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Retoxin Games Posts

Ring

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In this game you control a ring through which the cable passes. Do not allow the ring to contact the cable passing through it. Tap in order to bounce up. You can install this game into your Android device from this link or play on your browser from that link. Have fun!

Google Play

You can publish this game on your web site by using below code.

<iframe src="https://retoxin.com/retoxin_games/ring/" width="460" height="790" scrolling="none" frameborder="0"></iframe>


 

Ring Screenshot 1
Ring Screenshot 2
Ring Screenshot 3
Ring Screenshot 4
Ring Screenshot 5
Ring Screenshot 6

Colorful Circles

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Here is our newest and funny game Colorful Circles. Raise the ball without touching different colored circle pieces. The color of the ball changes as you collect points after each circle. As the game progresses you will be confronted with much more difficult Colourful Circles. You can install this game into your Android device from this link or play on your browser from that link. Have fun!

Google Play

You can publish this game on your web site by using below code.

<iframe src="https://retoxin.com/retoxin_games/colorfulcircles/" width="460" height="820" scrolling="none" frameborder="0"></iframe>


 

Colorful Circles 1
Colorful Circles 2
Colorful Circles 5
Colorful Circles 6

Helix-R

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Here is our newest game the Helix-R. You task is to guide the ball through a slowly descending tower. You can rotate the tower, in order to fit the ball through the gaps. Avoid hitting the red colored parts.

We also offer you the browser version of the game. Browser version of the game does not include any Ads. You can play the game without any distractions. Use this link to play the game in your browser. Use this link to play the game in your browser. 

If you would like to install the game to your Android device please simply click the below Google Play logo.

Have fun!

Google Play

You can publish this game on your web site by simply adding below code.

<iframe src="https://retoxin.com/retoxin_games/helixr/" width="400" height="700" scrolling="none" frameborder="0"></iframe>


Helix-R

Helix-R

Helix-R

Helix-R

Video Games Can Tackle Depression and Mental Disorders

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For a long time, psychiatrists have been warning over the link between depression and video games. But this situation is changing with the findings from the new studies. For instance, a compelling new study has followed thousands of Canadian teenagers for several years tracking associations between screen time use and depression. The research separated different types of screen time, and found while frequent television and social media activity correlated with increased symptoms of depression, video game and computer use seemed to have little or no negative effect. The researchers hypothesize the reason behind social media and television potentially being more damaging to mental health is that these forms of media more realistically depict idealized versions of teens and adults, unlike the abstracted depictions seen in video games. The study also suggests the average gamer is not socially isolated, with more than 70 per cent of gamers playing with other people either online or in person.

A study supporting the idea of using video games to alleviate symptoms of depression, was recently published. Kühn et al. (2018) showed that the fast paced action video games has potential to improve cognitive ability and reduce rumination in depressed individuals. They recruited 68 clinically depressed individuals that were randomized into the training group playing a fast paced action video game for 6 weeks or a waitlist control group. Before and after training participants completed online questionnaires and a neuropsychological test battery. The training group showed significantly higher subjective cognitive ability, as well as lower self-reported rumination at posttest in contrast to the control group. On a subsample with cognitive performance data they detected an improvement in executive function in the training compared with the control group. The results show that the fast paced action video game employed in the study improved Trail Making performance and may reduce rumination and enhance subjective cognitive ability.

In addition to those findings, video games have started to be developed to tackle mental health issues, particularly depression. Such as Sea of Solitude developed by Electronic Arts. Last year, a game called Celeste explored depression and anxiety through a protagonist who had to avoid physical and emotional obstacles. In 2017’s fantasy action-adventure video game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, a young Celtic warrior deals with psychosis. Other games in recent years, including Night in the Woods and Pry, have delved into self-identity, anger issues and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some makers are now developing games to explicitly promote better mental health. Orpheus Self Care Entertainment, a start-up that was founded last year, is publishing virtual reality games in which players practice mindfulness and meditation through activities like dancing. In one game, players move their bodies in virtual reality to create patterns and shapes that move and change color. IThrive Games Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to improve mental health in teenagers through games and education, is also working on a new mobile game for teenagers who suffer from anxiety. The nonprofit is experimenting with a few different game styles — from role-playing to choose-your-own-adventure — for it. IThrive hopes to test the game by next year.

Rather than keeping people, especially teenagers, away from video games for the purpose of protecting their mental health, in the following years we will see video games being used in the fight against mental problems.


