Phun is your personal physics playground

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Phun, described as a “2D physics sandbox”, is a free physics game where the user can construct the entire game environment using combinations of objects and then observe and tweak how the various creations/objects interact.

This is one of those programs that can be described as not being a game, but a toy.

There is no goal beyond unleashing your imagination and building up a world of objects and then seeing how they interact together, then tweaking and re-building again when you get a sense of what actually goes on in the interaction.

A lot of the fun in Phun comes from the many surprises that you will invariably encounter when the objects do things that you wouldn’t have expected. Here is more info on this program:

  • How it works: draw and create your objects and environment, then press the “play button” and watch as your objects fall , collide with each other, bounce, and do whatever it is that they will do. The physics in this game are remarkably well done; things behave as you would expect them to,
  • The user interface: what makes this game so easy to get into is that everything – everything – is done through clicking an object and right clicking to manipulate it. Aside from a toolbar on the left hand side that selects the various actions and objects you can use, all of the functions and options that you need to manipulate objects are a right click away in the context menu.
  • Objects: include anything that you can draw with a brush such as a square or rectangle or any irregular object that you can imagine. Or you can select defined objects such as a plane, circle or box, or functional objects that do specific things such as chains, hinges, or springs you can attach to things.
  • Object properties: everything from friction to bounciness and density can be defined for your objects. You can also set whether they collide with stuff or whether they liquefy on playback. Other things you can define: whether your world has gravity, and whether there is air friction.

The verdict: I like this a lot; Phun is extremely open ended and will give you back in pure entertainment proportionally to the energy that you invest in it. This game has a lot of potential and is one of the most interesting physics games that I have come across, period. It will be interesting to see how it develops.

This is beta software: if for whatever reason you are not able to run it check the developer’s site for information.

Below an illustrative video that shows what Phun is capable of. Note: there are a number of Phun-realted videos on YouTube that are excellent resources for learning what the app can do and how to use it.

 

Version Tested: Beta 3.12

Compatibility: Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 2.5 megs).