Cosmic Top spins into psychedelic wonderland

Just to let readers know, I will be taking the month of February off because I will be attending a conference in Chicago and I need to take the time to finish my presentation. I will be back in March with reviews of games Trade Nations, and World of Goo, business apps like Fuze Meeting, and tons of free apps.

Spoiler alert! Cosmic Top is about as much fun as you can imagine on an iPad. What does it do? Absolutely nothing but spin and spin and spin, and if you don’t love it, you probably also think an iPad is really a device to extend your work. For two dollars it’s a best buy.

When I was a young Star Trek fan, and trust me I was a fan from the first week of the first broadcast of the original series….

Okay, let’s be honest. Even in college, when I had watched every episode at least three times in syndication and some of them ten or twelve times, even when I knew that Kirk was a hound1 and Spock was about as far from logical as Sarah Palin is from being a bleeding heart liberal, I was still a fan.

By the time I was in grad school it was pretty clear to me how inane Star Trek really was, so I thought I put it behind me. But then I met Carol and it didn’t matter how many times I mocked Spock, I knew I was going to the Star Trek movies. As bad as they were, I had to admit I liked them.

Except for the Search for Spock, which was on a par with Plan Nine from Outer Space for sheer stupidity. But that’s neither here nor there.

Now Carol and I have the entire series on Blu-Ray, with a sharpness of detail the producers never meant us to see. Really. If you don’t believe me, watch the Blu-Ray disks with the old composite effects and not the modern digital enhancements. We should have been glad we were watching on nineteen inch televisions with only 280 lines of resolution.

I’ve wandered off track again. When I was a young Star Trek fan, people actually believed all Star Trek fans were stoners. It wasn’t until I was in college, and taking my first logic classes, that I learned this assumption was based on a faulty syllogism.

Some Star Trek fans are stoners.
Some stoners are Star Trek fans.
Therefore, Star Trek fans are stoners.

Even Spock could have figured this out, but the truth is not all Star Trek fans are stoners, although being a stoner probably makes it easier to watch “Spock’s Brain” without feeling your brain cells disintegrate. And, here I speak from experience, being straight in a room full of stoners watching Star Trek is almost as fun as being stoned.

Playing Cosmic Top on the iPad made me think about all of this, mainly because Cosmic Top reminds me of all those Star Trek effects.

Cool Bear Studios released Cosmic Top for two dollars (with an occasional price drop) and it’s worth every penny.

Carol already has it copied to her “artsy fun” folder.

Trust me, Cosmic Top has no redeeming value whatsoever. But neither does Star Trek and that didn’t stop it from being a big hit.

Literally, Cosmic Top is nothing more than a series of spinning dots on your iPad monitor, but those dots can be configured so many ways you can blow off steam when the boss bites your ass off, when you played all five levels of Plants vs Zombies and have no more brains left even after beating the zombies, or you just got home from a contentious Bible study where everybody was determined to shove their interpretation of the passage in question down each other’s throat.

You can play it during those pernicious commercials during the NFL playoffs. You can play it when your car’s stuck in front of a railway crossing. You can play it while your wife wants to talk about the fact that you spend too much time on your iPad.

Cosmic Top is simple. You spin with one finger, brake with another and use two fingers to zoom the top in and out. Tap to change the shape of the top and its particles.

Cosmic Top provides a dazzling display of spinning top effects. You can create hundreds, if not thousands, of effects.

If you don’t want to use your fingers, you can open the control panel for a list of options. It’s easy to find and pretty much self-explanatory.

Click image to see full size

Click image to see full size

You can also shut off the oscillating sci fi sound, but I wouldn’t. The sound compliments the top almost perfectly.

The truth is, Cosmic Top pretty much speaks for itself. I could write a more detailed review, but the best way to decide how much fun it is is to give it a spin yourself.

With the top spinning at top speed and zoomed past the edges of the iPad screen, it’s like watching 60s sci-fi in high def.

Click image to see full size

Jenny Manytoes rates Cosmic Top.

Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over Cosmic Top. It’s bright, gaudy, cheap and a definite Best Buy.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

1Those of us who know what a hound is don’t need me to be any more specific, and those readers who don’t know don’t need to know the specifics until they’re old enough for their older friends to let them in on the joke. When I was a kid, that was late middle school to high school. It’s probably the third grade now.back

Contact me at Email iPad Envy, or
Email The Hidden Grimoire.


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 5 Stars + Best Buy, Entertainment, Time Wasters and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Cosmic Top spins into psychedelic wonderland

  1. nter says:

    you may want to fix the “60s sic-fi” in the article.

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