Kühn, S., Berna, F., Lüdtke, T., Gallinat, J., & Moritz, S. (2018). Fighting depression: action video game play may reduce rumination and increase subjective and objective cognition in depressed patients. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 129.

Retrogame Archaeology

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Atari Landfill Excavation

I am sure "Retrogame Archaeology" term sounds odd to you. It sounded strange to me in the first place too. But in science, a new field of research is emerging under this name. When you hear archeology, don't think of simply excavation of historical places. For instance, in 1983 Atari buried hundreds of thousands of games in Alamogordo, New Mexico and those games were discovered in 2014. This is not what they mean by "Retrogame Archeology".

In order to better understand "Retrogame Archeology", it is a good idea to look at a study in this field. Two scholars, John Aycock and Tara Copplestone (2018), was done an archaeological examination of an Atari 2600 game, the Entombed. In addition to shedding light on the term "Retrogame Archeology", there are two interesting findings in this study.

The Entombed Game

The Entombed, an Atari 2600 game released in 1982 by US Games. The player in this game is, appropriately, an archaeologist who must make their way through a zombie-infested maze. The maze in Entombed is particularly interesting: it is shaped in part by the extensive real-time constraints of the Atari 2600 platform, and also had to be generated efficiently and use next to no memory. The scholars reverse engineered key areas of the game’s code to uncover its unusual maze-generation algorithm, which they have also built a reconstruction of, and analyzed the mysterious table that drives it. In addition, they discovered what appears to be a 35-year-old bug in the code, as well as direct evidence of code-reuse practices amongst game developers.

They found that, variety of patterns shown in the maze generation relies on the pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) in the game code. PRNG was also include a bug and this bug is a very distinctive signature for it. They used this bug to identify programmers’ code reuse activity. Besides Entombed, they found this code in five other games. Three (M.A.D., Raft Rider, Towering Inferno) were also published by US Games; another, Q*bert, has people credited that intersect with the US Games games; the last one, Angriff der Luftflotten, appears to be a minor variant of M.A.D. It seems clear that the PRNG code either originated elsewhere and was copied into Entombed, or was copied from Entombed to other games.

You can watch the video below to get an idea about the game.

The second interesting point that scholars have found is related to the codes that make up the maze. Due to the constraints of the Atari 2600 platform mazes should be generated procedurally and should be reliably navigable in each time. Unfortunately reengineering of the game did not helped the scholars to understand the logic behind the maze generation procedure. The interview with one of the developers involved in the development of this game makes this situation more colorful.

Steve Sidley said:

‘The basic maze generating routine had been partially written by a stoner who had left. I contacted him to try and understand what the maze generating algorithm did. He told me it came upon him when he was drunk and whacked out of his brain, he coded it up in assembly overnight before he passed out, but now could not for the life of him remember how the algorithm worked.’

Sidley also observed that the maze code was uncommented, and when asked about the 32-byte table said
‘It was a mystery to me too, I couldn’t unscramble it. I just used it to generate the new row at the bottom of the screen.’ 

Maybe no-one ever really understood the logic of the algorithm. But there it is, in a 1982 Atari game, posing a seemingly unanswerable question. The fundamental logic that determines the next square is locked in a table of possible values written into the game’s code. Depending on the values of the five-square tile, the table tells the game to deposit either wall, no wall or a random choice between the two. It seems straightforward, but the thing is, no-one can work out how the table was made. Whatever the programmer did, it was a stroke of mild genius. Every time the game is played, a reliably navigable maze is pumped out. Were the table’s values random or even slightly different, the maze would likely fail to be drawn with a playable path through it. It just seems impossible to explain.

The act and experience of programming is, at its heart, a fundamentally human activity that results in the production of artifacts. The video games have become a major commercial enterprise and an important part of our culture. They store up their own record of human history. They are not just a technical product; they are a form of material culture which can be examined through archaeological lenses. It will not be wrong to say that in the distant future archaeologists will intensively do research on today's computer games to understand our lifestyle and culture.

Aycock, J., & Copplestone, T. (2018). Entombed: An archaeological examination of an Atari 2600 game. arXiv preprint arXiv:1811.02035.

A New Game “RoboShock”

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Here is the our newest game the RoboShock. Your task in this game is to keep the robot away from electrical sparks. You can control the robot with the joystick that appears in the bottom right corner when the game starts. If you are playing the browser version of the game use left-right arrow keys or a-d keys to control the robot. You can only move the robot to the right or left. The robot can not jump, but you can also steer while in the air.

