Thursday, May 25, 2006

Miniclip's Wild Waters

Miniclip has presented an old idea and wrapped it in impressive 3D graphics and amazingly addictive gameplay. While new players may have a hard time getting used to the controls, they will soon feel entrapped by the replayability and will keep playing for hours.

I'm talking about Waterslide Slalom, the popular gaming portal's popular waterslide simulator that was in the "Top 10" list for some time (the reason I'm late in reviewing it is simple: I can't stop playing!) The 3D graphics make this a visually impressive product (and the sound ain't too shabby either), but the real reason for the success of this game is what I call the Almost Factor.

The Almost Factor is what made Waterslide Slalom a huge Miniclip success.

The Almost Factor is when the game makes the user feel like he or she almost beat the game, but not quite, and if they try again, they can do it! They almost crossed that chasm. They almost beat the alien boss. They almost beat the other car. They almost made it to the end of the slide without falling off. And so they try again and again, each time getting a little closer to the goal and finally making it, only to be met by a whole new set of challenges.

Waterslide Slalom uses a brilliant system of "whoops! almost made it" that keeps players coming back for more.

Waterslide Slalom utilizes the Almost Factor beautifully, and that's what makes this game a winner. I've often picked up this game fully intending to only play for a few minutes, and the next time I look at the time it's been 45 minutes. I'm sure you'll have a similar experience, and that's why I'm giving this game a 9/10.

Have you played Waterslide Slalom? Click the "comments so far" link below and tell us what you thought; your opinion counts!


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