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Friday, July 18, 2021

Of all the games that have rolled out of Apple’s new App Store, the best of the bunch just might be a totally free-of-charge one: Cube Runner from Andy Qua:

Cube Runner is a game for the iPhone and iPod Touch where the aim is to fly your ship across a terrain littered with Cubes. No-one knows how the cubes got there but you need to get through them.

- Fast 3D graphics
- Intuitive controls - use the built-in accelerometer to fly across the terrain
- Downloadable layout packs - create your own layouts and share them

As you can tell from the screenshot, the graphics aren’t going to win any beauty contests. And the object is not that complex — you just have to tilt-and-whirl your device (the iTouch in my case) to negotiate blocky obstacles on a barren terrain. It very much comes off as an early-stage wireframe test for a more fully-rendered videogame.

But it’s that bare-bones simplicity that’s got me hooked. I’ll take ease of playability over flashiness any day, and the accelerometer use alone fills the feature-rich quota. The lack of polish means the gameplay value has nowhere to hide, and it comes through marvelously. I’m only on the Easy level, and I’m getting a challenging thrill out of it. It’s also neat to switch between portrait and landscape modes, and having to subsequently re-calibrate the playing field each time; all that really highlights the gaming potential of the iPod/iPhone platform.

It’s already picking up plenty of accolades. I would have installed it last weekend, had there not been an update problem that temporarily knocked it offline. I snapped it up this afternoon, as soon as it reappeared.

I can see this little time-waster eating up plenty of iPod battery life…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/18/2008 07:58:04 PM
Category: Videogames, iPod
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Yup, the housing market is still mighty soft. In order to entice those rare potential buyers to the max, sellers are resorting to hosting testdrive-like sleepovers in the for-sale domiciles.

Spending the night in an unfamiliar house, prior to property ownership? Isn’t that some sort of Hollywood plot cliche, complete with a haunting? Reminds me of a “Simpsons” gag, actually. Real estate is getting more comical by the day.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/18/2008 06:39:12 PM
Category: Business, Comedy, Society, TV
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dark night screening
I realize it’s futile to post something at this time, since presumably everyone and their mother is holed up in a theater watching The Dark Knight.

At least that’s the impression I was getting earlier today, while trying to secure tickets to see this latest Batman flick sometime this year. I was shooting for the IMAX version, but the only theater in Manhattan showing that bigger-than-big-screen spectacle is booked solid through next week (at least for evening, human-time performances). That’s the prevailing nationwide trend, as well.

Bat-blockbuster, anyone? Really, with bankability like this, I’m surprised Time Warner doesn’t instantly fast-track yearly releases of Batman sequels, like an American version of Godzilla franchise.

So anyway, several refreshes of Fandango and numerous coordinating emails back and forth later, I’ve secured 3 tickets for a next Wednesday nighttime showing. No IMAX, just regular ol’ 35MM. You take what you can get. I’m sure I’ll be rabidly excited to lay my eyes on it by then.

(By the way, pat yourself on the back if you recognized the graphic-novel reference for this post’s title.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/18/2008 05:16:05 PM
Category: Movies, New Yorkin', Pop Culture
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