Shovel Dump Games vs Pixel Games
Shovel Dump Games vs Pixel Games
Collection author:
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2014
Number of apps:: 20
I have been on a soapbox lately touting the difference between Pixel Games and Shovel Dump Games, so allow me to enlighten.
I was speaking with a friend who works for Sony PSP developing games, and he started talking about how a vast majority of mobile games are just "Shovel Dump" games. I was defending the genre of mobile gaming and he was dismissing the format entirely. He thinks true gamers want an immersive experience that only game consoles can deliver and I think the future of gaming has already been hijacked by mobile devices. Neither format will replace the other, but mobile gaming has already become vastly more accessible to a mass audience in a way that console games never will. But I got to thinking, and started to see where my friend was coming from. And that's when I started to get peeved with certain games trying to lump themselves into the Pixel game category when they have no business being there; call it an occupational hazard.
So, what's the difference, you might ask? Well, to me, Pixel games are retro throwbacks to my old arcade days; addictive, enjoyable, pixelated games that are entirely playable, even if difficult, and you can go for marathon stretches of play at a time. Conversely, Shovel Dump games, in my observation, are simple, single action games, that are impossible, simply for the sake of being impossible. No one expects you to play for any stretch of time. No one expects you to rack up a huge high score. And certainly no one but a Rain Man style gamer would spend any meaningful length of time playing a Shovel Dump game. They are disposable; play them once or twice, then uninstall and forget all about it. To me, Shovel Dump games have become the epitome of the mobile gaming environment; games that take little skill to program and even less skill to play. Games like that are less about the play, and more about hungry developers who don't have the time to invest in developing a true game, and are just hoping to score big with the next viral hit. And that's not to say that all Shovel Dump games suck. I have played a few that are actually worth their salt. But by and large, they are disposable, one-off games.
At the end of the day, I think both Pixel games and Shovel Dump games have their time and place, but the genres are vastly different. Each has their devoted audience, and this is not to say that one is better than the other. But as a gaming purist, I certainly feel quite strongly that Shovel Dump games have no place being categorized as pixel games, shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Pac Man and Donkey Kong. But that's just me.
This collection is a compilation of Shovel Dump games that to me, illuminate the difference between this new, emerging genre and distinguishes it from what I know to be a Pixel game. Now that everyone has got it straight, check out these selections and have some fun. Enjoy!
  • Make Them Fight
    Make Them Fight
    Fast-paced multi-tasking game with ninjas
  • Granny Tap
    Granny Tap
    Help granny type a letter, one keystroke at a time
  • Swing Copters
    Swing Copters
    A pixelated torture device -- er -- I mean, Game
  • Daddy Long Legs
    Daddy Long Legs
    Who knew it was so hard for spiders to walk?
  • Don't Tap The White Tile
    Don't Tap The White Tile
    Maddeningly simple
    Aptly Named
  • Amazing Thief
    Amazing Thief
    Stick man game that plays like Flappy Bird
  • Chop Block
    Chop Block
    Frantic pixel styled arcade jumping game
  • The Dodgers
    The Dodgers
    Addictive obstacle dodging game
  • Sausage Dog Diving
    Sausage Dog Diving
    Guide a sausage dog into a pipe
  • Duet
    Perform an amazing dance to navigate the obstacles
  • 360 Planes
    360 Planes
    Control two airplanes at once or die trying
  • ALONE...
    How far can you maneuver?
  • POLKA: A Bubble Popping Game
    POLKA: A Bubble Popping Game
    Pop as fast as you can or pick your battles
  • Orbispin
    Want to induce vertigo? Play this game!
  • InvisiBall
    The quintessential time killer
  • Flappy48
    Tap ‘n’ Flap
  • Don't Touch The Spikes
    Don't Touch The Spikes
    Flappy bird in a spiky cage
  • No One Dies
    No One Dies
    Side scrolling stickman hurdle game
  • Five Nights at Freddy's
    Five Nights at Freddy's
    Stay alive and don't let the dolls kill you