But here I am right now, taking random 30 minute breaks in my Saturday, trading drugs and dodging cops just to finish buying all of the safehouses in this little city. And it's terrible. I think the game is repetitive, I think its driving involves far too narrow streets, there are too many cops, I still have a hell of a time figuring out what section of the city I am in, I have trouble avoiding cars because I'm watching the GPS too closely (which is an annoying crutch). There are a lot of reasons CW annoys me, but I keep playing it. And I play because handheld games are easy to start up and play quickly. A five-minute session is super simple. I even will gravitate toward internet games because I'm already on the web and I can just load up kongregate or Canabalt, or the link will be there as soon as I type the first three letters.
The point I find myself arriving at somewhat unsurprisingly (though I had no idea this was what I was going to say when I started writing this post), is that it matters to me a very great deal how quickly I can actually start playing a game. I don't intentionally work that way. I once deleted Minesweeper because I would lose two hours of each day clicking that game as it rose to the top of my frequent applications. I would rather play a wonderful epic masterpiece that takes five minutes to get into meaningful gameplay, but when there are those small opportunities to play a game during the day, I am going to pick the game that is right there in my pocket that will take thirty seconds to get into. So be wary of loading and intro movies and logos, developers. Be very wary. There might be nothing I grow to despise more than your logo appearing for even 5 seconds every time I start your game. Does your main menu really take that much time to load?