So as I’ve mentioned, I’m a Macophile. I loves me some Apple goodness. I am also a gadget lover and more than anything I like the notion of digital convergence, having one device that does everything. Some day I hope to have a simple wrist watch looking device with a direct neural link that will provide communication, computing, entertainment and any other digital desires I may want. Ahhhhh…
Um… where was I… oh yeah, Mobigames’ Edge for the iPhone and iPod Touch. First off, as the name implies, it is for the iPhone and iPod Touch. If you don’t have one of these marvelous devices, words don’t do justice to the pity I feel for you. If you follow the link I provided, you will see a gameplay video with some of the in game music. You control a cube that can roll along all cube like, thumpety-thump, as well as climb small walls (taller walls can’t be climbed), cling to surfaces and you have to traverse various maze like structures to complete what is called the Edge Challenge. Along the way there are smaller colored cubes you can collect. You are judged based on how quickly you complete the level, whether you collected all of the colored cubes and how many times you died. You die by falling off of the platforms. At the end of each completion, you are awarded a grade (S, A, B, C, D, in decreasing performance). To unlock the final three levels you have to have completed the first 43 levels and collected all of the colored cubes.
To make things interesting, there are various techniques you have to learn along the way. There are ‘?’ marked tiles which when you rest on them, a ghostly image of your cube self appears and shows you how to get around the difficult part you are at. This is how some of the new techniques are introduced. Later levels assume you can figure out how to apply these techniques to get around such obstacles. In addition, your point of view does not change. You cannot rotate the screen to look at the map from a different perspective nor is there an overall map you can examine in order to figure out which way to go. There is no way to scroll the view elsewhere. You are always locked onto your cube at a specific angle and no way to control the zoom level. As a result, there are visual illusions that the map makers created to trick you and which you must use the minimap in the top left hand corner of the screen to recognize and avoid. Finally, if you are trying to complete the challenge, you have to be imaginative and look for non-obvious points to “jump off the tracks” so to speak, in order to find some of the harder to find colored cubes. Otherwise you won’t ever complete the challenge.
I finally completed the challenge this morning, finishing the final map with more than a few difficulties. The reply value is now in improving my times/grades. While that doesn’t normally hold my interest in a game (once completed, it’s done), I understand it can be a nice draw for many folks to continue to play it. That said, I don’t plan to remove it because honestly it’s still fun to play, the music is cool, and it’s easy to jump into and put down again, great for when you are standing in line or somewhere out and about waiting because you got there too early, that sort of thing.
The downsides… not much. One thing I didn’t like were the controls. You can control the movement of your cube either by using the motion sensor of the iDevice to tilt and thus roll your cube that way, you can use strokes on the device surface, or you can elect to have four virtual buttons overlayed on the screen and use those to move your cube. I found the motion sensor too unwieldy, especially if I happened to be playing at a weird angle (don’t ask). The stroke option required too much effort to make work correctly so in the end I opted for the virtual button overlay. The main drawback there is that it is an overlay on top of the screen. For the most part it wasn’t a problem but every now and again, my thumb would conceal the tile I was on, which meant I wasn’t aware of the type of tile it was. That can be bad.
The other drawback is… it is not currently available. I happened to see a recommendation for the game on a website I frequent, purchased it and have been playing it since. In that time, another company has sued Mobigames over the use of the term ‘Edge’ in the name of their game. And they wanted an obscene percentage of the royalties as compensation. There is a link on the Mobigames website. In any case as a result of the kerfuffle, they have removed the game from the iTunes App Store until such time as the issue is resolved. Which is a pity. It’s an excellent game and one I highly recommend. Just too bad the recommendation is coming so late.