Before I became a paid employee of PopCap, I was a fan of PopCap games. Even though I was a member of the gaming press, I did not hide my unabashed love for PopCap, even devoting an entire column page to it, way back in 2008. The reason for it then, as it is now, is that the utter simplicity of the games, and short game length, make them ridiculously easy to get into and then play over and over and over again.
In recent times, however, you may have noticed that we have, ahh, not released very many new games. But the good news is, after making you wait an unusually long time, for us, we are on the verge of releasing a deluge of new, great games. And when I say “great,” it’s not because I am being paid to say it. I am not actually paid to love our games. Granted, I probably wouldn’t write a treatise on why one of our games sucked, because, well, that would just be stupid and probably career-limiting, and I have a kid in college. Still, in two years I’ve never been pressured to come out and go “YAY THIS GAME IS AWESOME!” either. So when I tell you I’ve played four of our upcoming games, and seen two others, and am thrilled with what I’ve played and seen, I’d like to think you can at least sort of trust me. You’ve all been very patient with us, especially regarding Plants vs. Zombies 2, but, to paraphrase cultural giants Hans and Franz, listen to me now and believe me later when I tell you there is good stuff awaiting you.
In case you’re wondering, the reason I’m in Xtreme Cheerleader Mode for PopCap today is that for the first time in a little while I have now found myself unreasonably addicted to one of our own games: Solitaire Blitz for iOS. I played this game for a bit on Facebook, and always liked it, but it wasn’t until its recent conversion to iOS that I truly found the love. Because playing Solitaire Blitz on the iPad just feels like the way it was meant to be played. The problem now, as was the problem I had in that Peggle column from 5 years ago, is that I simply cannot stop playing. Every spare moment I get – including in the middle of conversations with my wife when it’s her turn to talk – is spent trying to increase my high score for the week. I play at night in bed until my eyes close and the iPad hits my forehead. (And then when that wakes me up I play a few more rounds.) I’m dreaming of the game, too, counting up and down the stacks of cards while otherwise occupied with other dream activities, like flying over my neighborhood or sitting in class in my underwear with no term paper to turn in. The point is, while I’m not required to love our games, I am now, completely accidentally, utterly hooked. It feels good. It’s a reminder of why I came here in the first place. It’s a reminder that PopCap is not done making great games. There is so much good stuff on the way. But right now, if you haven’t picked it up yet, go get Solitaire Blitz on iOS. You won’t be sorry – unless you have a life to live.