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Self Aware App
iOS gets hijacked in a clever new game suite
by James Thorne
on 07 June 2012

In a new app from Dingle LLC, the iOS gets overtaken by a rogue program by the name of STU. The Security enhanced Turing-complete Universal program (STU) has turned from beneficent security program to hostile AI unit bent on controlling your phone and insulting the human race. Clearly inspired by the likes of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, STU is the real draw of Self Aware, which is essentially a suite of arcade and puzzle-based mini-games. The interface is modified from the iPhone's home screen, with retro neon borders and command prompt-style text.

Game types range from skill challenges like timed typing to puzzles involving cryptic clues. Self Aware even includes a text-based narrative game that requires users to correctly select a sequence of decisions in a battle against a troll-conjuring magician. True to sci-fi and cyberpunk culture, the app takes geek-dom to new heights with inside jokes for those familiar with program logic. As STU constantly seeks to make the human user appear infantile, one challenge requires users to invert their calculator and type "58008" or "BOOBS" in order to pass on to the next level based on a suggestive clue.

Progressing through the games, users gradually weaken STU's defense with the help of Dingle Techie, who provides hints and moral support. One of the gaming elements that adds to STU's believability is the program's access to other apps on the iPhone. Games pull data from your address book, Facebook, maps and music library to make gameplay more personalized. While this aspect may send shivers down the spines of those fearful of a robot takeover, we're almost positive that STU doesn't mean players any real harm.

Self Aware is available for 99¢ in the iTunes App Store.

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