Cut the Buttons's setup may be somewhat self-explanatory, but there's more to this multi-touch scissors-based mayhem than meets the eye.
Victoria Arnold, PR Manager from Open Name, spoke to us about how Cut the Buttons stands out on the App Store, the work put into expanding its simple concept, and how it's harder to master than you might think.
Pocket Gamer: What does Cut the Buttons offer gamers that no other title in the App Store can?
Victoria Arnold: The most unique feature of the game: virtual scissors. There is nothing analogous in any other game. In the iPad version of the game, too, there is a Multiplayer mode, allowing two people to play with two pairs of scissors simultaneously.
How have you made sure that the game's simple concept doesn't get repetitive?
We don't have any special secrets. All that we've tried to do is design scissors that respond realistically to touch, include attractive graphics, and produce realistic audio. Everything else = magic. Control of the virtual scissors and the sound of the dropping buttons produces a relaxing effect similar to that of popping bubble wrap.
Of course, the longer you play the game and the more proficient you get, the greater the reward.
A beginner may simply try to last as long as possible, whereas a professional will derive pleasure from executing several severing combos in a row and catching all of the detached buttons.
There's a certain tactile appeal to snipping away at buttons in the game - why do you think this is?
First off, we were very lucky that such a simple idea had not been realised by anyone before.
Everything started with an experiment - we decided to try to make scissors from sticks and circles. This was enough to realise that manipulating virtual scissors could make for a very pleasant experience.
Naturally, the idea of making a full-fledged game using scissors as the basis made sense to us. Unexpectedly for us, the game turned out to be a bit of an internal success, and even interfered with our development of the title. You could say that Cut the Buttons is "chewing gum for the hands".
It's worth noting, by the way, that the game is difficult for both young children and older adults. On the internet, we have found material on the effects of writing by hand and on keyboards on child development.
According to the research we discovered, it turns out that children who write less by hand and who prefer to type on computers ended up speaking less fluently. The region of the brain responsible for fine motor skills is closely related to the region responsible for speech production, you see. With that in mind, it's impressive to think that the Chinese use chopsticks from a very early age right up until their twilight years.
Coincidentally, players from China have managed to accumulate over 20,000 points in Classic mode on Cut the Buttons, and over 1,000 in the one-minute Arcade mode. Believe us, this is very difficult to achieve.What modes have you included in the game to keep things interesting?
Besides Classic mode, in the iPad version there is an Arcade mode, a Crazy mode, and a mode of play involving two pairs of scissors.
In Arcade mode, you try to accumulate as many points as possible in a predetermined amount of time. Moreover, it is not the detachment of all of the buttons that it's important, but rather the most efficient detachment.
Crazy mode differs from Classic by introducing high-speed patches that fly by on-screen. In Multiplayer mode, you can compete with friends or cut buttons with both hands and discover which hemisphere of your brain 'plays' the game better.
Were you inspired by anything specific when coming up with the idea for Cut the Buttons?
The name of this game was derived from its content. We initially planned to make a simple game, based on the unique game mechanics.
We really didn't want to overcomplicate it with an elaborate story or characters or locations. And so it turned out that the most appropriate, concise, and memorable name was Cut the Buttons. Fortunately, that name hadn't been taken yet, too!
Do you have anything planned in terms of updates for the game?
In the next update, we will add around 20 achievements and support for the new iPad's Retina display resolution. New game modes are in the works, too, such as net play, while we will also incorporate new scissors, extra scenes, and much more into the game.
Are there any plans to bring Cut the Buttons to other mobile platforms, such as Android or Windows Phone?
At the moment, the fragmented nature of the Android platform is hampering us - and many other developers - time-wise, for we have to carry out mandatory tests on a variety of screen sizes, etc.
Of course, we are interested in making the game available to a greater number of users, and we will try to release a version of the game for devices running Android and Windows Phone.
Cut the Buttons is available on the App Store now, and costs 69p / 99c for the iPhone [iTunes link] and £1.49 / $1.99 for the iPad [iTunes link].
You can view the trailer for the game below.