Developer: Southwest Apps LLC
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
You know the iPhone App Store mantra: “There’s an app for that.” Once again, I find myself believing that may very well be true because not in a million years would I have thought about there being an app that lets you design and build a domino course – but there is one. Domino Domino by Southwest Apps is an interactive, domino course design application. You can design, construct and then follow your completed course with the use of automatic and manual cameras. To say the least, Domino Domino is pretty ingenuous and I’m guessing relatively original.
Should you be a creative type, Domino Domino supplies you with some pretty flexible options for designing a domino course. Before you begin, an included tutorial will go over the basics of designing and then you can jump in and start placing dominos, bridges, staircases, and other objects that enhance your course. When you’ve built what you envisioned, you can press play, which executes the course, and follow it with the automatic camera. If you prefer, you can also use the manual camera mode to choose your own viewing angles, which is helpful if your course splits off into two different paths or you prefer an aerial view.
Though a tutorial is included, there’s a bit of a learning curve that can only be overcome by repeated attempts at various layouts. For instance, it’s difficult to tell how the mousetrap and ball will interact with the dominos until you’ve constructed a course using it. It’s also difficult to tell, until you follow the course in camera mode, if you have any dead ends. You can edit your course by erasing part or all of it and once you have perfected your course, you can load it into the “saved courses” menu, which will store up to six designs.
Having never thought of the concept of an app like Domino Domino, I had no real expectations. A few things I did notice lacking were sound effects and visual enhancements. You can play your own music and I think it’s cool to be able to build a course and watch it play out to a personal library tune of your choosing, but I think the clicking sound of row upon row of falling dominos would have been a nicer than silence when the user’s music is absent. I also noticed that each domino in the courses I built was the same. I’m not sure if there are rules about domino course building, but why use only the 2 – 4 dominos? What about the ones and sixes or the threes and fives?
Domino Domino might be a little memory intensive and I did have a "failure to launch" issue a time or two. However, resetting my iPod touch solved the issue so far as I can tell. I’m sure that the use of the camera to follow the course required some extra effort from a memory and programming standpoint, and while it does a nice enough job in both modes, it seems that the actual animation of the courses is a tad slow. Perhaps that’s to create added visual impact, but part of what makes a domino course cool is the speed at which the chain reaction takes place. Perhaps the addition of a fast-forward button for those who like speed would be welcomed.
All in all, the best word to describe Domino Domino is interesting. I would have never thought of it, but if you happen to enjoy creating things, especially if you’ve ever built your own domino course, then by all means check it out – it’s only a buck. You can view the video below for a better idea of how Domino Domino looks and works.