Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Game" Review: Cassie's Corner

Cassie’s Corner is a piece of shit.

I will pay North Squard studios (not a typo) a dollar to revoke the full game privileges I spent a dollar on. Not only is this game bad, it somehow managed to become an “ Pick” or something, which means it gets special placement in the Indie Games tabs and proves that IGN considers Indie games with the same scrutiny it does retail releases. This game managed to beat LCD Display and World Clock to the ranks of IGN Pick, inexplicably.

For anyone who hasn’t played this or North Squard’s other killer app, The Drinking Game, Cassie’s Corner is a random trivia guessing game. There’s a gauntlet of multiple choice questions, covering a variety of scientific, geographic, political and pop culture curiosities and at the end you run through your results.

The real kicker in Cassie’s Corner is Cassie, who is a dumb girl.

She has boobs I guess and reads you the poorly worded trivia as a video window that takes up most of the screen. The titular Corner could be a euphemism for the brown dungeon in which she records herself or the uncomfortable, sputtering, and drunken way she imposes the questions on the player.

The aimless, musing cadence of a never-was YouTube diva is easy enough to ignore on its own, but Cassie makes you wait until she is done being impressed with how cute she delivered her script before you can even answer. A boring 39 question trivia game suddenly becomes twice as terrible to complete. Unless you think she’s hot, in which case, you suck.

Once I counted a full six seconds of her making inquisitive facial expressions to herself after the end of a question before it could be answered. This also wouldn’t have been as arduous if the trivia was fun or challenging, but it isn’t.

Cassie’s Corner promises to quiz you about your world, and because I don’t doubt the factuality of the answers, it succeeds in that one regard. But the potential answers are often times so similar that the relative utility of knowing the trivia would be the same if either one were correct.

For instance, one question asks how far apart Russia and the US are at their closest and lists both “2 miles” and “6 miles” as potential answers. I guessed 6 miles, but the correct answer is apparently 2 miles. What the hell difference does that make? I probably shouldn’t care about this but Cassie sticks her tongue out when you’re done going through your answers (one by goddamn one) and I hate her.

Also the questions appear in the same order every time and there are only 39 of them. Way to go, IGN.

I do not like to harangue about the general quality of Xbox Live Indie games. No matter how bad some of the entries are, they are at least sincere attempts at game development. The platform allows creators to get their finished product to a pretty wide user base, which in turn can criticize and/or encourage the creator with little or no financial imposition. Where these games fail, you can see hints of the creator’s ambition, and the paltry price tag gives the player incentive to support more promising upstarts.

But Christ.

This is just awful.