Reading response to “to the right, hold on tight”

I found this to be a really interesting reading. I have never played past the tutorial level in the NES mario game, and so for me the tutorial level has been the whole experience. It is so well crafted that I didn’t realise it was a tutorial at all. Anna Anthropy carefully dissects the anatomy of the level. The sheer depth of the design is incredible. The thing that caught me the most was the jump – giving the player a harder but nonfatal/unstaked challenge to practice on, and then following up with a jump over real gap that is almost visually identical (and would probably be to someone playing for the first time) but slightly easier than the just seen practice. It made me think to games I’ve played they have had possibly similar set ups. I feel Kirby’s Adventure had this, although probably with less agonised over level design. In Kirby’s Adventure, the various levels of “hidden” shortcuts makes the player feel clever for working out the various environmental effects of the abilities they can gain from the enemies, and this is then necessary in the far more nonlinear later levels.

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