Karakuri Babble is a daily column by the editors of i360.com, usually on topics tangentially related to anime and cosplay.

In the past we have endorsed many things; in the future we shall support many others.

makes a splendid target.

So I've been playing this game for iOS, ZiGGURAT. It's ridiculous, an atavism, a thing that has no earthly business existing. It's like a casual version of Ikaruga. Or, if you're not into that genre, think the classic arcade beat-em-ups. Streets of Rage, maybe. Think Tetris or Contra. It's got that way of taking over your attention completely, so that your field of view shrinks to a tiny circle around your character that you're trying to keep clear of everything trying to kill you, and when it's over your vision gradually widens out and you realize as the fog clears that you haven't really been devoting as much attention to breathing as you should have been, those last 30 seconds.

It's like that, but a "casual game." It is hardcore. I'm told it has a true last boss, which like all true last bosses I'll probably never be good enough to see.

(For those of you unaware, a True Last Boss is an extra, impossible boss that comes as a bonus after you think the game's done, if you've performed certain impossible tasks first. Hibachi from DoDonPachi is the canonical example. The idea of putting one in an iOS game is downright absurd.)

Anyway. I paid a dollar for it, which is a rarity in itself, and I've spent a few hours playing it, and it's something you should buy if you like games. I don't mean, like to pick up a game when you have a moment. I'm talking about the sort of like where you pick up the game and play it until your eyes no longer focus, and only put it down because it doesn't seem likely that you'll beat your high score until your vision recovers.

Let's put it this way: it doesn't have a pause button. Yes, you can pause by leaving the app, but if you're far enough along for it to matter, you're pretty much guaranteed to die five seconds after you come back. It's that kind of game. It demands concentration.

words from chris, 2013-04-25 00:05:26, los angeles

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