Who doesn’t love a good chortle? In fact, there are scientific studies that show that the act of laughing benefits a person’s health (and general well-being).
Sure, we love good, clean, family comedy… But you know what else we love? Cynicism, weirdness and pitch black humour.
If you do too, check out today’s review of Cyanide & Happiness!
Features & Use
Cyanide & Happiness is the Android version of the internet portal explosm.net.
Spare us yet another toilet humour or bad celebrity jokes website, I hear you cry. Not to worry, Cyanide & Happiness is a series of comic strips that were launched in December 2004 and have since then been published daily (usually several times a day) by four regular authors/artists on explosm.net. Our more sensitive readers should please bear in mind that the subjects and topics treated in said daily publications are often what some of us might deem as taboo. Please consider that the Cyanide & Happiness artists use humour as a subversive means to address topics such as violence, suicide or eating disorders. The tone is often cynical, and some readers may find it offensive.
Humour and food have at least one thing in common, and that is that some people might find something funny (or delicious), whilst others will not see the humour in something or simply not find it to be to their taste, literally or figuratively speaking. We respect thatsome of you might not like the kind of humour presented in Cyanide & Happiness—should that be the case: please feel free to ignore this review and the application! But please respect that there are other users and community members who will appreciate this type of humour, and that we therefore want to present a thorough review so that everyone can make up their own mind about whether they want to check Cyanide & Happiness out or not.
The first time you use the Cyanide & Happiness Android app you will see four tabs, and the app will automatically start with the Home tab., which reveals the newest comic strips, the latest blog posts and animations. Comic strips are published daily, posts and animations more sporadically, but users are notified when new posts/animations come up.
The second tab – ‘Comics’ – is possible the heart of the application (and of the website). Containing thousands of comic strips, sorted by date, which allows for easy navigation. I found this to work very fluidly (i.e. loading did not take ages and it worked quite well with EDGE; it took 5-10 seconds for images to load).
Mark a comic strip as a favourite in order to be able to access it offline. To do so, hit the heart symbol located just next to the strip. Another little function that brought a smile to my lips: shake your smartphone in order to display a random comic strip.
The third tab is also pretty neat: it's called 'Shorts' and features short animations, their duration ranging from a few seconds to several minutes (up to 5 minutes). There's usually some form of narrative to these 'shorts' , and while they're really good fun they can't actually be accessed from within the app. What happens instead is that you are transported to the Android's YouTube player, meaning your data usage will increase considerably, so please keep this in mind for when you're on the go.
I'm not going to go into any detail regarding the final tab, which is the news section—it contains the developers' messages to the community as well as information regarding deals and promotions in the store, which isn't actually accessible from within the app.
That's about all there is to say regarding the application's functionality.
Whilst testing the app we noticed a few minor drawbacks which, despite not being very major, did impact on the general enjoyability of the application. For instance, there's no auto-zoom function within the application, and even when the zoom function is switched off the app will continue to zoom into the strips. As a result users have to adapt the pinch-to-zoom manually and continuously zoom out of the strips.
The app's sharing function isn't exactly the cat's whiskers either, especially considering that Android provides so many options to share content (much better than what iOS or WP7 have to offer, if you ask me)—the whole aspect was somewhat stifled in Cyanide & Happiness.
Before downloading Cyanide & Happiness I urge you to check out explosm.net to see whether you think you might enjoy the application, because what the app basically does is provide access to explosm’s content pool.
Cyanide & Happiness is a good, solid kind of app that does what it claims to do, no more and no less.
Screen & Controls
The application is intuitive to use and highly functional, but it isn’t possible to navigate between the four tabs or single image view by swiping.
Cyanide & Happiness does quite well design-wise, though content does not adapt to screensize.
Speed & Stability
Cyanide & Happiness loads quickly and hasn’t crashed or lagged at all during the two weeks we’ve been testing the application for you.
Cyanide & Happiness can be downloaded for 0.70 Euro from the Android Market. There are no ads.