SFTW: Somersault Game

Every week Iain Simons chooses a game for you to while away a few hours at your desk. This time it's

Ordinarily I wouldn’t put forward games that required a further plug-in, but this is well worth the effort.

Somersault is on the surface a simple bouncing ball game in which you guide a character through a course, traversing all manner of hazards to reach your goal. What sets it apart though, is the control scheme with which you drive the ball. Strokes of the mouse allow you to draw a paddle on screen, and keeping the button pressed allows you to swing the paddle on its end batting the ball around. Helpfully, the projected path of your ball is drawn ahead of you in rainbow-coloured lines - it’s fair to say that without those guides there the game would be a frustrating experience.

The game enjoys a simple, clean aesthetic which looks a lot like the early VR environments of a few years ago and has plenty of fun with its environment design. As Bally makes his way through a the kitchen level, wine glasses are toppled, knives are unsheathed and if you’re very unlucky you might find yourself in a blender faced with the question, ‘will it blend?’ The answer probably won’t please you…

Play Somersault Game

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.
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.