The 3DS StreetPass games
aren't great because they’re deep games. They’re great because they’re accessible versions of occasionally obtuse genres that are designed for short bursts.
I’m not sure if the StreetPass games have managed to introduce the casual masses to new genres, but I know they’ve made a significant impact on members of my family. My Father
has generally stuck with Mario titles, First Person Shooters, and occasionally hack-and-slash loot games, but he unexpectedly fell in love with Flower Town
and became interested in games like Animal Crossing
. My brother hasn’t played any sort of RPG in about 20 years, but sessions of Find Mii
would eventually lead him to pick up Project X Zone
after playing a demo of it. Even I, the most “hardcore” gamer of my family, find myself looking forward to my brief sessions with the latest bundle of StreetPass games.
With the negative stigma surrounding “social games” these days, I feel the StreetPass games are social games done right.
That said, there’s so much potential in the StreetPass concept that remains untapped. While the majority of the games are pretty simple (does Puzzle Swap
actually count as a game?), Mii Force
in particular shows that complex and action packed titles can work well in the formula. If more StreetPass games are made (as there's clearly a market for them
), there’s potential for legitimately great games that can captivate hardcore audiences while engaging casual gamers and “training” them to become interested in new titles.
Below are my personal ideas for games that I believe would be smash hits with the StreetPass gimmick. Yes, this is going to basically be a nerdporn blog, but I think there’s something to discussing the possibilities of something that many gamers might just consider a gimmick. For the sake of humor, I've attempted Mii wordplay for each game’s titles.
Pictured: Heroes of Umbra (Because I'm not artistic enough to draw up my own game concepts)
Find Mii Loot!
Genre: Metroidvania/loot game
Dream Dev: Monolith Soft
: Your Mii is a notorious pirate captain sailing the seven seas with a lovable skeleton friend that may or may not be one of the former enemies from Mii Force
. After finding a treasure map leading to various ancient ruins around the world, your ship breaks amidst a massive storm that disperses your former crew, save your lovable skeleton friend. Starting from scratch with a tiny sailboat, you must find new recruits for your crew using StreetPass and make them raid these treasure filled ruins (because, you know, you have to watch the ship and all) so you can rebuild your ship and become the most infamous pirate king once again!
: Think a StreetPass version of Rogue Legacy
. The StreetPass Mii enters a short, randomized, sidescrolling dungeon filled with dangerous monsters, gold, and loot. The goal is to either earn as much treasure as possible or defeat the boss to move to the next level. The weapon and playstyle of each Mii depends on that Mii’s shirt color. For example, a Red Mii might use a sword for hitting a wide area, a Blue Mii might use a spear that hits a narrow area far in front of him/her, the yellow Mii might use a bow that covers the whole screen but fires slowly, etc.
Pictured: Rogue Legacy
Miis have no health, but their weapons have durability that deplete with use. If a Mii takes damage, the weapon’s durability is sharply reduced. If the weapon breaks, the Mii rushes out of the dungeon in a comedic fashion and drops a portion of the loot depending how far away from the exit (s)he is. Choosing to leave the dungeon early will end the game, but inflict no loot penalty.
If multiple Miis are StreetPassed at once, the player can choose which Mii to send into the dungeon while the remaining Miis give buffs that also depend on their respective shirt colors. So a Brown Mii might increase weapon durability, a pink Mii might increase the value of gold found, etc.
Miis get stronger by finding pieces of armor and relics in the dungeon, which carry over in each session but can only be equipped on the ship. While storages and blacksmiths who upgrade specific weapon types are eventually made available, they can only be upgraded by investing more gold into rebuilding the ship.
“Beating” the game unlocks a new game + mode that allows the player to continue upgrading and looting the dungeons again, and beating that mode allows all levels to be accessible at once but at a maxed out level. And now I realized this game is the deranged crack baby of Rogue Legacy
and Borderlands 2
. Maybe I’m
the deranged crack baby of Rogue Legacy
and Borderlands 2
Pictured: Streets of Rage Remake
Genre: Arcade Style Beat-Em-Up
Dream Dev: Treasure
: A gritty noir setting (by Mii standards, at least). Your Mii is a detective who receives a mysterious investigation request one day from a masked Mii who will probably turn out to be the villain of the whole story and surprise no one. The investigation leads your Mii to various dangerous locations on the infamous Miin Streets, but Detective Mii isn’t the type to get his/her hands dirty by busting up bad guys. The only option is to go to the streets and find some tough looking thugs via StreetPass who are bad enough to fight the badguys and help you solve this vague and unspecified mystery!
