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While writing a review for an upcoming one-button game indie game, I decided it might be a fun idea to run a feature on interesting web games that feature the use of a single button to create a successful game. One might imagine that limiting controls to just one input would result in a completely mundane and limited experience, but somehow over the last few years it has become a perfected art-form.

Trigger Knight by MintSphere

RPGs are complicated affairs with huge expansive worlds, elaborate control schemes and requiring a huge investment in time to enjoy. Right? Wrong. Firstly the excellent Half-Minute-Hero showed us that an adventure can last just a few seconds and still be highly compelling and addictive, now Trigger Knight tells us that this whole experience can be boiled down to a single button.


To click or not to click, that is the question

There is absolutely no way in which this game should work. Yet, somehow, it does. Using just one button, you can dispatch monsters, level up your weapons or armour and save the world from dragons. Of course it is simplistic and silly, and is more a matter of resource management than action, but there is still a huge amount of fun, strategy and planning to be found with just one single button.

Canabalt by AdamAtomic

Canabalt has become somewhat of a cult classic in indie-gaming circles, with huge success in the App Store market. It is, at least partially, responsible for the current reinvigoration of one-button gaming. It may be a little bit of a mystery how a game in which you control a man jumping between rooftops, entirely controlled with a single input has been so successful but it shows you that the market is receptive to any form of control scheme.


Look at those pixel birds as I go flying face first into a brick wall!

Perhaps it is the beautiful pixel graphics, the fluid animations, the the constantly randomly generated levels, the heavy grunge synthesised sound track or maybe people just love seeing blocky men in suits fall off buildings, but Canabalt is a joy to play.

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