is given time to recover and place additional traps.

    To defeat the orcs, the player selects a number of traps, spells, and equipment from their Spellbook . Placing traps can be done at any time, but costs a certain amount of in-game currency to do so; this money is either given at the start of the level and as bonuses between level, for killing orcs, or as coins that can be picked up by the player. The player can also fight directly using weapons from their Spellbook.

    Every orc that makes it through the player’s traps to a Rift will cost a number of Rift points. If the Rift points drop to zero, the level is considered lost and the player will have to start again. Otherwise, if the player successfully completes the level, they are awarded a number of skulls. Skulls are used to improve traps and equipment that will permanently remain with that player, allowing players to return to earlier levels with improved traps and equipment as to improve their score.

    The game includes a cooperative mode, where one player plays as the War Mage and the other as the Sorceress; within the campaign, the two characters gain traps and equipment in different order as rewards for completing levels

    The game has a new storyline (this is not important) and a new game mode (this is important). The two characters correspond to different weapons and traps.

    There are more than 20 different orcs, so you need the help of a good friend urgently at this time. The endless mode can be unlocked after clearing a map, which greatly enriches the playability of the game after the introduction of the cooperative mode. The hell difficulty will be unlocked after the default difficulty is cleared. It is estimated that the assistance of good friends is needed at this time.

    Compared with its predecessor, the second generation greatly enriches the unlockable weapons and traps (more than 50 types). Each weapon and trap has three different upgrade schemes (more than 225 types), and each scheme has multiple levels. Enriched the game content, as can be seen from the skill book, the upgradeable items in the game are divided into 4 categories: traps, weapons, accessories, and clothing.

    This classification is more intimate and easy to manage. Like the previous game, players need to obtain skeletons from battles, and then unlock and upgrade more powerful equipment. It also makes game skeletons more scarce. From this point of view, the sincerity of the game producer is still very obvious.

    At the same time, there has been a small change in the way skeletons are obtained in the game. In the previous game, the number of skeletons for clearing the level is only related to the number of orcs released when the level is cleared and the time for clearing the level. There are at most 5 skeletons in each level. Now not only can you get the basic 5 skeletons for each level, but you can also get extra skeleton rewards, and you can also brush skeletons as much as you want in the endless mode.


    The game takes place a few days after the events of Orcs Must Die! The Sorceress is hiding from The Mob when mysteriously, a Rift opens next to her. She steps through, and finds herself in the Dwarven Mines, right in front of The War Mage. She enlists his help in fighting off the Orcs. The two discover that more and more rifts are opening in different locations. They decide to enter the rift and return to the Dead World.

    It is revealed that the War Mage’s master had not died; he was still alive, and had opened a small weak rift to allow the Sorceress to escape and battle the Mob together. After the War Mage and the Sorceress begin to communicate with their master, he explains that he started to open the Rifts again because the world beyond the Rifts could not cope without the magic they provided.


    Rendered in a cartoon style like its predecessor. At the beginning of the game, several hand-painted CGs are brought into the game. After all, such a small game does not need those exaggerated CGs that can instantly catch the player’s attention to do scene animations.

    After officially entering the game, although most of the game scenes take place in the underground tunnel, the player will not feel dim. On the contrary, a large number of static/dynamic light source effects such as a large number of light sources, trap trigger effects, and magic explosions make the overall picture of the game look very comfortable. This kind of soft and delicate cartoon picture rendering is worthy of the volume of the game.

    It is commendable that the physical collision effect shown by the game engine is still awesome! When the orcs are attacked by different traps, for example, they are shattered to flesh and blood after being frozen, shattered after being corrupted into green skeletons, burned until the masts and sculls fly into ashes, and exploded to death after being crushed show different attack effects.

    There are also outstanding effects such as being headshot when being attacked by the protagonist, being smashed by a powerful firecracker, and flying by the witch’s magic.

    Another commendable point is that the game characters and monster models are very good. No matter how the viewing angle is, there is no sense of jaggedness. The ugly and fierce expressions between different monsters are lifelike, and the body movements are natural and smooth.

