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What freemium iPad games come down to
Free to Play iPad games, eh? Ever feel like you’re just tapping the screen for an ever-diminishing reward? No? Then you probably don’t want to watch the video below.
Uli Kilian – who is in the Guinness World Records for solving 100 Rubik’s cubes during the London Marathon – used Lego Technic to build a robot that would play Jurassic Park Builder while he slept, so he didn’t have to.
Jurassic Park Builder, which I once had to play for longer than I’d have liked for a review (which did let me include the pun ‘Dinosnore’, so it wasn’t all bad), involves building your own Jurassic Park. And just like the film, you tap the dinosaurs to get more money to buy more dinosaurs. Or you can pay anywhere between $1.99 and $99.99 to speed up the process, should you have money to burn.
Killian didn’t want to spend his days tapping a screen, but he also didn’t want to pay money to see his park flourish. So he found a clever work around using an old iPad mounted on top of some Lego Technics wheels. The machine is then powered by an Arduino board connected to a Windows laptop. During the night, the iPad is wheeled around while a tapping mechanism repeatedly ‘milks’ the dinosaurs of their virtual money. Why does the iPad think the tapping machine is a finger? Because it’s wrapped in tin foil and wired to the ground pin of an Arduino, tricking the dumb iPad into thinking it’s being caressed by a living, breathing human.
It’s all really clever, but when it gets to the stage that you’re getting robots to play a game for you, maybe it’s time you picked up another game? Ideally one that can’t be won like this: