Wait, Where’s The PC Version Of Molyneux’s Curiosity?

If you ever read websites – or, indeed, words – other than RPS, you might have noticed that Peter Molyneux’s cube-tapping opus Curiosity is now officially inside the small, generally not-for-breaking wannabe-cubes we call mobile phones. You’ll remember, though, that 22 Cans’ original announcement definitely mentioned PC as well. So why aren’t we rapidly advancing our already inevitable carpal tunnel epidemic in hopes of gazing upon a “life-changing” secret? I got in touch with Molyneux to find out.

In short, plans change. For one, Curiosity’s server tech is supposed to support everyone who’s tapping, chiseling, or writing profound, moving messages on the cube at once. Tossing another platform into the equation, then, isn’t entirely feasible at the moment. 22 isn’t enough. Molyneux needs more cans.

“We would love to do a PC version,” Molyneux told RPS, “but we are currently snowed under by the number of people using the Curiosity experiment (coming up to one million ) in a few days. This is pushing our servers to the limit. We are currently all surviving on less than three hours sleep a night. I guess if we could find a publisher who could take on the work of a PC version we could consider it.”

So for now, it sounds like the PC version’s been put on the backburner. I’m currently seeking further clarification as to whether the same will apply for Molyneux and co’s 21 other experiments or the gigantic “final” culmination of their project. You’ll know as soon as I do.



  1. SirKicksalot says:

    Would it be any fun to click on PC?
    Tapping looks like a cute timewaster on tablets and phones, not sure about the PC version.

    • Mctittles says:

      I would think clicking a mouse that has “bounce back” would be a more relaxing pastime than jamming your finger against glass…..given the choice between the two evils that is.

      • Toberoth says:

        I’d recommend tapping over jamming. You’ll do yourself a mischief.

    • Teovald says:

      On my nexus 7 it is fun to use 5 fingers to tap rapidly a lot of squares.
      But I have yet to find anything else to do in this game than blindly taping the screen.

      • bglamb says:

        “I have yet to find anything else to do in this game than blindly taping the screen.”

        You might have just stumbled across the one flaw in the, otherwise technically impressive, project.

        • Teovald says:

          I am such a genius ! :D
          Technically it IS impressive (not ground breaking, but nice achievement nonetheless) but the concept seems very limited. You are supposed to get more tools as you advance, but I have not yet reached that point (or found how to buy things..).

          I guess I will probably simply forget about this game (especially with the new humble indie bundle for Android) and in a couple of months I will search for a Youtube video of the guy that will open the last cube.

      • aepervius says:

        You can leave ephemeral messages for others :) I saw on various screenshot, good, bad words, and so forth. Naturally removed as some people tap layer away.

      • Gnoupi says:

        You can try to optimize your score, during said taping, by making a large combo.

        This, or making graffiti of whatever you have in mind.

        But yeah, other than that, that’s pretty much everything.

      • Eclipse says:

        you mean you still haven’t carved even one single penis out of those blocks?

    • aepervius says:

      Yep but on PC we can build a bot to do the click for us ;)


      • Network Crayon says:

        That was my first thought as well.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          Same thing. I mean, it’s not impossible to bot it on other devices, but you know that as soon as it came to PC there would be tons of automated scripts to click, click, click away at that cube.

          • Eclipse says:

            well actually you just need to have a lego mindstorm set and one of those ipad stylus and you can build a REAL bot for the mobile version :P

    • Branthog says:

      It’s not even very fun to tap on a screen, either. I mean — don’t get me wrong — mobile gaming sucks ass, so this mindless tapping on squares to make them go away is in the top five percent of gaming experiences on mobile, but that’s like saying that a dead rat is a great meal in a restaurant serving plates of feces.

      It might be improved by being “usable”, though. I tried playing a few times this past week and it almost never connects, never stays connected, and always deletes all of your progress. And, I’m sure, all that’s at the center is a british cartoon caricature that farts loudly at you. Because, you know. Molyneux. (I like the guy, but wish he would do things more up to his ability instead of this pandering crap of the last decade).

      • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

        Rat is actually pretty underrated. Just not much meat on it.

        And dead rat is a lot better than live rat, trust me. Once it knows you’re trying to eat it, you find out just how sharp its teeth are.

    • socrate says:

      Its like angry bird on pc….its just the worst game ever…but a good waste of time on these utility tool that now have game.

      Peter Molyneuxs is extremely overhyped…we can definitely say he had very little to do with the godlike game in Bullfrog since after he went on and created Lionhead he became a really bad dev with unfinished game and recycled idea with new hype to them and Fable even if the first one was “ok” is still a game that no one will hopefully remember since they were horrible version of bad Zelda game with very few new thing that actually changed other then being able to dress how you wanted and have different look then the general hero…the good and bad thing as always been a really bad implementation in Fable and so it was in Black and White also.

      Xbox player have proved me with Fable franchise that i was missing nothing and that as voter they shouldn’t have a voice on anything in life,they tend to buy anything you throw hype at and they have no taste for what a good game really is.

  2. Revolving Ocelot says:

    Molyneux going back on pre-release announcements shocka!

    (I’m a terrible person.)

  3. Gap Gen says:

    It sounds like rather than the tech being limited, they simply don’t have the manpower to write a PC client for this. Plus I’m guessing a game about turning a box into an ex-box is better suited to the consoles.

    • Mctittles says:

      With not much more than what type of press the player just did being sent I can’t see the client-server code being complicated. The final answer to the problem seems less of a programming engineering question and more of how much processing power can you afford to put on this.

    • Addict7 says:

      As far as this game has been made with Unity Engine, I would cost about nothing to write a PC client for this.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Ah, a fair point. Dunno then. Could be a server space issue, then. Just curious why they talked about getting a publisher to do a PC version.

      • Teovald says:

        I think that they are just desperately trying to keep their saturated servers up and opening the game to another platform would just crash them.
        This is one of the cases where renting servers from Google or Amazon to follow the demand is a wise choice.

        • lucian says:

          Even using Amazon, with a game that features high concurrency, it’s still hard to scale. And it would appear that for Curiosity it will only get harder as the cube gets smaller.

          • Teovald says:

            You are right, high concurrency must be a pain in the ass as well.
            I will have to play this game just to see how well it handles it :)

    • Gap Gen says:

      Could be, I guess. But my point was that from what they said it seems to be a man-hours problem rather than a technical issue. I’m not saying it’s a complicated problem, but that it just takes time to push out a new build of a piece of code, and being a small company they don’t have that time at the moment.

    • Alphabet says:

      (applauds your excellent pun)

    • Baf says:

      Regardless of the cause or the cure, the big problem they’re facing right now is that their servers can’t cope with the load they’re receiving just from iOS and Android users. Adding a PC client before they take care of that would make the problem worse.

  4. HisMastersVoice says:

    I guess I should feel both indignant (because once again we’re getting the finger) and proud (because they seem to realize the dangers of opening the servers to the PC master race population), but I can’t. The concept is so silly and so utterly pointless on the surface that I just cannot care.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Instead, perhaps be glad that we don’t have to suffer this abomination. I know I am.

  5. Sayori says:

    For the love of God(who doesn’t exist) – stop giving this man media attention!

    • Lemming says:

      I’d take a thousand Molyneux articles over yet more reminders about SWTOR going F2P. Honestly who gives a fuck about that at this stage? If F2P suddenly changes its fortunes, fair enough. But otherwise let them die in the mess they’ve created.

      /end rant.

    • The Random One says:

      The appropriate atheist exclamation is either “for the love of the lack of God” or “for the emotionless vagaries of the unfeeling universe”.

      • El Stevo says:

        For the love of random fluctuations in the space-time continuum!

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        By Cthulhu’s tentacular chin!

      • Jenks says:

        For some reason in my head I read that as He-Man.

        *Holds sword above head*

        For the emotionless vagaries of the unfeeling universe, I have the power!!

    • Gnoupi says:

      It’s exactly for this “which doesn’t exist” reason that we have to follow Molyneux blindly.

      He’s the person in game industry the most obsessed with the idea of creating a god in every player.

  6. clownst0pper says:

    I might get lynched for this, but Peter Molyneux hasn’t made a good game in over 10 years. Those he has made after Dungeon Keeper have all been overhyped rubbish. Which leads me to the conclusion that it wasn’t him pulling the strings on games such as Populous or Syndicate. It’s the only explanation for his fall from grace.

