New iPhone game best played with eyes closed

May 26, 2010
Entertainment

Players who download the new Aurifi iPhone game should not expect to see any state-of-the-art graphics as they tap away on their screens. In fact, the $4.99 app has no visuals at all. Created by Punk Pie Ltd in the UK, Aurifi is an “audio-only” iPhone game that allows players to tilt and tap their […]

Players who download the new Aurifi iPhone game should not expect to see any state-of-the-art graphics as they tap away on their screens. In fact, the $4.99 app has no visuals at all.

Created by Punk Pie Ltd in the UK, Aurifi is an “audio-only” iPhone game that allows players to tilt and tap their way through a three-dimensional soundscape. Combining elements of a hearing test, memory game and trip to a techno nightclub, Aurifi is unlike any game available for the iPhone and is likely the first of its kind for any gaming device.

Of course, developing a game that requires players to interact with sounds rather than graphic objects can get pretty heady, says Chris Walker of Punk Pie.

“We had to get to grips with how the brain processes sounds and what images are created in the mind,” he said. “No two people perceive the same thing.”

While hard-core gamers will likely have lukewarm perceptions of Aurifi – which gets old pretty quickly after the initial novelty wears off -the app does exploit the iPhone’s breakthrough technology in very unique ways.

Sexy sounds from Aurifi’s narrator

Prompted by a female narrator, who with a sexy British accents starts off the game by saying she “found a place for us to play where we exist only through sound,” players are instructed to tilt their iPhones in the direction of where they hear noises in order to advance to subsequent levels. Another task requires players to tap specific areas of their iPhone’s touch screen based on which speaker is transmitting the sound. Headphones are required in order for Aurifi to work properly.

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Rather than displaying a high score or noting advancements through numerical levels, Aurifi rewards players who master each stage by layering in new sounds to the game’s funky background music as they proceed. Mobile media maestros will feel like conductors creating new musical orchestrations while waving around their iPhones.

Like any great groove, Aurifi’s enjoyment comes from the game’s journey, not its undefined finish line. As is the case with many iPhone apps, Aurifi is literally a work in progress as its Version 0.9 indicates that the game is still going through some beta testing.

So while audiophiles and others who obsess over the latest and greatest tech gadget will no doubt want to check out Aurifi immediately, the game will probably take longer to resonate with everyone else.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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