Before Microsoft acquired his Lionhead Studios, world-famous game designer Peter Molyneux was known for shepherding quirky games. Before they became “The Fable Company”, they brought us the Black & White games and Hollywood simulator The Movies, a personal favorite. Before that though, Molyneux had launched and built Bullfrog, home of some of the best strategy games of the golden era of PC gaming. Well, now he’s out on his own with company 22 Cans, a strange incubator of quirky new games. I only know this because I’ve played Curiosity, a game that isn’t easy to recommend.
If you’ve never heard of Curiosity, it’s, uh, different. It’s a massively multiplayer online game, but there are no orcs, talent trees, or quests, there are blocks. You and everyone else must chip away at a massive cube, layer by layer. At the center lies a secret that will only be granted to one player who happens to knock out the last block. As each facade is removed, a new image or design is revealed beneath it. The game consists of tapping blocks and that’s it. If you manage to do so for an extended period without touching the layer below, you can start building combos, which is more points for you. Clear a screen of blocks grants you a bonus as well. People have managed to sculpt elaborate designs in the surface before they were removed forever, some a little more adult than others. You can randomly tap on the screen to remove blocks, but you don’t get killer scores unless you’re meticulous and slow about it. Managing to get those larger scores lets you acquire better block removing tools like bombs, firecrackers, or better pickaxes that last for a specific period of time.
In essence, Curiosity is like Minecraft, but without the building or much of the mining. You just tap blocks. It’s not really a game at all, more like an entertaining distraction before you fall asleep or while you’re on the metro. Kelly looked on, amused, wondering why I was playing this ‘app’, but I’m drawn in, at least for now. You can download Curiosity: What’s Inside The Box for free on iOS and Android at this very moment and I’d recommend playing it on a tablet versus a phone because of greater score potentials.