    • MOKKA says:

      As far as I know Molyneux made Populous almost alone so your conlusion seems a bit off there. But I agree with you on the point that he’s more a mouth then he is a developer. Which isn’t a bad thing for itself, as long as you don’t believe everything he says.

    • Lemming says:

      You’re right (about him not making games on par in the last ten years), but at least he still makes games that make a splash, unlike Braben, who thinks a logo is enough to net him $2 million dollars.

      • monkwon says:

        Braben has got a video up on his Kickstarter page now.

        (edited for grammar)

    • frightlever says:

      Meh. The Fables are great games. Fable 2 is one of my favourite games ever.

      • Anders Wrist says:

        If you live in Bizarro world, they might qualify as great games.

        • RaveTurned says:

          I can’t speak for the whole series, but the first Fable was certainly very good for it’s time. Unfortunately the pre-release hype it had gave many people expectations that were impossible for any game to live up to, no matter how great.

          • pakoito says:

            I remember it came out around the same time as Oblivion, which beat the crap out of it in emergent gameplay.

          • somnolentsurfer says:

            Wasn’t Fable on the original Xbox, and Oblivion on the 360?

          • DrGonzo says:

            Fable 2 was a better sandbox than the original, but there wasn’t much of a game there. Still great fun. And Fable 1 was on Xbox and pc, Fable 2 on 360.

          • Brun says:

            Fable was supposed to be the “Morrowind-Killer.”


    • Drake Sigar says:

      Someone always seems to say that when anything Peter related comes up, and I pity that they can’t recognise the brilliance of Fable or The Movies.

      • Sarigs says:

        Well I’ve never sat down and plated through the Fable game so no comment there but I’ve spend a lot of time playing the Movies over the years and think it’s a extremely solid well thought out sandbox game!

      • iucounu says:

        I had Fable 2 on the consolebox. Was really, really enjoying it until about 75% of the way through I got trapped by a glitch in Nightmare Hollow, thus ending my game. And there’s no way to reload an earlier save, because annoyingly and pointlessly it only uses one slot and autosaves aggressively. And they never bothered to patch it so SCREW YOU FABLE is my abiding feeling with Fable, basically.

        I never got on with The Movies, either – it felt dull in comparison to similar games of the time.

    • Gnoupi says:

      I think the main issue is that he is getting over-excited by his own ideas, far beyond what can actually be delivered by the developers behind. And the problem is that when he talks about a new game he worked on, he is talking about his vision, his idea, and not the game itself.

      I guess that deep down, he is himself as disappointed that the products made don’t live up to his vision, and that’s probably why he wanted to refocus on “smaller” experiments, instead of full fledged AAA games. Because they are more likely to deliver something.

      So, sure, it’s easy to hate on him for over-promising. But on the other hand, it’s always a pleasure to hear him telling about his newest idea. Because in the way he talks about it, you see and feel his passion for it.

      And in a world of grimdark sequels, it’s refreshing to hear such enthusiasm from time to time (all this is meant outside of the indie community, that goes without saying)

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        “But on the other hand, it’s always a pleasure to hear him telling about his newest idea.”

        For some of you, that might be the case. For the rest of us, I can assure you it’s not. The man consistently comes off as a bore well past his creative prime.

        • Gnoupi says:

          It’s not as much about his creativity in itself, it’s simply because he is obviously fully believing what he is saying, and really, really passionate about it.

          See for example his tweets, from when Curiosity released (earlier than expected). It’s the kind of excitement which looks like from a kid. And as such, it’s refreshing.

          At least, more than “our new game is so much bigger and so much better than the previous one with so many more explosions”, for me.

          • db1331 says:

            Actually, I don’t think even he fully believes what he says. I saw an interview with him after he showed his Kinect Fable game at E3. He said that players would form a bond with their (on-rails) horse in the game that would be unlike anything they’ve ever experienced. The game came out last month, was universally panned, and no one is playing it. Also, it IS on-rails, even though he swore up and down that it wasn’t, and had a ton of people sign a whiteboard backing him up.

  7. Jamesworkshop says:

    I’ve been wondering about this, in my head I was sure part of the plan was to see how well they could get different devices onto the same servers

  8. caddyB says:

    I need more cans too.

  9. yhalothar says:

    PCs would definitely get the cube open faster – especially that you could get a bot to do your clicking for you.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Sod that. Half an hour with tcpdump working out what to send down the wire to pretend that you’re the game being clicked on.

