Thursday, January 28, 2010

Playing Games in Extra Dimensions

Here's a video demonstrating a new iPhone/iPod Touch game created by Brazil's Roger Sodré, of Studio Avante: the game is called Hipercubo.

A direct link to the above video is at

Roger tells me he's a long time fan of Imagining the Tenth Dimension. This game allows you to manipulate a four-dimensional hypercube, and if go to Apple's Apps Store, you'll see it's available free in a basic version, with additional levels available for purchase. You'll also see in the description that Roger suggests we could use this game as a way of thinking about how our universe is finite but unbounded (as opposed to infinite), a concept we've talked about in previous blogs like Are We a 3D Sphere on a 4D Hypersphere and Life is But a Dream. In fact, there's a poll question running here at the tenth dimension blog right now that asks whether you support that idea or not.

Music and sound effects for Roger's game are by Cromo.Sonica. I've just downloaded the free version and it's quite the brainbuster, really a fine way to force your brain into thinking about how the shadows of extra dimensional objects behave as you manipulate them. We're going to talk about hypercubes next week again in an entry called Dancing on the Timeline: and one of my more popular blog entries from a couple of years ago called Hypercubes and Plato's Cave also shows my suggestion for a way of visualizing how we could exchange the word "duration" for "length" in imagining the fourth spatial dimension. As we can see in this game, there is no way for us to appreciate the shape of this hypercube when it's static and unchanging. Only by using "time" to manipulate the object can we begin to visualize how, just like with a 3D cube, with this 4D cube every edge is the same length, and each side is at a 90 degree right angle to the next.

A direct link to the above video is at

Here's another game for you to play online: a 4D Rubik's Cube called Magic Cube 4D. Superliminal Software has a number of interesting links on their pages, check 'em out. The above video shows the 4D cube being solved automatically by the program, it would of course take much, much longer for a human being to solve this crazy-looking puzzle, but there are definitely people out there who have mastered such a feat!

And if you get the hang of this 4D version, then go one further with Magic Cube 5D!

This image is from the web page for Magic Cube 5D, which is posted at Gravitation3D. I love what they say in the text above this image:

In the spirit of taking things too far, here is a fully functional 5-dimensional analogue of Rubik's cube.

"In that blessed region of Four Dimensions, shall we linger on the threshold of the Fifth, and not enter therein?"

- Edwin Abbott, Flatland

I hope you enjoy playing Hipercubo and these extra-dimensional Rubik's Cube puzzles! Next time we're going to keep things on the lighter side with something that ties back to our last entry: "I'm You From the Future".

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton


MultiversalInk said...

There is a program called Daedalus, that can generate mazes, solve them, view them, and many other things. It can also create four and five dimensional mazes and let you walk through them. I never tried the 5D one, but the 4D maze is quite interesting. It's possible to go in the regular spatial directions (north, south, east, west, up and down) and, using portals placed here and there, to past and future versions of the maze.

Rob Bryanton said...

Cool! Is this the program you're talking about?

Thanks for the note!


MultiversalInk said...

Yup, that's it. I was going to put the link in that last comment, and say something about hypermazes, but I accidentally pressed publish instead of preview, so I wasn't quite done yet.
But yes, that's the one ^^

Roger said...

Thank you for the post, Rob!!
Here's some other 4D Games I know...
4D Maze Game
Hypercube: a 4d game.

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist