Recurse is a game for the iPad ($1.99 on iTunes), and, well, I just can’t restrain my glee or refrain from sharing it with you.

Recurse is just about my favorite kind of fun – funny, sharable, challenging, easy to understand. You can play it by yourself. You can play it with friends. You use your hands or your whole body. You can keep it running in party mode just in case you’re having a party and that’s the mode you want for it. Here’s a clip:


Recurse is a different kind of game, especially for the iPad. It’s a gentle, non-threatening, dance-like game. The music sounds like the fun the game is.

You prop your iPad up on something or on the neat little stand that comes with your neat little iPad case or cover. You start the game, and choose, say, the Slide mode (there’s the Shuffle mode that’s a bit more, well, for me at least, challenging; and then there’s the Survival mode especially for parties I’m thinking). It counts down for 5 seconds, and starts with the music and the red and green grids with their sliding across your face, or your body, or you and your friends’ bodies, or whatever is facing the iPad camera. Your images are kind of blurred in a jaggedy way, which adds jaggedousity to the whole game – just enough to make what you’re doing a tad difficult to actually see. Your challenge – to cause your variously distorted extremities to intersect with the green grids whilst avoiding the red grids. The more green-grid intersections, the higher your score.

The designer notes: “One thing I discovered when developing the game was that people got very self conscious when they saw their own image clearly.  Abstracting the image in the way Recurse does keeps people from being aware of what they look like while playing it, and then makes for a great moment at the end when they see the  ‘reveal’ of what they looked like in mid gyration.  I think the abstraction is really important to get adults to let go of their inhibitions and get them to play like children do.”

And you can send a picture of your silly selves directly from the game to your Facebook or Twitter account.

Recurse is an exceptional game, designed by the exceptional Matt Parker. The first of its kind, I believe, for the iPad. Not the last, I am sure. A precursor, one hopes, of iPaddy joys to come.

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