Released on the 23rd of September, the Castlevania Advance Collection brought four classic titles away from the Game Boy Advance (GBA) and towards the PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch. While the Switch version manages to capture the same feel via game portability, the others have been difficult for some new players to swallow. Looking at bingo slots as a form of games that have made a much more digestible mobile/static system shift, we want to example why these disparities can exist, and what might be done to address them.
Mobile/Desktop Casino Game Success
Unlike the titles in the Castlevania Advance Collection, bingo slot games, otherwise known as Slingo Bingo, started their lives on stationary systems. Here, the predecessors to titles such as Slingo Riches and Book of Slingo were originally developed for PC, back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Mirroring physical machines in their immovable status, it makes sense that these games would fit a similarly grounded style of play on PCs. So, why did they work so well when they made their shift to mobile?
Ultimately, it’s a matter of the direction of movement better catering to the style of game. Bingo slots titles are designed for play sessions of highly flexible length. Since they were already designed for play between a couple of minutes and a couple of hours, it’s only logical that they would become strong fits for mobile systems.
The Castlevania Concern
While far from bad ports, the different design philosophy of going from mobile systems to stationary systems (again, other than the Switch) meant that this new Castlevania release had to fight a different battle. These games were designed for shorter sessions, and while this could seem immaterial, the importance that this concept has on gameplay philosophy is profound.
Challenges in these Castlevania games are short, but they’re immense. Unless you’re willing to grind out levels, this means facing wall after wall and pushing your way through. Normally this wouldn’t be so bad if you don’t mind dropping in and out, but if you keep playing, engagement can quickly become exhausting. So, why are smaller play sessions on console and PC so difficult? It’s a matter of changing culture.
Today, mainstream single-player titles like Assassins Creed and Red Dead Redemption are enormous time-sinks, and these have been solidified in our minds as the new status quo. This is in direct opposition to mobile games, and other interactive entertainment experiences like bingo slot titles. Though handheld ports to static systems were much easier years ago, they’re not so viable today. We’ve been conditioned into expecting something longer, whether we realise it or not, and for some players, this can be too much to handle.
This gap between the movement of bingo slot games and the handheld games like the Castlevania GBA titles can be problematic, but it’s not an insurmountable hurdle. Just like playing and losing in a Dark Souls game over and over again, the solution to getting the most out of the Castlevania experience can come from adjusting your expectations. If you’re a new player, expect to do some bouncing off, and for your abilities to be tested. If you’re a returning fan, you should at least get some illustration of how much your gaming skills have evolved, or how much better you were in your youth. As for bingo slots players, you probably don’t have anything to worry about.