The Hook, The Carrot and The Final Blow

12 11 2008

Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m broke as heck.  Meaning, there’s absolutely no way that I can purchase that newest and awesome console or even game for a while until price drops.  Because of the cost (free) and because of the simplicity of play (any rig can do it), I’m a big fan of browser games (often, flash-based).

We’ve all played them at one point or another.  Be it ‘tower defense’ games, some ‘hold off the _____’ game (insert zombies, militia, bag clips, etc), simple shooters, or anything in between, browser games offer something to everyone.  And therein lies the hook.  Anyone can play, the time to play is often not much (at least for one game), and there’s nothing to buy, install or mess with.  

For me, I tried a lot of different sites for flash games.  I first went to  A great site, but more often than not, running some creator competition.  Which is great if you’re into games on a theme or willing to try some not so great games in order to see some truly inspired games.  But in general, I found too many “exit the room” clickfests, or too many Samarost-style find the pixel that changes the map-type of games.  In and of itself, a great site to check once in a while, but it didn’t work for my tastes.

Then, I found  A popular site, and one that had a lot of stuff I could play on my PC or on my Wii’s Opera browser.  This is a good site and has a lot of games in one place, with a decent ratings system.  

However, as soon as I heard of Kongregate, I was stuck for good.  

 You see, they’ve got a carrot.  Something that propels you forward and makes your play worth something.  While AddictingGames probably has the same games in general, (or ArmorGames, or Newgrounds or any other game aggregator site), Kongregate offers a profile experience that the others do not in the way, that every game has acheivements of some sort. 

Now, before you all accuse me of being an achievement whore, allow me to clarify.  The carrot was acheivements, and the idea that I have a character level that is dependent upon me completing achievements in various games certainly was a draw.  But the Final Blow…the coup de grace that has me personally hooked is their collectable-card battling game: Kongai.

Kongai -'s collectible card game.

Kongai -

Kongai is played by two people with decks of either three or five cards.  The idea is you have four categories of cards (Martial Artists, Amazons, Tiki Villagers, and Vampires).  Each has their own strengths and weaknesses (for example, the Martial Artists tend to deal heavy physical damage, whereas the Vampires would tend to deal dark damage).  Each “character” card within these sets has certain attacks and buff/debuff skills as well, each costing varied amounts of action points.  Action points only recharge at a rate of 20/round, so you need to be mindful of who’s using what, and when.  There are also “modifier” cards that can add damage or buffs to your character.  These can be used one per character.

Now, I know that all sounds confusing if you’ve never played a card-battle game before, and until you’ve played this a couple times, it will likely remain so.  However, the hook here is that every week, Kongregate has an achievement “challenge” that if completed, will reward the player with a card for their Kongai deck.

Kongregate offers Challenges which add Kongai Cards to your Deck

Kongregate offers Challenges which add Kongai Cards to your Deck

Of course, this gives some new or featured games some huge incentive to be played.  Usually it doesn’t take too much to get to the card challenge (I’ve never spent more than 15-20 minutes playing a game before I reached a challenge achievement).  The benefit is you are exposed to more games, as well as building a Kongai deck, which makes you more likely to come back to Kongregate, because each challenge brings you closer to having that killer deck.

Kongai's cards are used in concert to deal heavy damage to your foes


Kongai isn’t for everyone, to be sure, but Kongregate’s achievement badges and point structure are definitely something above and beyond the typical game-aggregator site’s draw, and well worth checking out.

OtakuDad can be found at Kongregate as user: Dorkmaster




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