Another great game review from Greg Costikyan and his Play This Thing! blog: this time, it's the 2010 IGF China Best Game winner Sugar Cube, a platformer with a novel and ingenious (and addictive!) mechanic:
At various points on the level are hidden items -- often platforms -- that are revealed, and switch "on," only when you pass through or near them. As you move about, the four squares immediately around you are tinted, and show the hidden items. Frequently, there are small "lights" on the screen that show the hidden items, in ghosted form, until turned on; but often, items are revealed only when you activate them. Finally, by holding "shift" while jumping, you can prevent items from "flipping" from active to inactive state.
The result is that each level holds surprises, and you have to learn how to time and use activations to get to the level end (represented by a door); sometimes you want an item to flip to inactive state to get through its location, while often you want to turn it on, to provide a location or item you can use.
Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory
When I was a kid, I was terrified of farting in class. At home, it was no big deal: it was a daily fart festival with my family. But at school? TOTAL FEAR OF FLATULENCE. But then it dawned on me: EVERYBODY FARTS. And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve decided to write a graphic novel about how our bodies work. It’s about all the stuff that goes on inside our bodies daily, or throughout our lives, and that this stuff – whether it’s digestion, or respiration, or defecation – is necessary for us to live. And it gives you excellent come-back material if anyone teases you for farting in school!
Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines — sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry — to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications.
In 1948, the Institute of Applied Science commissioned an unknown illustrator to depict a fistful of squirming, terrified criminals caught in an authoritative fist, under the headline “CAUGHT BY THEIR FINGERTIPS” — they were advertising a home Criminal Investigation and Identification course.
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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