Anyone else lose interest in their iphone/ipod/ipad games when they get too difficult?

While browsing through my games recently one thing they all have in common stuck out in my mind - I’ve got to a point in all of them where the level I’m on is difficult.

Here’s the main point I want to make by creating this thread…

They are not challenging difficult, they are annoying difficult! If they were challenging difficult that would be a good thing. But as it is If I try to do the level I’m on on a particular game I just find it mostly frustrating and very little ‘fun’.

This doesn’t seem to apply to my PC games. Whenever they get difficult they are still fun to play, in fact the difficulty often increases the likelihood that I will play it. But when I try to do those difficult levels on my ipod or iphone It’s not fun, and the only thing that has a chance of keeping me at it is the desire to “just get that bloody level done so I can move to the next one”. That in itself isn’t enough to keep me interested in the game. I just close it and find something else to do. A game needs to still have an element of fun in the difficult parts to keep me playing.

Anyone know what the hell I’m talking about?

Yup. I know exactly what you mean. I’m not a hardcore gamer and generally don’t play hyper-competitive PC or console games. On my Android phone I’ve been playing Angry Birds when bored and Words with Friends recently. I see cell phone games as wonderful time-wasters and nothing more. I’ll bust them out for 15 minutes waiting in line or on the CTA. I’ll knock out a few levels when work is slow and I have nothing to do. But I don’t generally want to be challenged and I don’t want to be absorbed into anything on my phone, since fundamentally I’m playing it sporadically at best.

Angry Birds. I know what I want to do. I know where I want the bird and what I want to hit. It just becomes a matter of manipulating the stupid slingshot.

Yeah, Angry Birds can be annoying. It’s often less of a puzzle game and more of a roulette wheel. Controlling the aim on that sling shot and triggering the secondary actions is less a test of skill and more a test of your phone’s sensitivity.

I had a labyrinth on my phone that I reached just such a level and instead of it constantly frustrating me that I couldn’t do it, I finally just gave up.

I do that with all games, including PC. If boss (or level) X takes 2 or 3 times to master, fine, that’s a challenge. More than that, it’s annoying, and I either turn the difficulty way down or find a cheat.

The thing I’ve noticed about angry birds, which you might agree with, is that a tiny difference in the angle of the catapult often translates into an unexpectedly large difference in the angle the bird gets launched at.

You launch, the bird goes way over everything, so you think “I’ll give it the same power, but move my finger half a billionth of a micron lower”, then your bird goes crashing into the solid wall at the base of the structure.
Also: the problem with precision games on touch devices in general: when taking your finger off the device the last bit of your finger to leave the device effectively f**s up any precision you achieved while you were touching

Angry Birds has ridiculously high precision requirements. I quit that game a while ago. Not sure why it’s so popular to be honest.


I think the key to angry birds is quick repitition. Notice the little things like size of the space between the bands of the sling shot or what blade of grass that the bird in the slot is touching. Do it a half dozen times to be able to repeat almost the same results every time. If you mess up, immediately reset the stage, don’t waste time on it unless you might have done better with that mess up. Found a few better results by accident that way.

Currently on stage 12-6 with 3 stars on every stage before it. I only move on when I do get three stars on the previous stage. Some took 40,50, maybe even 100 tries before I got 3 stars.

Call me “patient”.

I am not alone thank goodness.

I don’t mind a bit of a challenge, when the task is clear, but once a game gets difficult, I think “why bother putting in loads of effort for something that is ultimately pointless, when I could use the time for something more productive?”

A rare exception to this was Soosiz, which is superb fun all round. Unfortunately I got stuck on boss layer 7 in world 5 (out of 7 worlds) and just could not kill the bastard, so abandoned that game too, about a year ago.

For me, getting games just right so I can proceed just doesn’t feel like a victory - it feels like a waste of time.

I find the opposite to be true also. I enjoyed the tower game Medieval until about level 30. After that I had so many defenses and weapons that the enemy couldn’t even get close to me. Just to make it halfway challenging I stopped using certain resources at my disposal, but it was too late – my troops could nearly win the battle without any help from me. I don’t play it any more.

Kind of the same with Treasure of Montezuma, a nice quality Jewel Quest knockoff. The game gets easier rather than harder as you go up levels. There aren’t that many levels so I completed the whole thing several times before becoming bored with it.

I don’t care much for Angry Birds either.

I always get to this point in any game. Usually I come back to the game a year or so later, start over, and I figure it out.

Well, at least, that works in games where the problem is my not figuring something out. If it’s skill based, yeah, I cheat.

I don’t think i ever considered angry birds a puzzle game, i always thought of it as an aiming skill game. Like duck hunt or something.

Not that the game itself is terribly original (its basically a combo of several overexposed genres), but considering that it IS fun and otherwise well-made – I, too, was amazed at the shoddy control on the slingshot. Especially when you have to zoom out, and cant see the damn thing.