: A throwback to games like Double Dragon
and Streets of Rage
. For the sake of keeping things family friendly, it would probably be more The Three Stooges
style violence than the usual genre nitty gritty stuff, although bonus points if enemies scream “BARF
” and run away when they’re defeated.
Stage progression works similar to Mii Force
: find one or more recruits, run through a stage, beat up a boss, end of session. The player earns points for beating the stage quickly, taking as little damage as possible, successfully blocking/dodging attacks, and performing multiple hit combos on enemies. Placing emphasis on blocking/combos could potentially be an introduction to lite fighting game mechanics as well.
As usual, the stats of the playable Mii depend on shirt color. Red Shirts could be slow and powerful, Yellow shirts might have a high jump and more powerful aerial attacks, etc. Additional Miis can be called in to assist the playable Mii for very short periods of time, or the playable Mii can retreat from the level and be replaced by a sidelined Mii instead. Although all Miis share a lifebar, opting for the second option would cause health to be slightly restored.
Finishing the game unlocks more challenging difficulty modes, as well as an Arcade mode which challenges the player to finish the entire game in one run. In this mode, sidelined Miis act as extra lives instead of assist options.
Genre: Traditional Turn-Based RPG
Dream Dev: Atlus
: A sort-of sequel to Find Mii
. Years have passed since your royal Mii’s family was kidnapped by the Dark Lord. Of course, being the unfortunate kingdom as it tends to be, a new evil force has been sweeping across the world, covering once normal towns and caves with a thick fog that has infested these areas with dangerous monsters. Looking to not get kidnapped, your Royal Mii decides to leave the kingdom to the Prince and Princess while (s)he looks to investigate the fog, but not without enlisting the help of some of the mighty warriors who saved the world in the past.
: With both Find Mii
games being an introduction to basic turn-based battles, a small traditional RPG is a logical next step for the series. The player explores dungeons from a traditional overhead view, and the player can also learn tips from townsfolk and buy items and equipment in the kingdom as well. The combat system is an evolution of the Find Mii
battle system, supporting HP/MP bars, a three person battle system and options for multiple magic spells per character.
The player’s Mii is the main character, but the other two party members are Miis the player has StreetPassed in the past. Their respective classes, stats, and spells are determined by their shirt color, with some light randomization. Characters start with a single spell, but can learn more by leveling up through battles. However, characters can only memorize up to three spells at once, a la Pokemon
. The player’s Mii, however, is free of class restriction, and the player is able to customize the stats of the main character and the spells (s)he learns regardless of shirt color (possibly via some version of a small skill tree).
Pictured: Find Mii II
The additional party members can execute certain combo attacks and magic spells like in Find Mii II
, but the main character is unable to be a part of combo attacks. Also, level-ups apply to the party and not specific characters, so choosing to swap out a party member would allow the new party member to immediately level up to the appropriate spot.
Each dungeon is a set number of floors, but individual floors can only be unlocked by StreetPass tags. The monsters, hazards, and loot on each floor are determined by the shirt color of the StreetPassed Mii. If the party completes all unlocked floors without reaching the end of the dungeon, the player can either set up camp until another StreetPass tag is made, or they can choose to return to town and reshuffle the dungeon with subsequent tags.
If a StreetPass tag is made with a Mii who happens to be in the active party, the player has the choice to change the Mii’s class if the newly tagged Mii happens to be wearing a different color shirt. Also, if the newly tagged Mii knows a spell that the in-party version of the Mii doesn’t know, then the Mii can choose to learn one of those spells in addition to spells (s)he has naturally learned. Going through this process again with the same Mii will make the in-party Mii forget whatever spell (s)he had learned before. This would add a slight cooperative element to the game, as friends could coordinate unique party setups and build each other’s main characters accordingly.
Again, these are just my dream StreetPass games that I believe could offer interesting innovations to their respective genres. Casual games don’t need to be the share-spam extravaganzas that Farmville
spawned in its popularity. The growing popularity of the 3DS and the Streetpass games are perfect launchpads in which casual games could be reinvented, and getting casual gamers interested in new genres has the potential to grow interest in deeper games and shove a knife in the heart of anyone who thinks triple A games need to adapt the money gouging practices of freenium games
I’m interested in what others would think of StreetPass games like the ones I listed above, and I’ll certainly read any comments with other potentially awesome ideas for StreetPass games. And if anyone at Nintendo is reading this, I’m not asking for a job or anything, but if a hefty bag of cash magically appeared at my door then I might look the other way if you steal my clearly genius ideas. Wink wink nudge nudge... please? read