New Thing #172: Trauma Video Game

I saw the game Trauma reviewed on The Totally Rad Show this week and, totally on a fluke I noticed that it was availale for the Mac on Steam today. So I picked it up; it’s cheap. Like less than a couple lattes cheap, so I figured why not.

It’s basically a cross between Myst and those hidden object style games that my Grandmother is totally addicted to.

I’m not sure where it was developed, but it sure seems to be eastern European in tone, style and the voice acting is definitely English as a second language. 

But it’s weird, and I think it’s weird in a good way. All the gameplay is done through gestures which works great with the Magic Trackpad. The puzzles aren’t exactly difficult or long, but the exploration of the world and the narration of the main character really make for an oddly compelling experience. 

It seems to be broken up into four sections, three of which I finished in about an hour. And did I mention you’re playing as a woman who’s in a coma, trying to piece her life back together? At least that’s what I gather from the story so far at least.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this one yet, but it’s definitely a very unique game. I can’t say I’ve ever played anything quite like it before.

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New Thing #155: Magic Trackpad

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I’ve been using Mac OS X Lion for over a week now and I’m still getting used to it. And I’ll admit that it’s been growing on me. But one thing that’s become clear to me, this OS really wants to integrate touch input into the experience something fierce.

Luckily I got a taste of it wiht my Magic Mouse. Unfortunately, gestures on such a small and rounded surface just feel awkward and clunky. So I broke down and bought myself a Magic Trackpad today.

I’m happy to say that fullscreen apps, Launchpad and Mission Control make so much more sense now. I love swiping between full screen apps at a breakneck pace. I love pulling up Mission Control seamlessless. I love being able pinch outwards (if there is such a thing) to scatter all my windows off my desktop at once. Because when these gestures in Lion work, they work very well.

There’s only one problem, selecting text is a colosal pain in the ass. Sure, double tapping selects a word and triple tapping selects a paragraph, but what about when I just want to select a sentence in the middle? I have to awkwardly press the Magic Trackpad with one finger and then drag with another. 

So it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The trackpad makes interfacing with the OS simpler, smoother and genuinely makes you feel more connected to the hardware. But editing type with it is for shit.

PS. I don’t think there’s anyway I could use this for design work, so I won’t be throwing my mouse out the window just yet. 

PPS. I just accidentally found out that all you have to do is slide three fingers across the trackpad to select text. I take it all back. Steve Jobs can keep my money…again.

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