There aren't all that many games on the expo floor at Macworld/iWorld 2013 this year, unfortunately. It seems like a lot of game developers stayed home, as most of the apps on display are utility or productivity apps. There are a few games out there in Appalooza (as the app section of the show floor is called), and Telekinesis Kyle is one that stood out to us. It's an upcoming app from a company called Vellum Interactive, and it's based on a cool idea: You play as a kid who can not only jump around on various platforms, but he can also move various physics-enabled objects through the game's environments.
The game is still in early production, so the graphics and the levels aren't at all finalized (and in fact, there was a bug in the scrolling mechanic in the part I saw in action), but the idea is a lot of fun. Jumping is handled automatically, so the only onscreen controls are to send Kyle left or right, and he'll go up on objects and platforms by himself. Once Kyle comes across an object to move, then, the player can just touch it on the screen, and then drag and drop it wherever it needs to go.
The puzzle I saw consisted of two switches with two doors on two different levels. Kyle had to stand on the first switch to open the first door, behind which was a small crate. He could then use telekinesis to move the crate up to the second switch and open the second door, where there was a small gear he needed to complete the puzzle. Without leaving the first switch, he tele-moved the gear with his mind where it needed to go, and then he tele-moved the crate down to where he stood, so it could hold the door open for him as he moved through.
As you can tell, Kyle's got an emphasis on puzzles and exploration rather than action, and that seems like a great fit for the iOS market. Later on, Vellum is planning to add puzzles with obstacles like lasers. The style of the game is done very well, too -- it's cell-shaded, and Kyle's relative physical weakness makes his mental powers all the more satisfying.
Telekinesis Kyle looks like a great title -- it's due out near the end of March, so we'll look for it then. Oh, and of course I couldn't leave the booth without asking about the name. Yes, said Vellum, it is named after the famous Tenacious D lyric, but it doesn't have anything official to do with the song. The team just needed a name while they were working on the project, someone mentioned Telekinesis Kyle, and it just stuck. "It was one of those spontaneous things," a Vellum rep told us.
- Key specs
- Form factor Tablet
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 9.7 inches
- Storage type Internal storage (16 GB, Flash)
- Maximum battery life Up to 10 hours
- Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 in
- Weight 0.96 lb
- Announced 2014-10-16
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