We also offer you the browser version of the game. Browser version of the game does not include any Ads. You can play the game without any distractions. Use this link to play the game in your browser. 

If you would like to install the game to your Android device please simply click the below Google Play logo.

Have fun!

Google Play

 

You can publish this game on your web site by simply adding below code.

<iframe src="https://retoxin.com/retoxin_games/roboshock/" width="500" height="820" scrolling="none" frameborder="0"></iframe>


RoboShock Game

RoboShock Game

RoboShock Game

RoboShock Game

RoboShock Game

RoboShock Game

Play “Stack The Blocks” and “Save The Dragon” on Your Browser

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As we have promised before, we have released browser versions of our "Stack The Blocks" and "Save The Dragon" games. You can reach those games by simply clicking below logos.

 

Stack The Blocks
Save The Dragon

If you would like to publish those games on your web site you can use below codes to embed them.

<iframe src="https://retoxin.com/retoxin_games/stack_the_blocks/" width="500" height="800" scrolling="none" frameborder="0"></iframe>

<iframe src="https://retoxin.com/retoxin_games/save_the_dragon/" width="500" height="800" scrolling="none" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Lazy Eye Treatment For Adults By Video Games

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Amblyopia is often referred to as lazy eye, and it entails weaker vision in one eye due to a poor connection between the eye and the brain. It is a deficit in vision that arises from abnormal visual experience early in life. It was long thought to develop into a permanent deficit, unless properly treated before the end of the sensitive period for visual recovery. Until recently it was thought to be untreatable in adults, but new researches have proven that with consistent therapy even adults can improve their Amblyopia  at least partially recover visual acuity and stereopsis, especially through video games.

According to a study at the University of Berkeley, video games can help the treatment of lazy eyes in adults. The results of the study were published in August 2011 on the website of PLOS Biology. The researchers wanted to see if playing video games and exposure to the richer variety of details they provide could lead to visual improvements for patients with lazy eye similar to those seen with the more mundane visual tasks. They recruited 20 volunteers with amblyopia, ages 16 to 60 — half of them had strabismic amblyopia, which is marked by misaligned or crossed eyes; six had anisometropic amblyopia, in which the two eyes have significantly different prescriptions; another three had both conditions; and one volunteer had amblyopia caused by cataracts in one eye.

Boy Playing Game On Mobile

In the first experiment, 10 volunteers spent 20 two-hour sessions playing an action video game — "Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault," a first-person shooter game. In a second experiment, three other volunteers spent the same amount of time playing a non-action video game, "SimCity Societies," which required players to build things. As all the volunteers played the games, they wore a patch over their good eye.

Both action and non-action games yielded a 30 percent increase in visual acuity, or an average improvement of 1.5 lines on the standard letter chart used by optometrists. In comparison, it can take 120 hours of eye-patch therapy to see a one-line improvement on the letter chart in children with amblyopia. Performance was measured after every 10 hours of gaming, and some volunteers started improving earlier than 40 hours. Anisometropic volunteers also saw a 50 percent improvement in 3-D depth perception after 40 hours of playing video games. On the other hand some researchers found that even 45 minutes of therapy leads to improvement in visual acuity.

To check if these results were due to use of the eye patch instead of games, the scientists conducted a third experiment in which seven volunteers wore a patch over their good eye for 20 hours during normal daily activities such as watching television, reading books and surfing the Internet. In the end, they showed no improvement on vision tests. These volunteers were then asked to wear a patch while playing video games for 40 hours, and afterward they showed the same level of improvement as the volunteers in the other experiments.

To sum up, if you have lazy eye problem, you can simply patch the eye which has no lazy eye  problem, and play the video game to improve your vision acuity. There is no potential side effects and no risk. At the end of the day, you will have fun at least.

Save The Dragon

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Retoxin games has released the new game "Save The Dragon" for Android devices. The mission in this game is to rescue the dragon from the lava cave.

You have to tap the screen to flap to wings. You have to make sure the dragon doesn't touch anything.

As we promised before, we will make this game and "Stack The Blocks" playable on our website, Facebook and windows platforms soon.

You can install the game to your phone by clicking Google Play logo below.

Have fun!

Save The Dragon Game
Save The Dragon Game
Save The Dragon Game
Save The Dragon Game
Save The Dragon Game

Hyper Casual Games Top 10 Mechanics

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When coming up with new game ideas, you often want to look around you for inspiration. Most great games are often a merging of two mechanics with a twist of innovation. The best strategy is to use the 90/10 rule. Stick with 90% what you know and try to create a 10% twist.

