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Posted On 5/18/2012
The amazing thing about Parameters is that it works. By "works," I don't mean that it runs, but that it's surprisingly engaging, given its minimalist approach.
It's a sort of RPG, with level-ups, attack, defense, and health stats, and a set of monsters to slay and missions to accomplish. But "missions" are small rectangles that gradually fill in as you click on them, spawning XP and money with each click; and "monsters" are other small rectangles, with each click being a round of combat, doing damage to the monster, you suffering damage in return. Until you have the stats to slay a monster, you'll eventually run out of health, and the monster will regen quicker than you can do damage to it.
The name, therefore, is apt; this is a set of parameters, with any connection to the fantasy of RPG purely in your mind. And yet it feels curiously compelling anyway; an area of space to fill in, a sense of progress as your stats increase, a visible end-goal of clearing the final boss.
A few things that are not immediately evident from the few words in the how-to-play; as you level up, you can "plus" your attack and defense. Also, swords and shields "stack;" you can purchase each one up to 9 times. In essence, they're just another way to increase your attack and defense; you can do it with level-up points, and with money.
In addition, once a mission area is cleared, you can collect additional money by clicking on it; indeed, clearing the final boss will require a lot of this kind of grind to purchase the stats needed to get it. This is a bit of a flaw, but then, "much grind to get the final boss" is a well-worn, if fairly irritating, RPG trope.
Another point noting; we've been trained by social games to expect that reward doobers autocollect if we don't bother to mouse over them, but here, you lose the XP and money if you don't.
You'd kind of expect this kind of minimal treatment to be a satirical indictment of the underlying paucity of RPG mechanics; curiously, it is instead a sort of homage to them, a paring down to the minimum needed to sustain player engagement.