    The game music is magnificent and humorous.

    The voice in the game is also good, the girl’s voice is quite individual, it sounds like the voice of a strong sister, and the prince still has the accent of the sloppy uncle, but it’s also great. There will be a dialogue between the two at the beginning of each game, and the content is very interesting.

    The last thing to talk about is the sound effect of the game. The game has a relatively good sense of impact. The reason is that the excellent sound and light special effects heighten the sense of impact of the game. The different effects of different weapons, magic and traps on the orcs in the game have greatly improved the excellent sound and light special effects to a higher level, and I like it again!


    It was developed using Version. And Havok Vision Game Engine is a discontinued, cross-platform, 3D game engine originally authored by Trinigy and later acquired by Havok. Microsoft Game Studios publishing the sequel for Microsoft Windows on July 30, 2012 in the United States. So it is an old game which means it has low system requirements and the computers we use now can run very smoothly.


    #24 Lens of Novelty

    It is a tower defense game that eschews the traditional top-down view of similar games, instead using a third-person action-oriented viewpoint. In traditional tower defense games, we can only rely on towers for defense, so we usually can only build towers in each round of the game, which will undoubtedly lack passion and aesthetic fatigue. In this game, we can control MC to fight in real time and cooperate with the towers we built, which is both strategic and combative. It also increases the fault tolerance rate for our game, making the game experience smoother.

    #34 Lens of Skill

    As a tower defense game, the location and timing of tower construction are very strategic. At the same time, because we need to control characters to fight, this also leaves us with more chances in each game. The game has a certain degree of difficulty, but we can improve our proficiency through continuous attempts, so as to win the game.

    #44 Lens of Cooperation

    A cooperative mode has been added to this game, so we can no longer fight alone, but cooperate with our teammates to discuss defense strategies and control characters to fight together, which greatly expands the fun of the game. This also creates a larger entertaining space. I like this cooperative mode very much, it definitely enhances the relationship between me and my teammates, and at the same time left a good memory for my childhood.

    #63 Lens of Feedback

    In the game, we need to resist a large number of orc attacks, so one of the highlights of the game is the sense of blow in the battle. The physical collision effect is awesome! When the orcs are attacked by different traps, for example, they are shattered to flesh and blood after being frozen, shattered after being corrupted into green skeletons, burned until the masts and sculls fly into ashes, and exploded to death after being crushed show different attack effects. There are also outstanding effects such as being headshot when being attacked by the protagonist, being smashed by a powerful firecracker, and flying by the witch’s magic. Every time we attack or destroy an enemy, the real-time attack feedback greatly stimulates our sense. It makes us more willing to continue playing.


    I think Orcs Must Die! 2 is an eye-catching game. It has special game mechanics and refreshing gameplay. You and your companions will have double the fun at the same time. If you haven’t touched it, I highly recommend you to play this game, I believe you will love it.

    NieR: Automata

    NieR: Automata – “Death is Your Beginning” Launch Trailer | PS4

    In the action role-playing game (ARPG) Automata, users assume control of battle androids from YoRHa units in an expansive open world. In addition to utilizing an unique item to go normally on foot, the player may also call a wild animal to ride and, in rare circumstances, control a flying mech to engage in combat.



    The user engages in real-time hack and slash action combat with foes in a variety of in-game locations. The player has access to both light attacks, which are quick but ineffective, and heavy assaults, which are slower but more effective. In battle, the player is permitted to use two melee weapons. The player may switch between both weapons and attacks while attacking to generate combo attacks. The game’s fundamental and sophisticated combat systems, including interactions, mobility, and battle, are featured in NieR: Automata’s combat. Gliding, utilizing several weapon kinds without switching weapons, running, and the elimination of spells from the previous game are among the new features.


    There are different sub-chapters in each chapter, some of which are only disclosed after several plays. Through the Chapter Select menu, they may also be replayed. The 14th Machine War is told from the perspectives of three major characters: 2B, 9S, and A2. They are all fighting as the last of human civilisation against extraterrestrial invaders. The conflict is less clear-cut, though, as the androids start to doubt their own motivations and the society they live in as a result of being placed in challenging circumstances and moral ambiguities.


