Earlier this year, Peter Molyneux, the creator of the RPG series Fable, left Lionhead Studios and joined up with indie developer 22Cans. They’ve just released a free game on the App Store called “Curiosity – what’s inside the cube.” To risk understatement, we’ll say that it has an unusual premise. Because the game is so unconventional, a standard review doesn’t really make sense here. Instead, we’ll give our first impressions and urge you to play it for yourself.
When you start the game, you learn that “Something amazing is hidden at the centre of the cube. It will require the help of the whole world to chip away at its many layers… but only one person will find out what’s inside.”
A giant cube then appears on your screen, and you can turn it any which way, and zoom in to see that it’s made up of millions of tiny blocks. When you tap a block, it shatters, making a satisfying chime sound. Under the chipped-away block lies another layer of of blocks, but you can’t start chipping away at them until all blocks from the outer layer have been removed.
Sometimes you’ll destroy a block that contains a handful of gold coins. If you clear away a whole screen’s worth of blocks, you get a “clear screen” bonus. As is the nature of free-to-play games, there’s an in-game store that lets you buy things like firecrackers, bombs, and chisels that let you clear away blocks quicker. You can also pay 100 coins to look at a stats screen that shows things like how many players have signed in, how many “cubelets” you’ve cleared, etc.
Playing the game mostly requires a lot of tapping, but as you can see from the screenshot below, you can exercise your creative muscles as you clear away the blocks (our creative muscles are very weak).
As we played, it didn’t seem to show other people clearing away blocks in real time, but occasionally it would skip ahead and some blocks around us would disappear. That might have been a glitch in the matrix, or maybe it was the game trying to stay in sync with thousands of other players.
Even though there’s not much to it, Curiosity is relaxing to play. The music is very low key and Zen, and you can easily lose 10 or 15 minutes tapping mindlessly away. And who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to reach the center.