It’s hard not to notice that some games have roots in other games and that genres tend to group around certain rules. In some cases these rules even become a template and lead developers to copy each others’ work wholesale. Cloned games are the mark of either student or lazy developers, however sometimes a game comes along which takes its start from another game type but runs with it and becomes something original.
The negative backlash then says ‘Oh that game is just a copy of X’. Like a bunch of haughtier-than-thou music fans striving to be more underground than one another, this kind of one-upmanship is just jealousy talking.
Lately, for example, I’ve been reading comments in various forums that Angry Birds is ‘just a clone’ of other games. No it’s not. Such sentiments are the ugly underbelly of a development community that begrudges success by reducing every game down to its basic elements with a self-satisfied sneer.