Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I blame Speck

I've downloaded just a few Speck-oriented iPhone apps, with the thought that they'd help out when we got stuck waiting somewhere. Of course, she saw them before that, so now I mostly have to keep the iPod hidden if I want to do other normal play things.

Anyway, one of my more recent Speck downloads was Pocket Frogs, which allows you to breed and raise ever-more-colorful and patterny frogs over time, with a slowly growing complexity of habitat and choices to be made about which you keep and which you sell, etc. Speck likes the idea of it -- or, at least, she liked hopping the frogs around the pond, and was very motivated to get from our starting brown and green frogs to her favorite color, blue -- but really I'm the one who has gotten sucked in. In the one day since I tried it with her, I've collected a rainbow of crazily patterned frogs, mastered some of the subtleties of managing the limited resources for growing them, and wasted entirely too much time generally messing around.

blue Pocket Frog on a wet rock

I can't yet tell whether my obsession will be sustainable, or whether Speck will be pleased or annoyed that I've grown our colony in her absence. For my part, I've managed to avoid any temptation to spend money for more in-game resources, taking the need for time to pass as a spur to, you know, do other things. But this pushes my cuteness and collection buttons, as well as yay! tangible progress! circuits, so I suspect I'm not done yet...

Edit: Turns out that more advanced frogs take longer to mature, reducing the drive to play for long stretches (as it's better to let eggs hatch and grow overnight, say), so there's a natural slowing down to a stable level once you're hooked. Good design.

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