I enjoyed reading Steven Gabriel’s blog, which documents his efforts to develop a couple of simple puzzle games – a Lumines-clone done with SDL (which is what I used for Bonnie’s Bookstore), and a Tetris-y variant done in Flash (playable in-browser here). Neither of the games is that great – they were clearly learning exercises for him, but his accounts of developing them are interesting.
Game Producer has printed a second excellent post with sales and production details for a casual game – this time the JewelQuest-like Match-3 game Christmas Bonus.
Here’s a nice Bonnie’s Bookstore review – it’s the longest review I’ve seen on-line so far, and, thankfully, is very positive about the game. Besides that, I’ve seen one nice print review (from a syndicated newspaper columnist), and I believe that print reviews are forthcoming in PC Gamer, CGW, and Wired. Still, casual games do not get reviewed to anywhere near the extent that traditional games get reviewed.
On the other hand, many of the casual games web sites allow user reviews, and there are a fair number of these up. Grab.com has many of them here. The downside is that the reviews can be, uh, less than thorough.
A good user review (in full):
His GaMe roCKs
and a bad one (in full):
Ã½t is a bad game [sic]
I’m not making these up – click on the link for more – although many of the others are significantly better than those two.