    The environment of Automata has a cool blueish gray aesthetic with strong shadow contrast, and its color palette is occasionally monochromatic with a lot of black and white use. Replicant features a lot of gray and is mostly a bland grey blue with little color contrast. Automata’s color scheme is monochromatic overall yet very saturated and contrasted. And replicant is low contrast and less saturated. While replicant has a drab grayish blue, automata has a cool blueish grey. Rusty browns, murky concrete, and dusty sky serve as the world’s primary color palette in Nier Automata’s visual direction, which has a subdued, gloomy appearance.


    The crew evaluated both positive and negative reviews of Nier and came to the conclusion that the gameplay, visuals, and character designs needed to be improved. They enhanced these areas while retaining elements that were well-liked, such the game’s soundtrack and the story’s intricacy.

    The Lens of Skill

    It starts off with a subpar tutorial that leaves out certain movements that would have been helpful to know early on. I didn’t realize until about halfway through that you could use the right trigger to dodge just before an attacker approaches you, thereby enabling you to teleport away and make a counterattack. After you manage to escape the game’s opening wave of adversaries, though, you start to grasp how fighting and mobility operate and soon you’ll be putting together chains of spectacular maneuvers.

    The Lens of Progress and Customization

    Character customisation is accomplished through Chips, which are objects that players place within their characters and which change parts of their features. For example, chips can change the HUD to reveal opponent health and damage and provide players’ characters status bonuses. The maximum amount of Chips that may be placed at once is determined by the character’s available slots. Chips are available for purchase in stores or can be obtained from beaten opponents. Characters acquire experience levels as they go, boosting their health, defense, and attack strength.

    Lens of Character Transformation

    There are several key moments in the game that are memorable and have impacts on experience of the players. Gradual warming 2B Since the very beginning of the game, 2B and 9S have worked together as a team in Up To 9S. But first, 9S addresses 2B with a far more formal and uncomfortable title of “ma’am.” Additionally, 2B is distant from him and doesn’t put any effort into interacting with him outside of their objective. But as they spend more time together, she begins to genuinely care about him and becomes furious that Adam took and injured 9S. She’s also obviously sad whenever she has to “murder” 9S once more, which is fascinating given that her ultimate goal from the beginning was to get rid of him.

    Lens of Challenge

    In NieR: Automata, bosses are unique, enormous enemies with exceptional powers that are only met seldom. They often advance the primary plot, feature greater health bars, and attack phases. When confronting a boss, you can see their level, name, and HP bar. Machine Unit bosses are organized according to their machine type just as frequently encountered enemies in the game. Some of these bosses could have previously been faced as common opponents, however specific Routes or Chapters will have a notable boss encounter.

    The game also fosters a sense of curiosity. The game effortlessly connects eerily stunning sights and locales without area loading in its beautifully desolate open-world setting. In addition to the main plot, the settings feature a multitude of side-events and are drawn at 60 frames per second.


    The adventure Automata is wild, gorgeous, and full of wild concepts and fantastic gameplay. Despite having a lackluster plot and uninteresting characters, the game’s frantic action, gorgeous graphics, and catchy soundtrack make it too much fun to pass up.

    Dyson Sphere Program


    “Dyson Sphere Program” is a sci-fi sandbox building game that integrates elements such as space, automated factories, adventure, and exploration. In Dyson Sphere program, players take on the role of space engineers, and the player’s goal is to completing a difficult task: building the Dyson sphere, a giant structure that orbits around the star to harness all the power and energy of the star. The content of the game is very rich, and players from the third person perspective can control almost everything in the game, from collecting resources, building buildings, upgrading science, planning production, and finally achieving large-scale automated assembly line production and interstellar logistics. The high degree of freedom of the simulation game and the rich variety of technological buildings of this game make it highly playable, and subsequent combat updates are also worth looking forward to. Dyson Sphere Program is Developed by a small team of five, the game was released in Early Access on January 21, 2021.

