Review: The Game of Life


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Jul 5, 2008
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Okay, so you start out in a little pink car, and you try to go to college and get married, then you inheret a skunk farm...

oh wait. No, not that game of Life. This is Conway's Game of Life (although I wonder when they are going to have Life, Monopoly, Clue, Risk ,etc).

Anyway, in the 1940's, John Conway developed a simple program designed to replicate simple life. Basically, the computer has specific rules about when a cell can replicate, and when it dies. This simple pogram is actually quite interesting, and has a number of ramifications in the biological sciences.

But this game is just eye candy on the iPhone (iCandy?). In this game, you simply tap the screen to add cells. The game is programed to have them slowly fade and die, going through color changes as the do. New cells are blue, as they die they turn red and fade away. Other than that, it is still Conways' Game of Life. Not really a game at all.

Visually, the game is quite fun to watch. You see the screen changing as cells grow and die, moving around based on the rule structure for the game. You can change the color parameters (colors, fade intesity, etc) but you can't change the parameters for Conway's game.

After while though, the game sort of wears thin. It is a pretty fine scale, so you can't really do any fine manipulation of cell location. It would be really cool if you could zoom in and out on the screen, so you can really manipulate where you put the cells. But alas, the programmer didn't do that (maybe an update *hint hint*).

GIven that the game is so limited, I am surprised that it cost as much as it did - $1.99. When I bought it, I was actually hoping there would be more detail that we could be involved it. Knowing what I know now, I probably wouldn't have bought it.

Pros: Cool visual effects.
Cons: Limited interaction, limited game play, quick to lose interest.

All in all: If the game were changed so you could manipulate the cell location more readily, I would find it much more interesting. But even then, $1.99 might be a little much to pay for a game that is basically "look at the pretty patterns". Because of this I give it 2 out of 5 stars. Reduce the price, add more interaction, and I might increase it to 3 or 4 stars.


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