New Games Portal: Arcade Warfare
A new games portal launched on Friday for all those online gaming connoisseurs. Arcade Warfare is the name, and is a platform focused around not only those that love games, but those that love to make them as well; allowing for competitive prizes and user uploads.
As it stands, the games portal hosts over 4,000 different types of games that span every type of genre and time period. Primarily Flash or Shockwave based, titles vary from 2D fighters such as “The Incredibles,” to shooters like “3D Swat.” Perhaps most interesting, Arcade Warfare contains a myriad of older, more classic titles such as Duck Hunt, Asteroids, and Contra that are mixed together with newer, web reditions of modern games such as Call of Duty 2.
The portal certainly has a nice selection of games, but if there is any one issue with it, it is that finding a game initially is rather obnoxious. All of the games are sorted by category (action, adventure, shooter, etc.), but each category can only be browsed, and so that impressive 4,000+ games now becomes a devastating hindrance.
The problem is that virtually no user is going to browse all 4,000 games. There is no way to sort them by times played, ranking, or when it was added. Thankfully, at least there is a section for “Top Rated Games” and “Newest Additions” on the home page at least. Yes, the site does have ranking systems for games, as well as user comments, but the rankings are only on the game page, so the user has to click on each game to see if other users have said if its any good. It might seem nit picky, but with thousands of games, and around 15 or so seconds needed to load the game’s page and go back, you can only look at four games in one minute, eight games in two minutes with eight, and so on. There are roughly 48 games on one page. So, that means 12 minutes to look at all of them. The company should focus on making navigation faster. For example, it could offer a thumbnailed view of dozens of games in one page. Remember, on average, websites have under one minute to interest a user (10 seconds for the initial splash page).
In terms of social features, the site is okay. Not great, but okay. The big draw is that developers can upload games, but with its distribution problems, that is more or less shot until it becomes more user friendly. There are, however, discussions forums, site statistics, and the aforementioned comments, but none of these really stand out. Frankly, it is the friends lists and ability to earn points and win prizes that is most interesting. Even still, the former is highly unintuitive compared to something like Facebook (in the game, you friend directly from their profile pages, it seems). While you can see what games they’ve played, it is only on their profile and not in a visible location like a news feed would be. As for the latter, points and prizes: The points are earned from playing games, but at the moment no prizes seem to be available (of course, that’s probably due to it just being released a few days ago).
Overall, Arcade Warfare has a fantastic selection of games that would appeal to a very wide range of individuals. Unfortunately, it’s just too hard to find the good ones. Nonetheless, if the usability issues in question can be fixed, then this games portal could very well take off.