Monument Valley Game

A year ago if you Googled Monument Valley, you’d come up with well-known images and wiki entries about the place in Southeast Utah (on the Arizona-Utah state line, near the Four Corners area). And perhaps even now, your top 20 hits might still be about one of the most photographed locations in the world. But if you searched a little further, or added ‘app’ or ‘iPhone’ after it, you’ll surely come across results that welcome into the world of the beautifully designed and engineered app game from UsTwo Games.

The game, which many compare it to something out of an M.C. Escher dream, is mesmerizing in every way possible. UsTwo has woven adventure, logic, storytelling and beauty all into one amazing game. At first, I didn’t even realize it was a story, but by the time I had completed the game (which was only a couple of hours later) I was in awe. The fact that I could become attached to some little character living in an imaginary world that has no place in reality, was mind-blowing. This game really sets the highest bar I can imagine for smart phone apps.

One of my absolute favorite scenes from the game is when one of the characters, Totem, bursts through a wall in hopes of reuniting with his friend.  As a tribute, I created a GIF of it. I don’t know if I’ve broken any copyright laws by doing this, but I will say that this GIF is derived directly from the game. I own no part of any of it, except for the fact that I created the GIF.

This GIF was created using scenes from the UsTwo iPhone app game. None of this content is my original work.
This GIF was created using scenes from the UsTwo iPhone app game. None of this content is my original work.


On the Star Wars Front

If I didn’t know any better, I’d assume that a new Star Wars movie was on the horizon. It seems that every day or so, I come across something on the web or receive an email about SW news or related creativity. I subscribe to DesignTAXI, a news and editorial site that is updated daily with inspired creativity and innovation. Just looking back to my emails from February, I count about 15 messages related in some way to Star Wars. Most of the articles are pretty enjoyable as it’s interesting to see how someone has yet again reinvented the cult classic. I’ve watched the first 3 movies and can’t remember much of either except the famous scenes that people can recite by heart. Yet, growing up in the 80s, I will always have affection for the trilogy. And so to keep that nostalgia alive, I’ve compiled some of the more enjoyable Star Wars-related pieces that I’ve found from DesignTAXI and elsewhere in the universe. Click on the titles/photos to read the full article.

Darth Vader As Don Draper?

Reimagination of ‘Star Wars’ Characters As Samurai

‘Star Wars’ Characters In Various Yoga Poses

LEGO Releases Official Ultimate Collector’s ‘Star Wars’ R2-D2 Set

What Happens When ‘Star Wars’ Characters Meet Zombies?

‘Star Wars’ Condoms Offer Full Protection Of ‘The Force’

Teach The Alphabet To Your Child With ‘Star Wars’ Characters

When ‘Star Wars’ Meets Steampunk

‘Star Wars’ Propaganda Posters

LucasArts Reveals ‘Star Wars 1313’

‘Star Wars’ Shower Mosaic

If Dr Seuss Did ‘Star Wars’

‘Before Star Wars’, Vintage Photos of Darth Vader And Co.

Official ‘Star Wars’ iPhone Case To Be Released

‘Star Wars’ Flash Drives

Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon

What Happened To The ‘Star Wars’ That We Used To Know?

Iconic Images Redone with ‘Star Wars’ Action Figures

‘Star Wars’ Brand Wars

‘Star Wars’ Swimsuits for the Ultimate Geek Girls

‘Star Wars’ Fans Save Luke Skywalker’s Home

Tattoos For Badass ‘Star Wars’ Fans

Ducking iPhone autocorrect

Just a few days ago, I became so annoyed with the iPhone’s autocorrection feature that I decided to Google the issue I was having to see if anyone else shared in my frustration. I knew someone out there was having all of their ‘me’s turned into ‘mr’s and needed to know how to stop it from happening. Or , the bigger question, find out why it was happening. Turns out, there were a bunch of posts about this very subject, but none really answered my question. I like the autocorrection in most cases, and I use the spelling feature as well. I just couldn’t understand why they kept changing ‘me’ to ‘mr’ and there didn’t seem to be a clear cut remedy to fix it.

Fastforward to today. My friend sends me a link to this site: I’ve gone through 5 pages of posts and have yet to see the issue ‘me’ was having. But it is definitely good for a few laughs.

But if anyone have a solution to fix this problem – please share it with me!

Scrabble bans EVOLUTION

I’ve always been a huge Scrabble fanatic. I enjoy the strategy involved in coming up with scrabble-worthy words and then finding the perfect place to put them to gain the max number of points. And I love the fact that your word doesn’t even need to be lengthy – as long as you put it in the right spot. But I’ll admit that I get a high when I get a BINGO or better yet, get a BINGO using other tiles already on the board. It sounds so nerdy, but I’m sure anyone who plays this game knows what I’m talking about.

When I got my iPhone earlier this year, I downloaded the Scrabble App. My best word so far is ALIENAGE (131 points). I rarely get a BINGO with more than 7 letters, but these were one of those times. Which is why I was totally confused when I tried to create the word EVOLUTION a few weeks ago and couldn’t. I was trying to build off another word and had enough space to do it, so I didn’t know why it wasn’t letting me submit it. To make sure I was spelling it correctly, I even went to the Scrabble page on Hasbro’s site and entered it there. Turns out, it doesn’t appear in their dictionary.

scrabble dictionary online

I really thought I had misspelled it. I mean I’m not dumb, but I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t in their dictionary. What Official Scrabble Player doesn’t know the word EVOLUTION? So I cut and pasted the word from their site into Google just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. I wasn’t. Then I started Googling phrases like “no evolution in scrabble” and “scrabble bans evolution.” I began to think that maybe Scrabble was conceived  by Christians who didn’t believe in evolution and so it was banned from their dictionary. (Just a conspiracy theory? Maybe.). Nothing came up. Then I tried to see if I could contact Scrabble directly, and in my search I found that the NSA (National Scrabble Association) existed. I laughed at first that there even was an organization, but then figured if anyone would know, they would. So I called them and explained my dilemma. Their answer to me was that perhaps the Scrabble app wouldn’t allow the word because it was longer than 7 characters. They suggested I try contacting EA, who created the app. However, it still didn’t explain why the word didn’t appear in the online dictionary on Hasbro’s site. Not to mention the fact that ALIENAGE is 9 letters and that was valid in the app. They didn’t have an answer for either, so I said thanks and hung up.

Not wanting to totally disregard what the NSA had said,  I went back to Hasbro’s Scrabble page and typed in ALIENAGE to see if this 9-letter word showed up. It did.

scrabble dictionary online

I even typed in a bunch of other 7+ letter words, like ORGANIZE and CUSTOMER,  to make sure I again wasn’t going nuts. I wasn’t. But then I typed in some other words like CONSCIOUS and RECOMMEND, and those did not show up. I was completely dumbfounded. I know I didn’t spell them wrong. Are these words not part of the English language?

My conclusion is that I have none. I could conceivably explain why EVOLUTION was omitted. But the other words? I have no clue. If anyone out there does – please let me know!

The Hidden Park

The Hidden Park is an iPhone adventure game for families that uses all the features of the iPhone to lead children into a fantasy world of trolls, fairies and tree genies – anywhere in the world, right in their local park.

Some of the parks that currently have this feature available are: New York, Central Park; Toronto, High Park; Portland, South Park Blocks; London, Kensington Gardens; Munich, Englischer Garten; Tokyo, Ueno Park; Sydney, Royal Botanic Gardens

:: The Hidden Park ::

Photo of the iPhone App The Hidden Park