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What is an io game? What does io even stand for? Am I an io game? Are you an io game?
Look, definitions are tricky. Maybe it’s just me but I’m kind of an “I am not a number, don’t label me with your labels, man” kind of person. But, categories do serve a function and while they sometimes are too claustrophobic or too laissez-faire, it is safe to say that games in general and io games, in particular, can be neatly defined.
To avoid any confusion before we get started, we should be clear that an io game doesn’t need to have the .io domain at the end of its name. The .io domain is just the country code top-level domain for the British Indian Ocean. Much like how Canada uses .ca or India uses .in. The two first and biggest io games --Agar.io and Slither.io-- both used .io as their domain of choice, so, it became the de facto standard for similar games and eventually morphed into the name of the genre.
No one knows for sure why io was chosen as the domain, but it’s probably because most .com domains like Agar or Cell have already been scooped up and io is also an abbreviation for a bunch of different tech terms like Input/Output, Information...
Flash Games still hold a special place in the hearts of many gamers who grew up or were online during the early to mid-2000s. Anybody into the casual gaming scene could tell you that you were spoiled for choice. There were hundreds of developers, dozens of publishers and a seemingly limitless supply of new games daily. Best of all, there were no micro-transactions, no pay walls, and no downloads. As long as you had flash —which was standard back in the day— you could scroll through and play for as long as you wanted.
In this wild west world of Flash Games, it took a lot to stand out and succeed. Sometimes you had to be original, or have a cool theme, great graphics, solid mechanics or a neat twist on an old genre favorite. You also had to hustle. With so many games, so many publishers and such a low barrier to entry for both players and developers it was easy for a new title to suffocate in the deluge of content. But there were standouts. There were top games which naturally rose through the ranks to become popular, beloved, and replayed ad infinitum.
Hello, and welcome to the Addicting News blog. Today, we bring you a quick interview with a game designer who specializes in minimalistic io games. Shaun has released two io games and both have done well on Addicting Games and iogames.space
His first game is Superballs.io, a multiplayer pool shoot-out where you play as giant pool cues trying to sink balls --and opposing players-- for points before the clock runs out. His other outing is an abstract area control game called dupl.io where you compete to conquer a grid by clicking the pips on a series of two-dimensional dice. In both games, Shaun uses few mechanics and sparse graphics to create elegant, original games with interesting choices that reward both timing and tactics. With Superballs, in particular, he re-purposes the overhead pool simulation mechanic that has been around as a video since the 1950s but re-imagines it as a full-contact sport on a procedurally...