The hype surrounding the new iOS game Monument Valley by ustwo has been almost impossible to ignore the last few days, and after downloading the puzzle game last night I was able to see why after about 30 seconds of playing. This is simply unlike any game that has come before it. Heavily influenced by the drawings of M.C. Escher the game is so aesthetically beautiful the developers include an in-game camera that lets you take pictures you can share as you play. But this game isn’t just about pretty architectural landscapes, the gameplay is as entertaining as it is brilliant—instantaneous changes of perspective and gravity propel the game forward in unexpected ways. You can download it here. If you enjoyed this also check out other minimalist games like Rymdkapsel or LIMBO.
Denver-based artist Chris Carlson who is known for his work with 3D chalk illusions created a great stop motion Tetris game. The shading, perspective and motion is incredibly spot-on. You can see more of his video game and pop-culture influenced chalk drawings over on Tumblr. (via the awesomer)
Stockholm-based photographer Christian Åslund recently payed tribute to retro 2D video games using the streets of Hong Kong as a backdrop. The photos were taken as part of an ad campaign for shoe brand Jim Rickey utilizing models who would lay flat on the streets or sidewalks to create the unique perspective. I’ve seen many photographers toy with this idea, but the wide-angle nature of these shots taken from such height creates a truly fun and expansive environment. See many more shots from the series here. (via design taxi)
So what do you get when you cross one of the world’s most popular video games of all time and a giant orange squash? Pumpktris. The days of goblins, witches, and slack-jawed faces carved into pumpkins are officially over, and forget hyper realistic zombie hoards. Nathan over at the DIY website HahaBird upgraded his pumpkin this year using 125 embedded LEDs and other hardware that makes use of the pumpkin’s stem as a joystick resulting in a playable game of Tetris that can even keep score. If you’re interested he carefully documented everything in this handy Pumpktris tutorial. Unless your porch has an arcade including Pumpkin Mario Bros. this Halloween, you’re basically not even trying. (via prosthetic knowledge)
While technically not “Tetris” notes, ahem, these Block Notes from SUCK UK are pretty fantastic. Maybe it’s just me but I sense a the potential here for a lot more than just leaving notes. Elaborate artwork. Stop motion projects. A ridiculously hard to read book. Pick up a pack of all 8 pads for just £7.50 while they last. (via all things cool)
Lots of neat stuff floating around about iPads and video game controls this week so here’s a quick recap of what I’ve seen.
Fling is a tactile pad that suctions onto your iPad for precision gaming for use with any app utilizing a virtual joystick.
The JOYSTICK-IT is a real virtual joystick that adheres to your iPad and requires no batteries or wires. Supposedly it may work with iPhone as well but success may vary.
Last year Think Geek announced the iCADE concept as one of their annual April Fool’s pranks. However the response was so astounding (and I imagine such a colossal letdown that it didn’t actually exist) that Ion Audio, Think Geek, and Atari have teamed up to officially make this portable arcade cabinet a reality.
OK full disclosure: I skipped Atari and started in on Nintendo in 1986. I actually bought my first Atari in 2003 from a thrift store and it came bundled with three additional Atari systems and about 100 games in a giant black trash bag for $80. Even after having gone through a Super Nintendo and PlayStation, discovering Atari games was fascinating; the pure essence of video gaming laid bare in pixels.
Atari represents outdated bits of technological development that are still around, like ideas or beliefs that no longer serve their original purpose, and the difficulty we sometimes have getting rid of them. The games represent the origins of digital and virtual realities, worlds where the people who play the games are the heroes and protagonists in the adventures. The collection of games is a tribute to these digital origins, as well as a tribute to the excellent artwork on these worn out cartridges. Some games show their long lives well, with torn labels and faded inks, while one even has the name of the past owner scrawled on the cover.