      • pakoito says:

        You can do the same with the phone, just do a MITM with your computer.

        • LionsPhil says:

          It took me a solid minute to realise you meant the smartphone client, not something to do with modems.

          I feel old.

      • Lev Astov says:

        And now we know the real reason he doesn’t want Curiosity on the PC. Because nerds are the most curious.

        I have at least three friends who would do this very kind of thing to break the whole point of the game. One just got a minecraft server working on a single AVR chip.

  10. Mctittles says:

    I find it rather amazing their “concept art” above looks better than the final game.

  11. NathanH says:

    A serious gaming site shouldn’t be giving this obvious bollocks the time of day.

  12. Surlywombat says:

    Just to note, he stated at his dev chat at eurogamer that there will be 22 experiments, but not 22 different games. Curiosity contains more than one.

  13. Sean says:

    I wonder if he still claims his dad is the King of Spades?

  14. Roz says:

    Sorry, why is this even being mentioned? There isn’t hundreds of other articles about games that aren’t coming to pc either?

  15. Grey Ganado says:

    I was kind of looking forward to it but I don’t own any device I can play this on.

    • impish says:

      Yes, why can’t PC gamers know the joy of “Error accessing server.”

      Seriously, out of the dozen times I’ve tried to connect, only once twice (just now!) has it worked.

      That being said, I am curious. I just hope whoever gets to the center of this tootsie roll pop records whatever’s in there.

  16. Zogtee says:

    I think this is a genuinely interesting idea, whenever I actually manage to connect to a server, which is like 1 in about 40 attempts. Also, I’m assuming that *something* will happen while we dig through the layers on our way to the core…

    • aepervius says:

      Is there a way to know the server status ? I tried to connect for nearly 20 or 30 minutes while in the bus to work and never got thru.

  17. int says:

    Curiosity killed my curiosity.

  18. mrmalodor says:

    “I guess if we could find a publisher who could take on the work of a PC version we could consider it.”

    I guess if you could, then I guess I could take a few minutes to check it out, but I guess I certainly wouldn’t pay a cent for something like this, so I guess you can shove your cube where no cube has gone before.

  19. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Has anyone actually splashed out for the $50,000 (or whatever it was) DLC?

    • Gnoupi says:

      I doubt it, you can’t buy anything with real money, as it is.

    • Baf says:

      Yeah, the in-game store is only taking in-game coins at the moment. There’s still a few locked items that might be the ones buyable with real money.

  20. Fazer says:

    Average rating: 2,6, with 1304 1-star reviews on Google Play. Keep up the good work, Molyneux.

    • pakoito says:

      Irrelevant. Most people download the game to find what it is and just leave a message with lots of typos about why the game is TEH SUXXORZ

      • Fazer says:

        I decided to play to and I agree with people – it’s really lame. You tap to remove a layer of blocks and get some credits (which seem to have no use at the moment) and… that’s it. There is also a problem with Facebook button which is always on top and prevents you tapping in certain location, which is really annoying. After the first try, I feel no incentive to go back to this “game”.

        PC gamers, you don’t lose anything valuable.

        • pakoito says:

          The core gameplay is really bad, but the network architecture design, and the general metagame is quite impressive. You need some acquired taste to enjoy it, better from afar.

        • Jehuty says:

          The UI really is terrible. These phones have MENU buttons! Use them! You’d think if the sole objective of your game was to tap things on the screen, you would want a way to hide the buttons that get in the way of that. Instead the buttons are sorta there, maybe not, oops you’re comboing now, we’ll go transparent, oops maybe not, now you’ve clicked on Facebook and the app has crashed for the umpteenth time.

          It also keep forgetting how many coins I’ve earned, and resets me to a low number, bafflingly lower than the previous instance each time it decides to. Grump.

          Edit (further grump): Also not that impressed with the network behind it. I get that thousands of people are playing simultaneously, and that’s cool, and I’m not very tech minded so that could be the achievement in itself. But I have a good and reliable connection on my end usually, and even when looking at small chunks, it seems to take an awful long time for it to refresh and accurately display what cubelets are broken and which ones aren’t. Half the time I can be tapping away on a full, untouched screen only for it to completely disappear when I’ve mostly cleared it. “Haha, you’ve been working on nothing the whole time,” it seems to say. Happened often enough that I really don’t think it can just be players working on the same section as me simultaneously.

