Kickstarter Spotlight: Pixel Sand

Kickstarter Spotlight: Pixel Sand

Feb 1, 2012

Editor’s Note: Kickstarter Spotlight is a new weekly column spotlighting promising Android-related Kickstarter projects. Have any suggestions for projects to be featured on Kickstarter Spotlight? Leave them in the comments or send an email to the author.

The great thing about Kickstarter is its ability to give under-funded app developers a chance to create great, innovative apps. Last week I wrote a blog post about a great website called Kickstarter, and in it I mentioned a developing app, Pixel Sand. There are a few “falling sand” games scattered around the internet, and for those unfamiliar with them, they are basically an open sandbox with small particles that react to gravity and to each other. These particles can be anything from water to fire to nitroglycerin. Here, take a look. The problem with these games, other then being a black hole to free-time, is that there has never been a foray into expanding these games from simple sandbox to full, story driven, co-op titles. As is probably obvious by now, one man, Trevor Sundberg, is trying to tackle this very thing. Already with a working game for the PC, Xbox, and Windows Phone 7, Trevor is trying to expand his game by adding a campaign and of course, expanding to iOS and the little green robot.

The proposed new game elements are genius and are sure to have users stretching the limits of the platform. As I stated in my earlier review of Apparatus, from prior experiences with games such as Little Big Planet, Halo, and Minecraft there are no limits to what the community can create if given the right tools. Seriously, click on those links, the Minecraft one specifically is that perfect internet mix of impressive and sad.

That is what makes the stunningly simple inclusion of electricity so smart; it is such a simple yet absent addition in the few other “games” in this genre. Other great elements include power-ups and doors that only open after a select number of coins has been collected. I personally am excited to see some of the user-generated content, and one thing that is a definite is that someone, somewhere will re-create the iconic first Super Mario Bros. level.

Unfortunately, as of now, Pixel Sand still needs funding. There is still time, however, and I strongly encourage everyone to click on the link in this post, head over to Kickstarter and help this game out because it deserves to be realized to its full potential.

Cordy Review

Cordy Review

May 16, 2011

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; I know that it’s not style over substance and I know that beauty is only skin deep. Right now though, I don’t care, because Cordy is one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever had the pleasure to look at.

Taking its cues from LittleBigPlanet, Cordy is a platforming adventure with light puzzle elements. You lead the eponymous hero through a gorgeous 3D world, collecting particles of energy to “power up” the level and open the door through to the next one.

You control Cordy by pushing and tapping the on-screen buttons, solving simple puzzles and leaping from platform to platform as you go. There are four levels included in the game, each split into five sub levels, with more available to purchase through an in-app payment system.

It’s difficult to put into words just how good Cordy looks. If you want an app to show off what your phone can do, then this is it. Everything moves seamlessly, the textures look gorgeous and the character designs are excellent. Cordy just oozes quality and charm. The level design is on par with the visuals as well. Each level is full of cogs to collect, some of which you’re going to miss on your first play through, and a simple star rating system ranks your progress as you complete each part of the world.

If you were being overly critical, you might complain that the jump button is a little too close to the side of the screen and that there’s only one, albeit delightful, song throughout the whole game. You might even baulk at the idea of having to buy extra levels, but in the end these are minor criticisms of, what is, a major achievement.

In terms of polish, Cordy is a Triple-A title through and through. It acts as proof to any naysayers that mobile and casual games can be just as impressive as their console based equivalents. It’s fun, easy to pick up and impossible to put down. Cordy is already a classic, get it whilst it’s hot.