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What do you do to discover new games that you might like to play?
Do you ask your friends for recommendations? That might work, especially if you share the same interests but what happens if you like strategy games and your friends like first-person shooters? What if a friend’s recommendation doesn’t cut any mustard with you? Will it put you off that particular style of game for good?
Alternatively, you might play the demo version of a release; perhaps downloading it from the World Wide Web, or installing from a cover CD or DVD from an industry magazine. Again, a good idea but demos sometimes aren’t really representative of the actual game, or may be scaled down versions or time-locked so you don’t receive a proper ‘feel’ for the game. Maybe you’ll trawl through a hundred PC games reviews just like the ones on this site before deciding to try it out, or you might just bite the bullet and pay out a few dollars to buy it from a store or download it from a service such as Steam and find out the hard way!
Whichever way you use to choose your next gaming experience there’ll always be an element of guesswork surrounding whether or not you’ll enjoy it. However, help may now be at hand with the launch of a game discovery engine by fledgling games social network, GamerDNA. The tool analyses your playing habits and comes up with suggestions of games you might like to play based on games you select and the traits which attract you to those game.
From the GamerDNA front page, you have to input the name of a game you like – you can either type in the name into the search bar, or click on one of the scrolling screenshots which details some of the most popular games. Once you have selected a game, a list of game traits appears which you can either click on to select or enter your own, up to a maximum of six traits. Then clicking on ‘DONE’ produces a listing of around six games which the discovery tool thinks you may like. It does however make clear that the listed games are only suggestions. Then it’s up to you whether or not you want to try the game out.
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Creating Your GamerDNA
Unregistered users can add up to three games titles from which to discover games they may like; the more games and traits you select the more probable the chances of the tool returning titles you may like. Registering with the website allows you to add more games to your GamerDNA, as well as actively participating in the community.
The traits selected are derived from other peoples’ own opinions of the games they play; as more and more people rate the games according to their own traits, it’s likely the discovery tool could become even more accurate.
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Results & Verdict
The results are generated based on the game and traits you select. I tried the tool using Half-Life as my game and while it threw up a few games I’ve already played, the tool suggested Halo: Combat Evolved, which is a game I’ve only ever dabbled with slightly on Xbox but never on PC.
Adding a second game (F.E.A.R) kinda skewed my results a little, as the tool suggested Battlefield 2 and CoD4, despite my traits being marked as ‘scary’ and ‘horror’. Crysis did feature heavily in the results, also. However, I wouldn’t read too much into the apparent skewing of results as the tool is still in Beta, so anomalies are to be expected.
All in all, if you’re looking to try out new games and don’t know where to begin looking, I’d recommend giving the game discovery tool a try, to see what games it suggests for you – you can use it regardless of whether you're a PC gamer or a console gamer, and you never know, it could give you a gem!