Here’s a breakdown of the current top 10 game mechanics for hyper casual gaming.

Tap/Timing Mechanics:

Tap and Timing games are the most popular form of mechanics for hyper casual games. Most of the other mechanics use tapping or timing as an input method for their particular gameplay. In a game that is pure tap and timing gameplay, the mechanic relies upon an exact tap or an exact timing.  Precision is the most important aspect of the action and the focus for the user is perfection.  Only the perfect tap will bring the maximum score. The rest of the games feel and creativity relies on exploiting small inaccuracies in the tap to reduce the player’s ability to win, usually in the form of a high score.

When thinking of tap and timing mechanics you must strip away any external or confusing factors for the player and provide a clear visual objective for a player to achieve. Visual feedback is extremely important here with a clear representation of a bad shot, but also a large positive reinforcement for the Perfect Shot.  The clearer the goal, and the harder the perfect shot, the more fun it is when you hit it.

Stacking Mechanics:

Stacking mechanics take the tap/timing mechanic further by adding your previous taps outcome to the progress of the round.  The game Stack The Blocks by Retoxin Games is a good example where the Tower itself is made up of the previously stacked squares. Every time a player fails to get a perfect stack, the tower itself shrinks, making it harder and smaller for the next stack.

Stacking mechanics provide more points of failure for the players, with each failure having a smaller effect than a Pure Tap game. They soften the failure by allowing you to continue, but they maintain the clear visual clarity of how that failure occurred. The less punishing failure the longer the round, but long rounds also signify a sense of ease.

When thinking how to design with a stack game in mind, make sure players have enough points of failure (5-10) before you end the round, but make sure the difficulty is hard enough that players get non-perfect timings at least 20-40% of the time.  Too few points of failure the game is too hard and too many perfect timings the game is too easy.

Turning Mechanics:

Turning is the last of the tap and timing themed mechanics. It adds a further complication to each tap by adding a confusing visual perception. Humans visual cortex has an in built weakness at judging lengths between horizontal and vertical shapes in a 3D space. The visual cortex can be tricked quite easily and many visual illusions demonstrate it, The Ponzo Illusion, is a good example. As a designer you’re still only asking the player to time a single tap but with the added confusion of the 3D space players are more likely to get this wrong. This is much harder to master than the 2D Stack-based approach.

Good turning based gameplay is usually more forgiving than stack-based gameplay, resetting the player more frequently and letting them get back into a perfect streak even after making mistakes. As a designer you want your players to make clear mistakes that end in failure, the more obvious those mistakes the less frustrated a player becomes. Turning games also work best when the angles are 90 degrees or repeating sharp angles, simply because the brain can learn to overcome it’s own weakness, through trial and error! You must be more lenient than other hypercasual game mechanics because people simply don’t believe their own eyes! 

Dexterity Mechanics:

These games mainly focus on a player having a very simple and repeating action that they must perform many hundreds of times. With enough practice, these mechanics can be mastered by dextrous players and so the highest score is a fair representation of dexterity and skill.  For these games to be fun the game must usually speed up, taking a mechanic that might be easy to slowly, but when pressurised by a time becomes more and more likely you will make a mistake.

You still need a clear hard limit to success usually a single life or single mistake ends the round and you start from the beginning. Timberman by Digital Melody is a great example of taking a player’s full attention, timing and dexterity to create a challenging points based challenge.  When designing these sort of games you must make sure the controls and input sensitivity is the highest priority. There can be no lag and no grey areas, a players action will directly affect the character immediately. A player will be inputting many hundreds of taps per round, each tap must be accurate for it to be fun, any inaccuracies or lag are multiplied by the number of times you input it.

Rising / Falling Mechanics:

Rising and falling mechanics provide interesting journeys for their players. The constant progression of the level leads to the feeling of progression without a change in the mechanic or goal. To keep people entertained the level itself must develop. Rise Up by Serkan Özyılmaz and Helix Jump by Voodoo show how progression develops as you traverse up or down the game.

The player’s focus is on dealing with the next challenge along the progression and less about accuracy.  There are many ways to win these levels, a little luck is often needed over timing or skill. Your only goal is to protect an object from a single point of failure.

The journey develops pressurising environments and the players end up  creating lots of self-inflicted problems. Small issues early on can cause much harder moves later. Good design here focus’ on players have 1 or possibly 2 problems to deal with at a time, but the nature of the problem changes as you rise or fall through the gameplay. Try to think in stages and work on each stage being fun on it’s own, adding them together creates the dynamic journey.