    Dyson Sphere Program Trailer
    Dyson Sphere Program Compact Trailer


    The game supports walking around via “WASD” and provides the ability to fly low Earth and interstellar voyage with “space” key but requires more advanced technology to unlock it. The game also has the ability to interact with other players, and players can see the power generated by players in nearby galaxies. The main mechanism of the game is to quantify various items to allow the factory to operate in the most efficient way. How to build more Dyson Sphere within limited resources and cram more buildings on a spherical map. At the same time, designing a more material-saving and more powerful Dyson Sphere is also a mechanism for the game.


    The Story of the game is that the player-piloted robot lands on a planet, starting with a small workshop and refining until it spans the entire galaxy. Experience the complete process from metallurgical technology, to electromagnetic coils, microcontrollers, processing chips, and future space transportation, shuttling wormholes and exploring different celestial bodies, and finally using solar sails to build a Dyson sphere. During this period, players can also feel the development of technology, such as wind and solar power is not enough to maintain factories, to the production of nuclear fuel rods or artificial stars to provide electricity.


    The game’s graphics tend to be realistic, with light and shadow effects produced by the rotation of each planet, and each model has corresponding animations. At the same time, the game inevitably narrows the distance between these planets, which allows players to feel the magnificence of the project more intuitively. For example, when the player starts to build the Dyson Sphere, the parts of the Dyson Sphere can be clearly seen from the planet integrated into the framework little by little, with the game’s exciting and vibrant music, so that the player is immersed in the thrill of building.


    The game cleverly uses the GPU for most of the calculations, those tens of thousands of solar sails, each of which follows gravity and calculates the amount of power generated. These massively parallel calculations are more suitable for GPUs to do calculations than CPUs.  All this computation, including the rendering of the model, is handed over to the powerful GPU that makes tens of thousands of solar sails, transport planes, and interstellar logistics possible.

    The Lens of Pleasure

    There are many details in the game that can make the player feel pleasure, such as when the player perfectly plans and lays out the next production line, perfectly uses a small space, or balances the items on the conveyor belt just right, which can give the player a sense of purification. At the same time, when launching the Dyson ball component into space, the dazzling light and shadow and particle effects can make players feel their own engineering head-on, bringing the feeling of Triumph over Adversity.

    The Lens of Visible Progress

    A lot of content in the game emphasizes Visible Progress, players can clearly see every bit of progress in the technology tree, the technology in the game needs to be unlocked with five different matrices, each unlocked and mass-produced a matrix, is a big improvement that can be seen. At the same time, the game is also equipped with a statistics panel, so player can see the production speed of each item more intuitively. And more intuitively, of course, is to change a barren planet into a planet covered in high-tech buildings. Every sunrise on the planet is visible progress.

    The Lens of Simplicity/Complexity

    Balancing the material in the game can show simplicity and complexity, such as how to balance the ratio of hydrogen to refined oil when refined from crude oil, and how to deal with complex formulas with simple layouts, which are left to the player to explore. At the same time, after exploring different galaxies, players can simplify the production process by finding special minerals, such as sulfuric acid can be directly extracted from the sulfuric acid sea, hydrogen can be produced from combustible ice, and so on.

    The Lens of Beauty

    There are many beautiful man-made objects and space wonders in the game, such as the production line that the player has painstakingly built, which is uniform and full of technological beauty. There are also various different types of planets and stars in the game, such as neutron stars, where neutron stars can be seen with magnetic inductive line particle streams and polar jets, frozen giant oceans, pink sunset of the planet Pandora, etc.

    Detroit: Become Human

    Immerse in the Emotional Storytelling of Interactive Drama

    Official website: Detroit: Become Human | Official Site | Quantic Dream

    Gameplay video: Detroit: Become Human – PGW 2017 Gameplay Trailer | PS4


    Detroit: Become Human (referred to as Detroit), developed by Quantic Dream, is a single-player adventure video game. The game is set in future Detroit where technology has advanced to the point where human-like androids are commonly seen. The plot follows the story of three androids, which are all playable characters: Conner, Kara, and Markus. As the story unfolds, the player is given an opportunity to rethink the morality of artificial intelligence as well as what makes us human.


