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Tag Archives: Games

Now This is How Angry Birds Should be Played

Angry Birds Slingshot Controller

I’m sure you’ve tried playing Angry Birds by now, given that it’s one of the most popular games in the industry. If you haven’t, then I bet you’ve probably heard about it and what the game is all about. In case you’ve been living under a rock you haven’t, it’s basically an action game where you use a slingshot to fling angry-looking birds across your screen to bring the green alien pigs down.

Angry Birds is available on a lot of platforms, from the iOS to Android and finally, to the PC. On touchscreen devices, the sling of the slingshot is dragged by the player to aim and send their birds flying, while the mouse does the player’s bidding on the PC. But that’s soon about to change, if you take a hint from Copenhagen-based Hideaki Matsui and Andrew Spitz.

What these guys did was build an awesome ‘Super Angry Birds’ USB controller, which simulates the act of using a real slingshot. The controller detects how much the player pulls the bird back and the angle that they’re tilting the slingshot to fire the bird off in the right direction on the game screen. The duo put the controller together using a hacked motorized fader found in audio mixing consoles and manages the hardware with an Arduino-based micro-controller developed by the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Throw in bits of code programmed in max/MSP and you’ve got Super Angry Birds right there.

Check out a video of the controller in action after the jump.

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Myst Classic Now Available On iPhone

By Evan Ackerman

This video might not mean much to you if you’ve never played Myst. But if like me you were one of the early adopters of the CD-ROM drive, this footage probably brings back a heady mix of nostalgia and frustration. Myst is now available in re-rendered (but still old school) glory for the iPhone and iPod Touch, packaged in a 700 mb download that requires a massive 1.5 gigs of free space to install. It’s been long enough since the original that I’ve reliably forgotten how to solve most of the puzzles, meaning that this is an opportunity to pay $6 for the privilege of wasting countless more hours trying to figure out how to activate the damn rocket ship.

[ Myst ] VIA [ BBG ]

Rubik’s Cube Lamp Is Colorful, Potentially Frustrating

By Evan Ackerman

We’ve had the occasional post about gadgets related to Rubik’s Cubes, and most of them are, to some extent, entirely useless. Why useless? Well, you get them, you mess them up, and then unless you’re really really smart (or a robot), they stay messed up and just sit on a shelf somewhere and depress you when you look at them. This Rubik’s Cube lamp (designed by Eric Pautz) is a little bit different in that it is arguably better looking once messed up, since it gives it a nice multicolored effect as opposed to being all conformist and boring. And you can always re-randomize it… And hey, if you re-randomize it enough times, you’ll eventually end up with a solved cube, although the odds of that are not great, considering that there are more potential combinations than there are atoms in the known universe.

This lamp may only be a concept for now, but if you want something Rubik’s-y that lights up, you can always get one of these instead.

VIA [ Go Get It ]

[CTIA 2008] Guitar Hero Rocks Blackberry Phones

Guitar Hero Mobile on Blackberry

By Luke Anderson

I’m something of a Guitar Hero nut, so I’m always happy to hear when the games come to new platforms. Guitar Hero III Mobile has been out for a little while now, but not until today has it been playable on Blackberry phones.

I had the opportunity to spend a little hands-on time with the game, and was pleased at how it performed. Obviously the screen movements aren’t going to be as smooth as when you’re playing on a console, but it was still fun to play. Now if they’d just get it on the iPhone, now that would be awesome.

C-Jump Programming Board Game Is Slightly Better Than Socks


By Evan Ackerman

Okay, I know some of you probably think that this is the coolest thing ever and you wish your parents had given you a board game that teaches basic programming concepts when you were 11 years old. If they had, you’d probably be pulling down six figs by now. C-Jump uses a ski race theme to introduce kids to loops, conditional statements, variables, and syntax used in C, C++, and Java. But come on, when you were 11, what did you really want? That’s right, a Nintendo 64.

C-Jump is $24.95 with free shipping in the US; scary pic of the game board after the jump.Continue Reading

Thinking Machine Chess Table

Chess Table

By Evan Ackerman

I was really good at chess in third grade, but I’ve gotten much much dumber since then. Dumb enough to get beaten by a table. It’s especially humiliating when I get beaten by the Thinking Machine chess program, since you can see the AI in operation. As the computer thinks through various moves, it sketches them out in colored lines on the board (its moves are in orange; what it thinks you’re going to do shows up as green). Click here to give the program a try.

If the viewer confronts the program, the computer’s thought process is sketched on screen as it plays. A map is created from the traces of literally thousands of possible futures as the program tries to decide its best move. Those traces become a key to the invisible lines of force in the game as well as a window into the spirit of a thinking machine.

That’s great, it really is… But could you make it think a little less? Please? For my self esteem?

[ Thinking Table ] VIA [ Neatorama ]

Labyrinthe Wallpaper Would Be A Welcome Addition To Every Room In My Apartment

Wallpaper Games - Labyrinthe (Image courtesy 5.5 Designers)
By Andrew Liszewski

I work from home so I’m willing to embrace any kind of distraction that gets me away from the computer. Even something as low-tech as completing a maze would fit the bill, so covering my entire apartment in this Labyrinthe design wallpaper should keep me unproductive for at least a couple of weeks.

Wallpaper Games - Labyrinthe (Image courtesy 5.5 Designers)

As an added bonus you can even color coordinate the wallpaper to each room simply by using a colored marker that matches the decor. The zig-zagging lines actually end up producing some unique designs on their own, but if you’re not thrilled with the results the wallpaper can be wiped clean with a damp sponge allowing you to start from scratch.

You can buy the wallpaper directly from 5.5 Designers, and a 53cm x 10m black and white roll will cost you about $30.

[ 5.5 Designers – Wallpaper games – Labyrinthe ] VIA [ YoKiddo ]

Rare Entex Adventure Vision System On eBay

Entex Adventure Vision (Images courtesy bobsbrand)
By Andrew Liszewski

For some reason I’m pretty fascinated with classic ‘portable’ gaming, and even though I’ve never heard of Entex or their Adventure Vision System, I’m sure I could happily waste a few hours playing through its handful of games.

As the story goes, there were only about 10,000 of these tabletop systems ever produced and not only is this one in mint condition in the original box, but it even includes all 4 games in its library. If you’re curious what kind of graphics the Entex Adventure Vision was capable of just check out that gameplay promo shot there. The display only had a resolution of 150×40 pixels, but that’s not too bad for 1982. (Considering the original GameBoy released 7 years later only had 160×144 pixels.) I particularly like the cover artwork on the game boxes, I’d say it’s pretty darn close to what you see on screen.

This particular Entex Adventure Vision System is actually available on eBay right now, but it unfortunately has a ‘Buy It Now’ price of $5,500. Not surprisingly it’s yet to be snapped up by someone.

[ eBay – Entex Adventure Vision System ] VIA [ Joystiq ]