May 4, 2020

Poking around the website "The Video Game Kraken" I ran into Cube World by Radica Games Ltd - a toy line I have just the faintest memory of, but is so far up my alley it should set up a mailbox.

It's a collectible series of magnetically linking boxes and communicating boxes, each with a little person on an LCD screen. The idea captures the same artificial-creature charm of the Tamagotchi, but without the "care and feeding" aspect. (But using movement detection for some basic interactions) I think the commercials give a flavor of it:

and then later they expanded beyond just LCD screens, kind of breaking that tiny 4th wall with real world peripherals:

It's super charming when one resident climbs into the neighbor's box and they interact. I'm really curious if anyone has analyzed the interbox communication protocols - it looks like a new box can "teach" animations to its neighbors, rather than everything a box can display being wired in at the factory, but I'm not sure.

Here's one person's large collection:

I guess I will resist the urge to add another set of tchotchkes to my life, but I really do find these things to be sort of inspiring. Ever since the Game Boy and PalmPilot I've been enamored of cheap LCDs and what they can do...