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centrifeud is an ipad game for two to four players. it’s like that vacuum game in warioware – each player is trying to collect the most goal tokens, which appear on the screen at random. when a player is holding her button down, her avatar moves in the direction it’s facing, bouncing off of walls and other players, and when she’s not holding her button, her avatar is rotating clockwise in place, changing its direction. a game with a single, binary button per player. the buttons are laid out in the four corners chicanery-style.

so players keep their hands in their own corners, for the most part. but every now and then the chance to handicap an opponent appears: slow down your opponent, or make her veer to the right when she moves, or turn yourself into a ghost, so you can travel right through her. you don’t collect these advantages by moving your in-game avatar onto a power-up item. the words “TOUCH YOURSELF” appear on the screen (i always like when a game is forward) and all players scramble simultaneously to physically touch their avatars. naturally, these are in much closer proximity to each other than the buttons, and a chaos of jostling hands flutters over the game as two or three or four people are suddenly brought into physical contact. and then they go back to their buttons. it’s over in a second.

if there’s anything exciting about touch screen games, it’s that we can do this now: we can control the player’s physical proximity, we can change it in the middle of a game. centrifeud uses it in brief, frantic moments. in the late, lamented pongvaders, two players cooperate, usually autonomously, to destroy alien invaders. but at the end of every stage the players have to physically work together by tilting the ithing to direct the last ball at the last enemy. imagine a game that takes place on a sinking island – as the coasts grow smaller and smaller, the players’ hands are forced to operate closer and closer to each other.


  1. HZP wrote:

    …until their fingers gently swipe each other, the hair on the back of their hands rising in anticipation. As they scramble for the last available room on the island, they find no alternative than to intertwine their fingers, locking them in safety. They do so slowly, careful to show their reproach of the action, although neither of them ever really found it unpleasant. As the win screen appears they slowly lift their eyes from the flat glass in front of them and, whilst their hands are still in unison, their eyes lock as well and smiles spread from ears to ears.
    They walk away happily together in their newfound love, thinking of a bright tomorrow.
    The next day Truman calls off all hostile plans against the USSR, citing his very “friendly” relations with Comrade Josef. On a side note he amends the constitution to very specifically include all sexualities in all civil rights, especially concerning marriage issues.

    5/9/2012 at 4:06 pm | permalink
  2. MKS wrote:

    this is going to be so fun in the near Now as flexible touch screen surfaces become ubiquitous; I can imagine people placing these in public spaces to active by perhaps walking over it or talking by it…the world is an interesting place :3

    5/12/2012 at 2:52 am | permalink

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