22 Cans managed to create a lot of hype in regards to Curiosity – What’s Inside the Cube by mentioning the idea of a single winner and a group collaborative effort. Technically, Curiosity is as advertised, but it has many flaws and I believe that as a “social experiment” it falls flat.
The game itself is a giant cube that you can zoom in and out of. Once you’re zoomed in a certain amount you can tap the screen and remove smaller cubes that I call tiles. The point is to systematically remove the layers of the cube until one person finds what is inside of it and has his or her life changed forevermore.
To try to keep things interesting, there is text overlaying the layers, and each layer has a different graphic on it. So far the cube is around halfway through clearing the second layer. The first layer was black; the second layer is neon green with brighter neon green blobs on it; and the third layer is some sort of burgundy color. The color choice for the second layer is regrettable. The contrast against the black wasn’t bad, but the contrast next to the red makes my eyes hurt when I’m playing at night.
In order to add some variety to the game, there are some temporary upgrades you can purchase using coins earned from removing tiles, but I don’t think the cheaper ones are worth it. The Iron Chisel, for example, costs 300,000 coins and will let you destroy 9 tiles with a single hit for 5 minutes. I can make 100,000 coins an hour at a leisurely pace, and if I try really hard can maybe get close to 200,000 coins in an hour.
So it would take me an hour and a half to three hours to afford the chisel. And then I get five minutes of nine times my normal abilities.
In five minutes, I get say, 9,000 coins, at nine times that rate, I only made 81,0000 coins so it doesn’t even make up what I spent. If you’re trying to get to the next layer faster, it’s fine, but otherwise, save for the Diamond Chisel which costs an insane amount of coins, but would give you awesome cube cred to get.
I feel like this would have been more fun without the shared experience aspect. I like getting to tap tiles and get a score, which is what I treat the coins like, and trying to get more consecutive points than I had. I enjoy getting to zoom in and out and attempting to get clear screen bonuses at different sizes and comparing point rates. It’s a repetitive, but fun way to pass the time. It’s almost like the second coming of solitaire.
But while solitaire is amazing for being a one player game, Curiosity decided to take a multiplayer approach that I think hurts the game. I do not enjoy the text overlay that talks about how old Curiosity is and mentioning that this is an amazing project and whatnot. It feels kind of pretentious and I’d rather just be tapping my tiles. I also really dislike having my tiles disappear before I can remove them myself. Because of the multiplayer aspect, I’m often trying to reach a clear screen bonus when all of a sudden half or all of the tiles will disappear because my phone reconnected to the main server and oops, those tiles were gone the whole time. It ruins all of my own efforts and I find myself hating that other people play this game all together.
And speaking of connecting to the server, I have a very difficult time doing so. I’m not sure if it’s an android problem or what, but the day Curiosity came out, it took me nearly a day to connect to the server and I had to turn off my wifi to do so. Now I can play using my internet, but it definitely plays more efficiently when I’m using data, which I’d rather not do. Not only that, but it freezes on me and crashes if I’m playing and get a text or if I play in an area that’s near a hotspot, but isn’t close enough to stay connected to. It causes me a lot of grief when I’m trying to get a more adventurous screen clear.
If the game were single player and didn’t require data/wifi, I think that the lagging and most of the other issues would be removed. The cube would have to be smaller and maybe my life wouldn’t change at the end of the day, but I personally would feel much more satisfied. And this is my dilemma. How do I score this thing? As far as what it advertises, I’m not particularly interested and I feel obliged to give it a poor score, but in terms of my personal enjoyment, it’s almost great. And this is only according to my opinion, I’ve heard different ones that think the exact opposite of me.
The best thing I can do is to give it a score based off of my own experience, and to encourage all of you to play Curiosity yourself to decide what opinion you agree with most. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have your own completely different view. It doesn’t cost anything and it’s not a huge file, only 11mb, so it’s worth at least trying out. You can pick up Curiosity – What’s Inside the Cube at Google Play or the App Store.[review pros="Good way to waste time, kind of relaxing to play, not difficult" cons="Server lag, nonsocial multiplayer, poor upgrade values, poor layer color choices" score=77]