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.
Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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