Monday, May 2, 2011

BubbleSand Review

BubbleSand is an interesting and unique idea. It reminds me of the sand picture frames you could get in the past and depending on how you turned it, effected what it looked like. It's an interesting concept but it has some problems. The biggest problem is the lack of clarity with the menus and exactly how everything works. I spent almost 10 minutes trying to figure out how to add more sand to the "picture". It also wasn't easy to figure out how to change the color of the sand from one color to another. I think a short YouTube video linked in the program to walk users through how the application works, along with showing how example pictures were done, would help this application immensely.

The other issue that I had with the application is that the background music would stop after a few minutes. I don't know if it was because the song was over, but it wasn't what I expected. Silence in a game is jarring and unsettling to me, unless it is an effect being used in a horror game. I saw some people mention that this was suppose to be a way to relax, but instead I found myself frustrated trying to do simple things. There are still some functions that I see in the menus that I have no idea what they do and when I choose them I don't notice anything different.

It would be nice to be able to import your own pictures as the backgrounds. The last thing is it would also be nice if you could pick more colors or do some kind of sliders/color wheel to pick what color sand you wanted to use. I think this would truly allow people to create some really interesting and unique sand pictures.

The concept is very innovative and natural for an iPhone application. It would be hard if not impossible to do this application on another device currently given the good use of the touch screen and the accelerometers, to tell which way is up. I applaud the developers for trying something different. Unfortunately there are several issue with the application that end up marring its score and success. I am going to it a three out of five. If the developers are able to fix these issues and add some of the suggestions, I can see this becoming a four star application easily.

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