I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, as you’ve likely been celebrating through the night, but what the hell… Happy Pi Approximation Day! If you’re not in a drunk tank somewhere, a toast then, to numbers without end. And how better to mark the occasion than to watch Aronofsky’s artistic take on numbers and paranoia, and review the recent XBLIG, Pi (80 MSP). This is more personal anecdote than review, I’m afraid, as the game is shit for anyone other than diehard mathematicians or boring introverts like me.
Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. That measurement is impossible to approximate, giving you the endless but non-repeating string of decimals we all don’t know and don’t love. Yes, most of us know the first few numbers, 3.14 (marks Pi Day, yet another drinking date on your calendar, no doubt). I was extreme at some point in my life, as I’ve forever etched 3.14159 into my mind, for no important mission in particular. I used to know more. It’s not 10 trillion, sure, but it’s a start.
The only reason it’s relevant to me at all is the extra credit (and candy that’s contributed to my current shape) I earned in fourth grade. My teacher was a bit of a Pi fanatic. In what I now realize was an attempt to indoctrinate us and introduce us to cults, she used to hold Pi races, where two students would first memorize a sheet of Pi decimals, then face off at the chalkboard to see who was, theoretically, smarter. My win / loss record was impressive. Clearly I wanted that candy. And yes, I went to school when there were still chalkboards. It was messy; you whiteboard kids don’t know how good you’ve got it.
Exhilarating, isn’t it?
So, what does Pi the XBLIG have in store for you? A rather paltry lineup, consisting of the first 1,000 digits, a mode to type out as many numbers as you can remember, and a ‘repeat after me’ function. That’s the extent of what Pi offers. I’d say it’s hardly for the hardcore. 1,000 for a buck? Pfft. How ’bout a cool million, for free? Wait, you want to make a game out of it? We can do that too. Come at me, bro.
Just in case it wasn’t readily apparent otherwise, you shouldn’t waste your time or MSP on Pi. It’s a numbingly-basic memory game at best, with instant regret on tap, even on its big days of 7/22 and 3/14. Then again, it could be I’m a simpleton, and the answer to everything in the universe is right in front of me… hey, look! Pi in dominoes!