When it launched alongside Sony’s first handheld game system in December 2004, Ridge Racer for PSP was a game out of its time. It was Namco’s attempt to recreate the technological leap that the series had signalled a decade earlier on the original PlayStation. It was also the Japanese development team’s chance to push against the current in the globalised racing market and reclaim its relevance. And it was a proposal that simple, neatly executed ideas were the ones that would work best on Sony’s powerful handheld.
The power that games have to bring people together isn’t celebrated enough. Certainly, the most memorable games – be they single-player adventures or ones built for couch multiplayer sessions that make you forget where the time has gone – are the ones that help us bond.
Today’s guest, Sarah Woodrow, one half of indie game studio, Utopian World of Sandwiches, thinks so. Below, Woodrow explains how her time spent playing Bomberman, on Sega Saturn, with her friends in college, inspired the kind of video games she and her husband have gone on to make.