Playing in the Cloud

mirrors_edge_2dThere has been lots of talk lately about “the cloud” – I was a little taken aback by this blog posting from Google which implied that Google is the cloud.  Pat also recently posted about web UIs that I’d recommend people check out.  I’ve been keeping an eye on some of the instant on OSes, and it turns out a friend of mine is involved with one of the companies offering a cloud solution.  I’ll admit that the cloud concept is very cool – but what I really want is to host my own cloud (and yes, that does seem a bit backward).

Let’s get back to what computers are good at – entertaining us.  If you haven’t seen this yet, you need to check out – a pretty neat flash based game that is a 2D take on Mirrors Edge.  It only take about 30mins of toying around to exhaust the content on the beta site right now, but if you enjoy 2d platformer games this will hook you.

The other night my internet connection was down for about 30 minutes.  How annoying will that be once all our data is in the cloud?

World of Goo


I caught sight of World of Goo while browsing slashdot of all places. It turns out that a Linux version of it was recently made available, so I had to give it a shot.

The style reminds me a lot of Tim Burton’s movies.  The gameplay is similar to fantastic contraption mixed in with lemmings.  I’ve only played for a few minutes to get a feel for it, I suspect it gets a lot more challenging as you go on.  The little bit I did play, impressed me enough to want to tell others about it.

There are versions for Linux, Mac and Windows – as well as Wii.  If you’ve got any interest in puzzle games, give this one a spin.  Kudos to 2D Boy for  making a cool cross platform game – nice to see that a small team with a vision can still make a go of it.

Fantastic Contraption

I ran into this flash based web game a while back, it sucked up a couple of nights while I compulsively played through the first 18 levels. I was going to post about it back then, but decided against it as there are plenty of other discussions about fantastic contraption out there already.

For the geek crowd, it should probably be renamed to fanatic compulsion.  Today I saw that two of my coworkers had just recently come across it (one of them with a physics background no less!) – they were both clearly trapped by this meme-like game.  Consider this posting a warning – it is a huge time suck.

The game allows users to save their contraptions, and share them with others via a link – so a little internet searching will find you solutions to view if you need hints.  As well, once you complete a level, you can see the solutions others have saved.  Pretty neat how 5 simple elements can be combined to create so many solutions.

Astute readers may notice that I’ve posted a Google Chrome screen capture.  This was actually taken running on Ubuntu using Wine.  Instructions came via LifeHacker, but be warned lots of things don’t work (like any https:// connections).  There is of course also CrossOver Chromium, but this is basically Wine linked to Chrome – so it suffers the same shortfalls.  I used Chrome here because for whatever reason, the flash engine included with the Wine setup is much faster than the one embedded in my Firefox (same machine).  I have more opinions on Chrome, but will save them for a future discussion.