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Former Hitman devs creating 'high end' casual games

Jason Dobson

Casual games are not everyone's cup of tea, as evidenced by our controversial inclusion of PopCap puzzler Peggle among Joystiq's top ten titles of 2007. There's no denying, however, that these often bite-sized diversions are as popular as they are addictive, reason enough why many startup studios -- such as newly formed The Game Equation -- swing that way. The Denmark-based studio, established by a pair of programmers who worked on the Hitman franchise in a previous life, aims to develop for the "high end of the casual games industry" with titles that remind them of what it was like playing games when they were youngsters. That's sweet, but what exactly does that mean?

The company has pair of puzzle games available already named Deep Blue Sea and Constellations, though at first glance there certainly doesn't appear to be anything particularly evolved about either of these efforts, entertaining as they may be. What is interesting is that in creating the match-3 puzzler Deep Blue Sea, the studio brought on an honest to goodness film and theatre composer, Rasmus Hartvig, to create the game's music, though given the dev's experience with Hitman, a series known for its dramatic scores, The Game Equation's aural emphasis is not wholly unexpected. That's all well and good, and we like good music as much as anyone, but the studio will need to pull out some considerably bigger tricks before we buy into its incongruous idea of high end casual games.

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