UFO on Tape: The game of close encounters

It takes fine accelerometer/gyroscope skills to keep your camera trained on the UFO that's zigzagging its way across the sky--especially when you're in a speeding car!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

Picture this: you're in the backseat of a speeding car, trying to keep up with a flying saucer you just spotted zipping along the horizon. The only tricky part is keeping your iPhone camera trained on the UFO, which is constantly zigging and zagging out of view.

That's the intriguing premise of UFO on Tape, a simple but absolutely ingenious new game. The whole point is to see how long you can keep the UFO in your sights--a task that relies entirely on your device's accelerometer (or, if you have an iPhone 4, the gyroscope).

Follow that flying saucer! Realistic background imagery makes UFO on Tape more than your average accelerometer game.
Follow that flying saucer! Realistic background imagery makes UFO on Tape more than your average accelerometer game. Revolutionary Concepts

What makes UFO on Tape so cool is that it superimposes the UFO over real-world video footage--meaning you see exactly what you'd see if you were looking out the side window of a car.

It's a kind of faux augmented-reality, one that works best with the gyroscope-powered iPhone 4 (but is still plenty cool with accelerometer controls).

As you play, you'll hear the urgent, often amusing voice of your girlfriend, who says things like, "No, point it over there!" and "Can I have my camera back, please?" It's all part of the fun.

You'll probably last all of 10-15 seconds on your first try (if the UFO is out of view for more than a few seconds, your "camera battery" gives out), and I defy you to resist trying again--and again, and again, just to see if you can beat your last score.

Admittedly, once you get past the novelty factor, you may lose interest. But UFO on Tape is so cool and unique, you'll consider it 99 cents well-spent.

Bonus app: UFO on Tape comes from Revolutionary Concepts, makers of a game I consider vastly underrated: Banzai Rabbit, a fantastic Frogger reboot. It's available free of charge for a very short time, meaning you now have no excuse not to try it.