Watch the video first, context to follow…

Canabalt is, would you believe, an iPhone game. One that, a few weeks ago now, my good friend Utku introduced me too.

I remember it quite clearly, he turned to me and muttered the now immortal words:
“This, is the new Flight Control.”

The premise is simple: your character runs and, when a gap or an object is coming towards you, you tap the screen to jump.

Oh so simple, yet oh so addictive.

If you have an iPhone, get this game. If you don’t like it, find me. I’ll play it for you.

Joking aside, Utku, after he told me about said game, went on to write a rather awesome blog post about how much he enjoys playing it. Said post is indeed, a great read.

However, it is in the comments that things get really interesting (and please, go read the post before you carry on).

And I quote:

I think the reason I prefer Canabalt over the bigger budget games is not the retro feel (although that plays a part), but rather the lack of story that you mention above.


Most big budget games have large story arcs to take you from one piece of game play to the next and on the whole I find them disappointing. Even when the voice talent is top notch, the dialogue tends to be turgid. As the graphic engines moved forward I found myself becoming that horror of horrors – a casual gamer.


One slight disagreement. I think in Canabalt there is more than a hint at the reason why you’re running. In the background loom the silhouettes of what appear to be tripod like machines laying waste to your city. Man-made? Alien? No idea.


I love that you probably know as much about what’s going on as your hero. Things are falling apart – run like hell. We don’t find out he’s some super soldier or why exactly he’s so adapt at leaping or what he risks to lose if he doesn’t escape. I love that. Allows you to project what you like on the little guy rather than try and ignore the rubbish some hack has written for you.


But with a little branding in place this could be easily ported as a BOND or BOURNE tie in. They won’t do that though. They’ll spend a lot of money on an iPhone app that concentrates on selling the franchise and results in muddy game play. Like most of the movie-tie-in apps available so far.

Those middle three paragraphs are what do it for me.

With just a few short sentences you get such an insight into a) the idealism behind the game in question and b) the machinations that exist between the ears of Mike Atherton…  And that, my friends, is what makes him such a good writer.

From a single, and yet dare I say it, casual gamer-aimed, 2D platformer, @sizemore (as he is more commonly known) has already established in your mind some ideas as to why this man is running for his life…

And yet, at the same time..

You really have no clue at all.

James Whatley meets: Richard Mills

Every day I meet new and exciting people.
Every day I come across fresh ideas that force me to look at the world with a fresh pair of eyes.
Every day someone or something challenges my way of thinking so much that I can only sit back and marvel as my imagination is stretched into whole new dimensions.

Last week ladies and gentlemen, I met Richard Mills.

Richard, or ‘Richie’ as he prefers to be known, is an extreme sportsman of the highest caliber. But, unlike any other extreme sportsman I have met before, Richard is a real live Suburban Warrior.

Adrenalin junkies are not new to me; I’ve leapt from planes, thrown myself down mountains and even taken the odd wake-board ramp from time to time… But Richie Mills? This is a man who takes it to the next level.

Filmed at a secret location in West London, the following video takes place on a normal Monday afternoon. Blindfolded en route, Rich explained to me the level of competition that goes into these kinds of events, his love for the sport and then, we arrived…

Remember one thing folks: Richard Mills is a trained professional.

Do not try this at home.


All video shot and filmed on a Nokia N97.
All photos shot and uploaded with a Nokia N95 8GB.

There is a Vimeo version of the video if you’d prefer and also a Flickr Set of all the photos from the day’s activites.

Check it.
Thanks for watching.