The most effective games transform our environments and provide us with an opportunity to install ourselves in an artificial world. DataCube, a 3-D puzzle app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, does just that, prodding users to harness their spatial skills and logical intuitions to save the cube from imminent corruption, all the while launching them into orbit around a sleek simulated matrix.
One part puzzle, one part gamified-debugging, the DataCube app impels you to deploy your strategic talents. A 3-D version of Minesweeper, the game adds another dimension to the classic game. In order to win, you must pop open all of the clean blocks on the cube and flag all of the corrupt ones. For each clean block that you pop, you’re given a number, which indicates how many corrupt blocks are next to it. However, you must deftly maneuver around the corrupt ones, for if you pop them, you lose.
DataCube’s slick navigation options make this a bit easier, allowing for precise movement while also shielding you from carpal tunnel. A finger drag lets you rotate around the cube, a two finger pinch allows you to zoom, a two finger twist rotates the camera, and a three finger drag enables you to shift sideways. Furthermore, DataCube’s smooth graphics will stimulate your imagination and provide you with the perception that you’re perched in your own personal spacecraft, waging a tactical mission against time. The digital diorama lets you workout your brain while gazing at the stars, making escapists and puzzle pirates feel equally at home.
Creator Daniel Lasry, a Columbia alum hailing from Spain, is currently applying his engineering efforts at Pixar. Having mobilized his programming prowess by making an app for your smartphone that is as visually captivating as it is mentally challenging, he is now set to develop new 3-D visions for the silver screen.