9 in ’09, number eight: Edge

Mobigames | iPhone | Arcade

Sometimes I think about how this game has been almost completely overshadowed by the controversy surrounding some idiotic legal issues that have come about through no fault of the creators, and then I feel sad. Mobigame’s Edge is so much more than a crucible in which the alleged spuriousness of former IGDA board member Tim Langdell’s claim to the word “edge” as it relates to anything even tangentially related to videogames can be tested. I mean, yes, it’s nice that Edge has brought the shadiness of “Mirrors: A Game By EDGE” to light, and the furor has probably helped sell a few copies of Edge out of sympathy or solidarity. But it’s also prevented one of the finest iPhone games available from being, well, available.

This sucks, because Edge is genuinely excellent and is the sort of thing that everyone who owns an iPhone or iPod Touch should have on their device at all times. It’s also the sort of thing that anyone who doubts the viability of the iPhone as a gaming device should check out, because Edge is a game that perfectly sums up the strengths and qualities of its platform in one neat, stylish package.

The gameplay is the definition of simplicity, which is really exactly what you want from a game that’s controlled with one finger. You roll a small cube around a geometric landscape, avoiding edges (hence the name!) and puzzling your way past increasingly devious traps and hazards. It’s never especially stressful and consciously avoids being frustrating, so people looking for a hair-pulling hardcore challenge will probably shrug and meh. Really, though, that’s not the point. With its abstract, neon-tinged graphics and chiptune-inspired soundtrack, it’s meant more as a chill-out game that you play to kill time and relax. That’s really what iPhone games are best for — bIte-sized hunks of escapism — and almost a year later Edge continues to be one of my favorite go-to time-wasters when I have a few minutes to kill and AT&T’s crappy network service makes it impossible for me to check my email.

So really, that means Edge doesn’t just exemplify the strengths of its platform; it also help cover up the platform’s weaknesses. You can’t ask for better than that. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re currently in another of those “Edge is not available from the App Store at this time” troughs, so bear with it until the day that it shows up again, then grab it before it’s inevitably pulled again. In the meantime, let’s hit the law books for some research into how we can fight the good fight against specious trademark squatting.

4 thoughts on “9 in ’09, number eight: Edge

  1. It was available as EDGY for a while, but according to Mobigames twitter account it’ll be back as Edge soon. It really is an excellent game, and they did an excellent job adapting to the iPhone interface (I play it in landscape with the visible D-pad).

    I’m going back and collecting all of the flashing dots in the early stages, but I do have one problem with it: the strobe effect hurts my eyes after a while. It’s great to play through a stage or two during downtime, but I can never sit down and play through it like I would any other videogame.

  2. Great article – I’d like to point out that the game actually does get pretty hardcore as you go on. All I know is I get pretty mid-range scores on it (Ds to Bs), suggesting near Ninja Gaiden level memorization to get the higher scores. Some of the later tricks, like hanging off of moving blocks are pretty danged tricky too.

    I didn’t realize that this is what all that nonsense was about, either. I really didn’t understand what “Fedge” meant.

  3. I unfortunately missed it when it was available. When I finally went to go download it, the game was nowhere in sight. A shame. I’ll try to grab it once it gets back up.

  4. I got an iPod Touch for Christmas and I’m so sad that I can’t play this (yet). I hope it finds its way back to the iTunes Store soon. I will gladly support Mobigame by buying it!

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