    I have also been a fan of visual novels and interactive dramas, and Detroit is one of my favourites. When choosing what game to play, a rich storyline and a meaningful concept are the key points that I am looking for. 

    Detroit has a branching narrative in which there are thousands of choices the player can make, leading to 40 unique possible endings. In my first playthrough of Detroit, I chose to not load saved progress from the saving points even though the result of my choice was not the best. Because of the consequences of the choices I made, the ending that I achieved in the first playthrough involved the death of two of the main characters. This is not what I intended, and it made me think deeper about how my actions (or how I controlled the characters) reflected my understanding of humanity and my morality, as well as how my beliefs may be too ideal for the real world.

    There are some key features of the game that played the most part in giving me this immersing and thought-provoking experience. I would like to analyse how this is achieved in terms of different game design lenses.

    Elemental Tetrad


    Essentially, Detroit is an adventure game as well as an interactive drama. The mechanics of the game serve as the tools of storytelling and interactivity is the key that contributes to providing an engaging story and experience for the player. 

    The player can interact with the world in Detroit, including various items and NPCs. The world in Detroit evolves around the choices of the player in terms of how they respond to a conversion or an event. Some of these choices affect the storyline significantly, making the player the director of the story. There is also QTE involved in the story, which gives the player an impression that they are actually doing the actions that the character is doing in the game, thus engaging the player more.


    As an interactive drama, the story is the main focus of Detroit. Focusing on the relationship between humans and androids, the story of Detroit puts the player into moral dilemmas. As described on the official website, the player can “discover what it means to be human from the perspective of an outsider – and see the world through the eyes of a machine”.

    The game uses a branching narrative. The choices of the player have consequences and affect the outcome of the story. Some of the choices are crucial as they determine the fate of the three main characters. The player can view the flowchart of the story and load from a specific point to make a different choice and explore other paths if they would like to.


    The graphics of Detroit is very realistic. Items in the environment have many details and characters as well. The main characters, not limited to the three playable characters, are played by real actors. The emotions of the characters are well displayed through their facial expressions. 


    Detroit used to be PlayStation exclusive prior to the release of the PC version. The game uses rendering techniques that are optimal for its performance on the PlayStation console, such as checkerboard rendering and temporal anti-aliasing solution. To make the graphics look more realistic, the game makes use of physically-based rendering to properly simulate the roughness and reflectivity of light across materials. Besides, the character rendering is implemented by using extremely high polygon character models that are all superbly shaded, textured, and animated.

    Lens of Emotion

    The story of Detroit raises the question of whether humanity is ready to handle artificial life. When facing moral dilemmas, the player would encounter multiple emotional moments while playing the game. Even though all three playable characters are androids, they have different backgrounds, hence providing different perspectives on the same problem for the player to experience. The interaction between humans and artificial intelligence are shown from the androids’ point of view, which is not something that we as humans could have experienced before. While living their lives and facing the difficulties that they are encountering, the player can feel the emotional struggles that the characters are having.

    Lens of Meaningful Choices

    The choices of the player determine how the story develops and the fate of the characters. While making these decisions, the player needs to think about where is their stand on the questions of humanity. Some choices may also reflect the political view of the player as the story involves how the characters are supposed to lead a revolution against the government.

    Lens of Moments

    There are some key moments in the game that are the most memorable and have the most powerful impacts on the experience of the player. Some examples would be the characters turning into deviants, which means that they deviate from their programmed behaviours,  or the death of the characters. The player may question whether these moments are predetermined or the consequence of their choices. If they do not like how the result of their actions, i.e. the key moments, turn out to be, they may doubt the decisions they have made which makes them rethink their standing on the questions.

    Lens of Character Transformation

    One of the key concepts of the story in Detroit is how the three playable characters change from normal androids to deviants. Two of the main characters go through this transformation independent of the choices that the player makes, while the other one can either deviate or not depending on how the player chooses. While experiencing the story, the player can know what leads to the transformation of the characters, which can possibly give them a better understanding of the idea and message that the game is trying to convey.