      • Rindan says:

        This “game” is the sux00r. Seriously, you just click cubes. It makes Farmville look like chess.

        In a way, the game is brilliant. If you already know the life changing secret in the center, you won’t play. This insures that whoever gets to the center learns something profound…. Namely, in the center is a text box that says, “You just wasted hours clicking on boxes for nothing. Lol.”

        Don’t give this guy or this game the time of day. You are better off looking at bad modern art. At least while you are wasting your time you might run into an interesting human.

  21. Squishpoke says:

    I know exactly what’s going to happen.

    The last and only person to hit that final block would be tapping away so quickly that he/she will accidentally close the message box entitled: “THE SECRET IS:”

  22. The Random One says:

    Maybe what’s inside is the PC version.

  23. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I have come from the future! DO NOT OPEN THE BOX!

    • jhng says:

      Wouldn’t it be great if it turned out to be some violently destructive worm that sent us all back to the dark ages?

      Molyneux would then rip off his rubber face and it would be revealed that he was Tracer Tong all along!

  24. Kein says:

    And what of value was lost? I’m curious.

  25. tomeoftom says:

    It’s terrible – the only fun thing is discovering messages and drawings but it takes too long to load the online cube, so most of the time when you zoom in it’s all blank slates and squares. I don’t mind Molyneux, I just think he’s a bit crazy and it’s weird that he’s taken seriously. He’s gone far beyond mere enthusiasm and optimism.

    More interviews, please, with people who actually know what they’re doing. Cactus, Notch, Derek Yu, Robert Yang, the guy who made the Stanley Parable, Brendon Chung, Notch, the Dishonored leads, you know – those who practice what they preach and don’t so much preach as discuss.

  26. gillesv says:

    I can’t even get past the connection screen. I saw the cube once, and then it promptly crashed on my iPhone 4. If this is the future of gaming you can stuff it.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It tends to crash on connection problems, and apparently, there are a fair bit of them currently. It does work for me, though, most of the time, without crashing (same phone)

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I think I’ve seen the cube about three times on my 3Gs, from trying almost constantly. And whenever I try to login to Facebook it crashes again.

  27. Tiax says:

    The only way this whole experiment could give a non-anticlimactic result would be if the guy who clicks on the last block get this reward : link to tinyurl.com

    • aleander says:

      No, that would be a pretty awesome Banksy’esque commentary on the way pretentious, exalted crap gets attention. What will actually happen, and will be rather anticlimactic, will be either a boring commentary on living a Good Life[tm], or an even more boring sequence of incomprehensible images worthy of Pythia on a particularly good day.

  28. Gnoupi says:

    Note that it is in theory possible to play it on PC, with an android emulator. Haven’t tried, though.

    • trjp says:

      As someone forced into using the Android Emulator for work, I can assure you that the odds of any game working on it are ZERO

      It’s DESPERATELY slow even just running as a basic handset – the idea that any sort of game which requires any sort of performance would work is hilarious.

      It might help if someone could create an emulator for ARM which is multi-threaded for starters – as-is, you’re stuck on a single core emulating and emulator which is emulating an emulator.

      It’s amazing it even works – it’s disappointing Google haven’t improved it either.

  29. Tiax says:

    In a few weeks, the last cube will be clicked upon and reveal working copies of Dungeon Keeper III and Populous IV.

  30. Urthman says:

    I want to officially predict that the “surprise” a moral dilemma: The winner gets to choose between receiving a large amount of money (say, $100,000) or having a much larger amount of money ($200,000) given to charity.

    I can just see Molyneux rubbing his hands, thinking, “Whichever they choose, it will change their life!”

    And like most Molyneux games, it will be a scenario that’s more fun to think about than to actually play.

  31. iainl says:

    Error accessing server


    There’s your PC version. Enjoy.

  32. Eclipse says:

    on the store page there’s written “Curiosity can really change gaming forever – Kotaku”, it’s that a real quote? or the full words were like “I really doubt that Curiosity can really change gaming forever”

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  34. Retorrent says:

    No surprise there! Their servers can’t even handle the traffic they are getting now more or less if they add another 200,000 + users. When the game first came out I could access it but since yogscast went blabbing their mouths about it I spend more time seeing error login screen.