During the conference crunch of back-to-back E3 and WWDC last month, I’d find myself with a few minutes to kill in-between meetings or demos or whatever. Seeing as the influx of tech-heads at a conference pretty much brings any sort of WiFi connection to its knees, that pretty much limited the kinds of things I could do to pass these moments of downtime.
Now, there are thousands upon thousands of ways to kill a few minutes using your iOS device, the App Store is chock full of them. But I consistently found myself going back to the same thing over and over: Taiso [Free]. With the London 2012 Olympics in full swing (wait, am I allowed to say Olympics?), we figured it was the perfect time to bring Taiso to the masses.
It’s an incredibly simple game where you tap a blocky athlete who is swinging rapidly on a crossbar and launch him into the air. From there, twisting and spinning your device dictates the kinds of tricks he does in the air. On the way down, make sure your device is oriented properly so he lands on his feet, then see how well you scored.
The interesting part is that twirling your device around doesn’t control the actual athlete, but rather the environment around him. It’s kind of crazy and disorienting, but in a good way. Whether you land your dismount or not, you’re able to watch a replay of your acrobatics after the fact, and these tend to be pretty hilarious.
Now, one thing I learned during conference time was that I could increase my scores greatly the more wildly I was able to fling my phone around. I found that a conference hall carpeted floor is the ideal place to perfect my wild flinging without breaking my iPhone. I’ve gone ahead and tried to demonstrate this on my luxurious fake leather couch in the video below. I start off slow, just demonstrating what spinning your device in different directions does, but a few tries in is when the phone-flinging commences. Sadly, I wasn't able to break my current high score for the video.
(It should go without saying, but throwing your phone around can be dangerous and might damage it if you aren’t careful, so consider yourself warned.)
Taiso is really just a one-trick pony type of game, but it pulls off that one trick in a really interesting way with how you manipulate your device. Cheating the system by finding somewhere safe to toss your device around and blasting your high scores increases the fun a lot, and I’ve had so many laugh-out-loud moments from watching my various replays that I feel I’ve easily justified the time it took to download this free game.
If you like these kinds of quirky experiences that seem to only be possible on the App Store, be sure to check out Taiso.
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