|Image from PopMatters|
My take is pretty straightforward: regardless of whether you like the game or not, it represents a host of trends that are currently shaping the industry. An independent studio trying a weird idea? Check. The rise of smartphones and online application stores as gaming platforms? Yes. Experimentation with "freemium" mechanics? Affirmative. An long-time designer trying to find his way in a changing creative landscape? Yup. Signs that said designer wants to hold on to his past? Roger. Kickstarter as a funding method? Indeed. A porous divide between developer and player? You bet.
I didn't get a chance to talk about this in the column, but I think the way I feel about Peter Molyneux is the way that some people feel about David Cage. Both designers habitually bite off more than they can chew, but in doing so they get people talking about the medium's potential. Whatever's inside the cube is almost certainly less amazing than Molyneux is making it out to be, just as Fable was more linear than was originally promised. It's the effort that I appreciate. It gets people talking.
By the way, I just want to remind everyone that Jorge and I talked about the Cube in a podcast from a while back. I rarely re-listen to our shows, but I found this one pretty amusing. Any game that can spur that type of fun discussion can't be all bad.
For those of you who have played it, have you been keeping track of the Cube? How did the evolution of the game strike you? Do you care what's in it any more? For those of you who didn't play it or are sick of hearing it, I recommend downloading it and taking a few taps. At worst, you'll just be helping us hasten the end of the mystery and see what's inside. We're at 18 layers and counting, but we've already been treated to a great story.