Review: Cool Illusions


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Jul 5, 2008
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Review: Cool Illusions by McApps

I admit it, I am a sucker for optical illusions. I love the mind games that your eyes can play on you. So when I saw the app ?Cool Illusions?, I thought I would give it a try.

Cool Illusions guides you through a series of illusions, first giving you a description of the scene/illusion, then showing you the image. Personally, I am not sure if I would have done it that way. By describing the illusion at first and THEN showing the image, you lose some of the mystique and curiosity. Telling me (for example) that some people see the old man and lady, while others see two faces doesn?t tells me in advance what to see. I would much prefer a basic question (?what do you see?, ?are the balls moving?, ?what color is this?) followed by the image, and THEN followed by an explanation of the image (ideally giving us a chance to look at the image again).

This brings me to the second problem with the app. When you start, you are taken through the illusions in a specific order. All you can do is that the ?next? button at the bottom of the screen to move to the next slide. No ability to back up to look at an image again. No ability to choose which illusion you want to look at (list of contents). No ability to randomize. Every time you are just looking at the same order. This seems to be a sloppy, short-cut method of programming.

The illusions themselves vary in quality. Some of them are classic (which ball is bigger, for example) although in some cases the image quality was lacking. Others are illusions that I have never seen before. I would have preferred to see a greater variety of types of illusions, rather than many of the same type repeated over and over (it felt like most of them were of the ?which picture do you see?the face or the man?? style). There are only 14 illusions in the app ? given the wide array of optical illusions out there, having only 14 was a letdown.

On a side note, the name of this app includes a number of phrase words, which strikes me as name spamming (even though all the phrase words are applicable - they are just listed in the title). In addition, the description of the app includes EVERY app the guy has made - it also seems sort of like a spamming attempt, so if you do a search you will put up this app. If that is accurate, it just rubs me the wrong way.

  • some new illusions I have not seen previously

  • can only view as a slide show
  • poor implementation when presenting illusion
  • no ability to randmize illusions
  • only 14 optical illusions

All in all, I was disappointed by this app. It seemed to be a shoddy attempt to throw something together quickly rather than put a lot of care into the design of the app ? specifically how the illusions are presented in the slide show and how you can view them. There are other illusion apps, and I am thinking about looking at them all to see how they compare. It may be that this is the best of the bunch, but if that is the case, I will be sorely disappointed. Even at $.99, I would generally say avoid this app unless you are an optical illusion junkie. Two out of five stars.

Rating scale:

* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.

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