The first game I was recently introduced to was Ilomilo by Chris, as he knows that I love the handmade aesthetic like the one used for Little Big Planet. With Ilomilo, each level is a new puzzle which needs to be completed, to get both Ilo and Milo standing next to each other to reunite them.
I really enjoy that the environments change with the level, but still are similar and retain the same visual style. As you progress with the game, more interesting maneuvers become possible, with changing blocks and curving faces to the blocks. Although a simple design, basically made from rounded cubes, the texturing is what makes this game so unique and has some much appeal to me. The softness and fabric like quality of the blocks texturing makes it so joyful to watch, and is a game I would happily play for hours on end.
After falling in love with Ilomilo, I took it upon myself to see if there were any notably similar games, and searched forums to see if anyone else was hoping to find the same. On one forum, Locoroco a game made for the PSP (with an online demo version) came out as one of the most similar games for the puzzle based gameplay. Although I was more interested in trying to find visually similar games, Locoroco is actually a really interesting game to look more in-depth with.
Here are some of their character designs, as you can see they have been kept incredibly simple with basic shapes and colours.
Notably, the games creator had the idea for the game whilst out and about, and quickly sketched the games concept on their phone, which I find really inspiring, that you don't have to be sat purposefully thinking about games design, for good games design to happen.
Although I had previously heard of Minecraft and seen some of the creations which had come from it, I had never actually had the opportunity to play on it until last weekend when at Chris' house. He mentioned that it would be a fun game for me to play knowing that I am fussy when it comes to gaming, but ensured it was similar to The Sims in a strange blocky kind of way. And he was completely right, but this focuses more on the 'build mode' side of The Sims, rather than the needy feeding and washing of the characters!
This last image shows the different available elements in Minecraft, and what they are capable of creating if the elements are combined together. This allows creative play and lets exploration take a key part in the game.
Sonic Chronicles is not a game I have played myself, but one I found when looking into Joy Ang's portfolio, and fell in love with their background artwork for the game, http://joyang.ca/artwork/sonic-chronicles-backgrounds/
I love the simple tones used, especially in the image with the toy shelf, and the depth of the image due to the fish eye effect and the silhouette of the robot toy in the foreground. Lighting is again a fundamental part of the designs, and really adds to the realism and believability of the landscape.