About Unworldly

When Apple added the “purchased” tab to the App Store, I had the shock of discovering that I’d downloaded just shy of 500 apps, and was forced to accept that apps were more than a passing interest for me. I believe they have enormous potential as a new art form, with its own new rules and standards, and I’ve been looking – quite extensively, it turns out – for apps that fulfil that promise.

This site is an attempt to define what it is that I’m looking for, and pick out some of the gems I’ve found on the way. The common theme of apps that interest me is that they take me somewhere I’ve not been before. Great examples are games like Osmos, a hypnotic blend of beautiful visuals, music and gameplay, Spider, which subtly conceals a narrative in the background of a distinct series of puzzles, or more openly artistic and musical diversions like iOrnament or Remember Snow. The most interesting are the difficult to classify, newly emerging forms like Windowsill, which superficially looks like a cross between a game and a Dr. Seuss book, but actually delivers far more.

More simply put, I’m seeking out interesting new worlds to immerse myself in.

I’m primarily focussing on iOS apps, and in particular the iPad, which seems to me to be where the most interesting titles have appeared. I think that’s due to a number of factors: it’s still a fairly young platform and there’s excitement over exploring new forms of interaction. It has an extremely low barrier to entry for developers, and an easy delivery system. Most importantly, it offers developers, and particularly indie developers, a fairer chance of some renumeration for their labours. Developers like to eat, a fact that my ever increasing waistline likes to prove.

That said, despite being an unashamed Apple fanboy, I’m still fond of my Xbox, which for now at least offers more of a “big screen” experience, and I may even give in to temptation and buy a PS3, if only to try titles like Journey, Flower and Hard Rain.

About Peter Chilvers

Peter Chilvers is a musician and software designer best known for creating the acclaimed iPhone applications Bloom and Trope with Brian Eno. He also a member of the bands Letka and Slow Electric.

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