Curiosity: What’s Inside The Cube has launched. VG247′s Dave Cook begins his cube tapping journey, and ponders if Peter Molyneux’s project is actually a work of genius.
I pause for a second to give my screen-tapping finger a rest. I’ve been chipping away at Molyneux’s box of mystery now for about half an hour, and my VG247 shift starts in ten minutes. Shit. Where did the time go?
People often find it easy to debunk Peter Molyneux’s harebrained pitches as dreamy-eyed fantasies that’ll never come to pass. In the olden days he’d likely be branded as some kind of male witch: today, he’s a free-thinker with independence, a new studio and a bloody big cube.
He’s looking on, like some mad baron, staring at his bank of monitors while we toil away at his cube like subservient ants. He’s the scientist: we’re the rats.
When I interviewed Molyneux in September, he told me that from the day Curiosity launches on iOS – it released this morning – he would be watching, in real-time, as hundreds and thousands of participants tap at their screens to chisel away the squares that makes up the cube.
It really is this simple. When you first download and start the app, you are greeted with a message that tells you how many players have registered – I’m the 1,680th – but then it reminds you that only one person will win the ‘life-changing’ prize in the middle.
Whoever taps the final square at the middle of the cube will “win,” and that’s the rub: no one knows what’s in there.
That’s the power of Curiosity. You’ll begin to chip away at the cube’s first layer – of which there are many – and if you get a good flow going you get a rhythm bonus that awards you with more coins. Once you clear a screen you get a bonus for your trouble. The uncovered green colour makes you feel almost accomplished. Doesn’t it?
The time passes away unnoticed, and you start to get into a hypnotic flow. Before you know it you’ve chipped away a decent-sized patch of square, and gained a hefty bank of coins with which to buy bombs and other square-busting power-ups.
“Not bad,” you think as you admire your handiwork. Maybe you’ll be the one after all. Then you zoom out to see how you’re doing compared to those penis-drawers and idiots on the other side of the cube:
Yes, it really is that big, and that tiny patch of squares took me about ten minutes to chisel away. You start to feel deflated until you spin the cube around at a fully zoomed-out glance and you see what other people are up to. Some are drawing cocks, others writing messages, and some are making neat designs.
It’s a social experiment, not just some naff cube. Molyneux’s watching you right now. Watching us finding this:
What is it? Molyneux has revealed that images are hidden under each layer of the cube, including the Facebook images of the cube’s biggest destroyers. He also said that clues of 22 Can’s first full game are hidden in there too, making this one of the maddest and potentially brilliant marketing campaigns for a game ever.
Note I said “potentially,” as people could get bored and the ploy could end up being a flop, but somehow I’m not sure. Over 2,000 people have registered now. The scientist built it. They will come.
What’s in the cube? Who knows? But the journey towards finding out could be as equally as interesting.
UPDATE: It’s been a few hours since I wrote this piece. Here’s a clearer look at what that mysterious image now looks like: