Boomshine

Each week Iain Simons finds you something for the weekend - a chance to while away some hours at you

Relax, at least to begin with.

Danny Miller’s Boomshine delivers a cloud of coloured dots which float hypnotically on the screen. Your challenge is to destroy them by choosing a point, clicking your mouse and setting off a chain reaction of explosions. The simple aim being to reach the set goal of detonations for each level. Boomshine starts off as feeling almost like a gentle therapy, with the first few levels easing you in gently to the concept.

By level 6 things have started to become a lot more challenging, considerably less relaxing but also hugely addictive as the 52 million games of it that have been played testify. Also worthy of note is the soundtrack, a piano led piece by Tim Halbert which either eases your nerves or becomes gratingly repetitious depending on your taste. The sonic design of the ‘detonations’, replaced by short tones is reminiscent of the sublime audio of the hallucinogenic 'Spheres of Chaos’ and feels like an area that could be pushed further.

Casual game developers often discuss one-button gameplay, making play as accessible as possible to the player by removing any potential complications in the interface. Boomshine takes one-button gameplay to the apex of simplicity by offering the player just one-click - per game… At least you won’t be getting any R.S.I.

Play Boomshine

Iain Simons writes, talks and tweets about videogames and technology. His new book, Play Britannia, is to be published in 2009. He is the director of the GameCity festival at Nottingham Trent University.
Photo: Getty Images/Christopher Furlong
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A dozen defeated parliamentary candidates back Caroline Flint for deputy

Supporters of all the leadership candidates have rallied around Caroline Flint's bid to be deputy leader.

Twelve former parliamentary candidates have backed Caroline Flint's bid to become deputy leader in an open letter to the New Statesman. Dubbing the Don Valley MP a "fantastic campaigner", they explain that why despite backing different candidates for the leadership, they "are united in supporting Caroline Flint to be Labour's next deputy leader", who they describe as a "brilliant communicator and creative policy maker". 

Flint welcomed the endorsement, saying: "our candidates know better than most what it takes to win the sort of seats Labour must gain in order to win a general election, so I'm delighted to have their support.". She urged Labour to rebuild "not by lookin to the past, but by learning from the past", saying that "we must rediscover Labour's voice, especially in communities wher we do not have a Labour MP:".

The Flint campaign will hope that the endorsement provides a boost as the campaign enters its final days.

The full letter is below:

There is no route to Downing Street that does not run through the seats we fought for Labour at the General Election.

"We need a new leadership team that can win back Labour's lost voters.

Although we are backing different candidates to be Leader, we are united in supporting Caroline Flint to be Labour's next deputy leader.

Not only is Caroline a fantastic campaigner, who toured the country supporting Labour's candidates, she's also a brilliant communicator and creative policy maker, which is exactly what we need in our next deputy leader.

If Labour is to win the next election, it is vital that we pick a leadership team that doesn't just appeal to Labour Party members, but is capable of winning the General Election. Caroline Flint is our best hope of beating the Tories.

We urge Labour Party members and supporters to unite behind Caroline Flint and begin the process of rebuilding to win in 2020.

Jessica Asato (Norwich North), Will Straw (Rossendale and Darween), Nick Bent (Warrington South), Mike Le Surf (South Basildon and East Thurrock), Tris Osborne (Chatham and Aylesford), Victoria Groulef (Reading West), Jamie Hanley (Pudsey), Kevin McKeever (Northampton South), Joy Squires (Worcester), Paul Clark (Gillingham and Rainham), Patrick Hall (Bedford) and Mary Wimbury (Aberconwy)

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.