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Das Cube for iPhone

Mike Schramm
December 30, 2009
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Das Cube [iTunes link, $1.99] is a simple little iPhone game that comes with a pretty impressive pedigree: it's made by one of the creators of Aquaria, Mark Johns of Space Barnacle, and features music by the composer of Canabalt's crazy addictive soundtrack. As you can see in the video above, it's got more in common with the iPhone post-apocalyptic running simulator than the underwater adventure: your job is to move a little ball that can smash together a series of abstract shapes that then explode into points. That's pretty much it -- as the game gets tougher (there are two difficulty settings, though I found the "Brutal" setting to be only a little tougher than the "Easy" setting in the first few minutes), more blocks drop, and while you can shake the iPhone occasionally to help you clear the screen, if you go too long without matching pieces, your game is over and the high scores are calculated.

It's not quite as simple or addictive as Canabalt -- the controls feel a little floaty, and sometimes the ball you push around will squeeze in between the blocks. A few times while playing, it seemed to me that the easiest way to win would be to just swirl the mix around, and sure enough, when I just rolled the ball around the screen, I eventually got blocks to crash together randomly. But by the time I hit around 60,000 points or so (you can tweet your high scores, just like Canabalt), I found a little more precision was required, but even then, the controls are anything but sharp.

Still, Das Cube is an amusing little mix of music and graphics. Unfortunately, there's no free trial, but what you see above is what you get: smash shapes together to groovy techno tunes. If that appeals, you can pick it up for $1.99.






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