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Electronic Arts is unveiling a cute romantic game today called The Act that has a unique emotion-driven gameplay that takes advantage of the iPad’s touch controls.

A remake of a coin-operated arcade game that never shipped, The Act is being developed by React Entertainment for EA’s Chillingo mobile-game third-party publishing division. The game is another fine example of an old arcade game getting a new life on the iPad. Original developer Cecropia tested the game in locations in New England, but the company shut off the project in early 2007 and closed its doors in 2008. Then it got revived last year under React Entertainment and it is now targeted for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac platforms.

You control the game by sliding your finger in one direction or another. In the game, you play a lovable loser named Edgar. While washing windows, Edgar sees the woman of his dreams, Sylvia. He goes into daydream mode.

In the dream, Edgar is dressed up nice and Sylvia is seated at a bar wearing a tight dress . By pressing your finger on the iPad touchscreen, you can move Edgar (emotionally) toward Sylvia. The more you slide your finger, the more aggressive Edgar becomes. At first, he simply bats his eyelids at Sylvia, who shyly looks back. Edgar becomes more flirtatious and romantic if you slide your finger to the right. If you slide it to the left, Sylvia becomes disappointed and leaves. If you slide your finger too far to the right, Edgar becomes downright obnoxious and makes overt sexual gestures. Sylvia gets turned off, slaps him, and walks out.

Levi Buchanan, senior manager of developer relations at Chillingo, said, “I have to try again and cool the scene off before I get too creepy. The sound track gives you cues about where to draw the line.”

In another scene, after Edgar snaps out of his daydream, he has to mollify his boss and keep his brother from getting fired. If you move your finger to the left, the boss calms down, but the brother starts to wobble and fall asleep on the job. If you move your finger to the right, the brother gets to work but the boss gets angrier. You have to find the right balance.

During the rest of the story, Edgar infiltrates the hospital where Sylvia works. While her pursues her, he has to keep his brother out of trouble the rest of the time.


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