Swerve Mechanics:

The final arcade based hypercasual mechanic is the swerve mechanic.  These games focus on using the drag of a finger to avoid obstacles. Most of the time they are avoidance based mechanics in a similar vein to rising and falling, but they also focus more on dexterity than timing. Swerve games maximise the touch screen controls and are hard to recreate on other devices. This gives them an original feeling and a cool use of touch inputs.

What’s important here is that the game focus’ on a player accuracy of input from dragging and sweeping a finger, rather than timing a tap. The size of the object, the speed of the object has a big effect on what people are able to do with their fingers.

In the same way, as dextrous games focus on removing inaccuracies, swerve games need to focus on the input feel of your finger. Players will play for longer if the game feels fun and the near misses feel, super near. Work on making the game reward players for near misses and replay their errors to show just how close they were to almost avoiding death to make the game more fun.

Merging Mechanics:

Merging mechanics are very easy for players to understand. Similar things combine, different things don’t. The game then becomes very easy for people to get right and with each subsequent merge, a new piece of understanding and a strong sense of progression is conveyed to players. Complexity and challenge in this game usually come in the form of a metagame, something that non-casual games rely on, but for the casual audience, the metagame can be divisive, making the game too complex and turning people away from playing.

Merge games do well because the metagame is incorporated into the main game.The mechanic is very visual and you can see how your action is causing the merged units to be different from one another. For a merging game to be successful, don’t break the golden rule, embrace the golden rule – Similar things combine, different things don’t. You then need to make merging feel fun, animate, excite and surprise players with each new find. The clear sense of progression along with the ever-increasing challenge,  due to exponential growth, of merging to the next stage will keep people playing for longer.

Idle Mechanics:

Idle as a mechanic has been used in hyper casual to mid-core games for a number of years. The complexity and reliance on the mechanic is a choice by each game designer. At its core, it is any mechanic that doesn’t require input from a player in order to progress. Obviously, no input at all is a very casual experience, but also one that without an objective becomes boring. Most of the time idle mechanics form a secondary mechanic attached to a soft currency.  This works well because over time players earn more money which they can spend in their core game experience.

Adventure Capitalist by Hyper Hippo made the idle mechanic the core focus of the gameplay and built a game around repeating the mechanic with different growth rates. It became successful because of the interplay between the rates and the addition of ascension mechanics which force a player to lose all of their progress in the current game for increase speed of progress in the next game.

For idle mechanics to be fun, they need to be balanced. The biggest issue with the genre is bad maths. Either the game reaches incredibly hard to overcome peaks of progress or totally boring plateaus of progression where the numbers and growth mean nothing in the real game.  Be careful and make sure you use your excel skills to their max if you want to rely on idle mechanics.

Growing Mechanics:

Growing mechanics are very similar to idle mechanics in that they are usually independent of the core control input but do form the core gameplay objective. Winners in this hyper casual genre are always the largest and in some cases can eat other players, in essence ending a round.  The gameplay mechanics themselves are very clear, yet developing a fun experience and one that scales is reasonably difficult for this genre.

You need to think a lot about player density when designing games that grow. Obviously, all players want to grow, but not all can. Starting the correct number of players in the correct space and with the correct amount of food is what makes this genre fun. These games also become exponentially more fun with other real people playing them and have so far formed the .io genre on the store. The number of fitting gameplay mechanics for this genre is limited but the games have a longer lifespan than other hypercasual games because of the interactions with other players.

Puzzle Mechanics:

Puzzle is a genre in itself, but hyper casual puzzle games focus on simplicity rather than complexity. A good hyper casual puzzle game usually has no end. Players are simply asked to continue to play the puzzle for as long as possible and the game will not increase the difficulty.  The mechanic itself must grow in complexity via the users’ actions. Good examples are 1010! By Gram Games or 2048 by Ketchapp. In both cases, the puzzle rules are set at the beginning and the board develops as you play. Unlike other board games such as Chess or Chequers which have clear end goals, hypercasual puzzle games usually have no clear end and it’s simply a case of lasting as long as you can.

These are the hardest genre of hypercasual games to develop because they are usually very clear and defined mechanics that are unique to the game itself. This is because it is very hard to create a mechanic that over time doesn’t change the gameboard into something that is too easy or too hard. Board Games are usually a great place to look for tried and tested mechanics, but make sure you chose ones that require very few rules otherwise you will lose your audience in the explanation.