The gaming world is both endlessly limitless yet restrictively limited. The ideas for development can know no bounds – gamers can traverse space and time, head into the darkest depths of the ocean, or the highest reaches of Mt Everest. Yet, the gamer is usually sitting stationary using just their hands to play the game, which doesn’t add too much of a challenge to certain games.
In order to combat this, almost from the very first games ever released, came the idea of using how fast the player can do something to challenge them. Thus the thrill of speed was introduced into gaming – and continues to be one of the most popular facets of online gaming today.
In fact, in 1977, Atari released a racing game that had a primitive speed element to it – Indy 500. And this would set the bar for the love of speed in most games. While the trope of speed is most common in racing games, the speed factor is incorporated into almost every game.
Speed in gaming is everywhere. Think of Crash Bandicoot, for example, and the time trial aspects of many of the levels – racing against a predetermined time or previous attempts. Speed in Grand Theft Auto and even Call of Duty boils down more to the strategic speed needed to accomplish missions/prevent being caught. Strategy browser games, such as Earth Empires, may not be traditionally thought of as being associated with speed, but quick thinking could prevent the destruction of your civilization.
It’s also possible to feel the heat with iGaming too, as a title such as The Heat is On prove. This slot game, available on BitCasino, plays on being a robber and running off with some loot while being pursued by various types of police officers, helicopter, explosives etc. The speed element is retained in the slots as the concept of being “on the run” is brought over to the slots gameplay.
Mobile gaming’s popular hit Temple Run involved both the speed of escaping the temple and the quick thinking involved in avoiding obstacles and collecting coins. Temple Run surpassed a billion downloads pretty soon after release, and the sequel continues to attract players. Pokémon Go involved being fast – literally, being fast in real life – as when Pokémon swarms appeared in an area, players had to flock from far and wide to snag the rare ones. For example, in Taiwan where the city of Taipei was overrun with Pokémon trainers.
We’re not just talking about the speed needed for the player’s avatar to race the clock or an opponent. Sometimes, nifty fingerwork combined with quick strategic thinking is required. There is also the pressing of a combination of buttons while following a pattern, as is a familiar trope of the Sly Raccoon franchise. Speed can be used in many incarnations to bring out the best in gaming and challenge even the most stalwart of players.
It’s clear that what gamers really love is speed. The ability to run from things, to run to things, or to run against things. Gaming allows players to do things they can’t do in everyday life, and the escapism involved in speed games may just be one of the best developments since the dawn of gaming.