The Fourth Dimension

The Fourth Dimension

This week the Professor and Brian are back and have been asked to peer review 'The Fourth Dimension', an interactive physics lesson available on iOS.


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This week the Professor and Brian are back and have been asked to peer review ‘The Fourth Dimension‘, an interactive physics lesson available on iOS that will explain 4D to us poor, backwards three-dimensional creatures (and no, I checked, you won’t need to upgrade to a 4D TV).

“Everyday in the United Kingdom, we spend over two and a half million pounds on coffee.”

“And frothy milk Professor.”

“Yes… I believe that’s called a babyccino Brian. Most people, myself included would think nothing of spending a few quid on an Orange Mocha Frappuccino, so why do some recoil in terror at the thought of spending that on a mobile game? I’m Professor Kelvin Harris, a Codec Moments resident scientist and this is my lab assistant Brian. If Science is Rock and Roll…  then I’m Bruce Springsteen and Brian would be Chico.”

“Go Chico go Chico, go. Go Chico, go Chico, go. It’s Brian Time.  That could be my new catchphrase Professor?”

“No… It really couldn’t. Together we’re on a mission to highlight interesting and informative games that will cost you less than a cappuccino. This is ‘Cost of a Coffee’.

“This week’s game for the ‘Cost of a Coffee’ is not a game.”

“No it’s not. We were contacted by Drew Olbrich who said:”

“Dear Professor, it just occurred to me that you in particular might enjoy this app I made two years ago.”

“For the record, unlike Brian, Drew most probably doesn’t sound like an extra who just failed an audition for Byker Grove.”

“Byker, Byker, Byker, Byker Grove, aha, aha, aha, aha… sorry Professor.”

“I warned you last time! Drew’s app is called The Fourth dimension and it’s a humorous 30 page interactive book that describes what a tesseract is, and lets you manipulate one in 3D.”

“What’s a tesseract?”

“What’s a tesseract?  I hear you cry!  A tesseract is a four-dimensional shape which is impossible to view properly in our antiquated three-dimensional universe. It’s a bit like a cube on steroids… when viewed with the aid of mind bending psychotropics. However, we can indirectly view a tesseract by unfolding it into three dimensions, or projecting a shadow of the four-dimensional object onto a three-dimensional space.  The app even features stereoscopic 3D that will either give you a unique understanding of what the three-dimensional shadow of a tesseract might look like, or a migraine…

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…Now that’s not dissimilar to the gameplay mechanic in the recent PS4 title, Contrast; in it you would pass between three and two dimensions where you could use the projected shadows of physical objects as platforms to progress. Now I know that you are probably scratching your head and cursing my name, but that’s the point of The Fourth Dimension App. Starting with an excellent point about why a restaurant would fail in a one-dimensional universe, it takes an incredibly complex subject and breaks it down into understandable (and very funny) pieces. Just the other day I asked Brian for a vessel containing a heated solution of lyophilised caffeine extract, with a teaspoon of soluble, short-chain carbohydrates and a dash of colloidal solution containing butterfat globules and he stared back with his empty, dead eyes. You see he struggled with even the simple concept of instant coffee, milk, one sugar until I broke it down for him.”

“My Mam says I’m not allowed to touch the kettle after the accident. My mate still has to wear a plastic mask to keep his eyes from falling out.”

“Right… So is it worth the ‘Cost of a Coffee’? Well I never thought I’d say this about an interactive lesson, but yes, most definitely. At £1.99 it’s cheaper than a small cafe latte and even if you have no interest in maths or physics, this app will explain a brain meltingly complex concept in an interesting, informative and not overtly intellectual way. It’s educational and most importantly, it’s a lot of fun.  I urge you to give this a go and learn something new about the worlds that might surround us; just because we can’t see them it doesn’t mean we should ignore them.”

“‘Cost of a Coffee’ is a Codec Moments production. If you can recommend a game that costs less than a cappuccino, get in touch via Twitter @CodecMoments, look us up on Facebook and Google+, or e-mail prof@codecmoments.com. Thanks to Drew Olbrich for providing a review copy of ‘The Fourth Dimension‘ which is available now on iOS.”

 

Let us know what you thought in the comments or contact us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ to join in the discussion!

Written by Andy

Andy

Former DJ, now a freelance scientist, writer, gamer and father-to-be.

The Verdict

9Amazing

The Good: A brilliant physics lesson explaining complex four-dimensional constructs in fun and easy to understand ways.

The Bad: Not actually a game, but still less than a cappuccino.


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