This Living Worlds app is a modern recreation of a set of dynamic pixel art scenes first published in the early 90s as part of an "illustrated personal organizer" named Seize the Day, and seen as screenshots across the Internet since then. These scenes were created by Mark Ferrari, legendary artist from such classic games as Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island as well as the recent Thimbleweed Park. Now, 25 years later, Ian Gilman, the original software developer, has resurrected the Living Worlds, with Mark's support and additional code from Joseph Huckaby. There may be copycats, but this is the only authentic version from the original creators!
This release of the app contains all twelve of the original scenes in their full glory. The sun rises and falls in real time, storms pass through, flowers bloom, the moon and stars cross the sky. Smaller details like chimney smoke and animal footprints come and go. The image "lives" throughout the day, drawing you in, suggesting stories, and rewarding quiet observation.
This year we're adding ambient soundscapes to the scenes to enhance them further; one scene per month, starting with January.
Join us for this 25th anniversary celebration of these unique artworks!
Living Worlds - Mark Ferrari Positive Reviews
Beautiful revival of software as old as meI never tried Seize the Day in its heyday, as I was more or less an oocyte at the time. However, I discovered the incredible palette-swapping animated pixel art of Mark Ferrari many years later, and fell in love immediately. It was not long after that I discovered Seize the Day, and even managed to get it running in an emulator! I think the whole concept is magical, and I endeavor to create something as beautiful in my time.
I was overjoyed when I heard the artwork was being revived in modern form. The app is very relaxing, and the ability to swipe across the times of day and see weather and light fade in and out is absolutely beautiful. I think the added logbook and scavenger hunt ideas are a very nice touch too! They encourage me to check in often and become re-immersed in the scenes.
As others have said though, I think the app would benefit *immensely* from the addition of the soundscapes that accompanied Mark Ferrari's artwork on whichever HTML5 website first revived it (or new soundscapes -- any fitting sounds really). The app would then become a nice white-noise/relaxation tool for sleeping, studying, working, etc. In this way, the app would then fill the same role that another wonderful site/app, AmbientMixer, fills for me.
All in all, a wonderful app. Carpe diem!.Version: 1.3
Dropped my rain sounds to sleep to for this!The pixel art is absolutely phenomenal, especially with the little events going on throughout the day. I’m writing this just after waking up from the snowfall and ambient sounds playing from the app. This app transitioned from “oh pretty pixel art, too bad it’s not a live wallpaper” to something I regularly open just to stare at to ease my mind while listening to the sounds, and finally to my new sleeping partner. I’m really giving it 4.5 stars but will bump this up to five depending on Pixelfabrik’s upkeep on the the ambient sounds (though I understand that those are not the critical points of the app). If anything, my only slight annoyance is constantly readjusting the time when I swipe up or down (iphone XR user). A “lock time” option would be excellent. All around though, I do not regret spending the money on this lovely app. Thank you for the quality of work you put in so far Pixelfabrik. Never caught that shooting star either lol..Version: 2.2.62
I have been waiting years for thisI bought Seize the Day back in the day, and have missed the Living Worlds. I have kept looking for anything like it ever since. While the low res is unfortunate, it’s great to have the scenes back.
Update: I was informed of the new changes in Feb. 2021 and immediately downloaded the new version. The days are different now, not the same over and over. The scenes can progress (notably the leaf colors in October and the snow and Christmas tree in December). Days must be swiped through to move to the end or beginning of a month, though.
Overall a much-welcomed change. Still wouldn’t mind a calendar function though.
Old: I am realizing though that there aren’t 365 different days. It seems to be the same day repeating, but with a mixture of weather and the like. I’d love it if it could be redone with all the daily variations. Rainy days, clear days, snowy days, boring days, weird days. It was like another world.
I spent so much time jumping to specific times/dates in my salad days.... Would love to have that back..Version: 1.11.51
Fun! But where’s the calendar?This app is so charming and relaxing, I’m really glad to see these worlds brought back! I agree with other reviewers that it would be even better with the soundscapes—even if you’re not able to use the originals it would be great to have something similar for ambience. I would also suggest recreating the calendar/planner functions of the original software. When I first saw this I expected it would basically be a port of the original and I was a little disappointed to see it was just the art by itself. Maybe it will be possible in the future? It would be wonderful to have such a beautiful fantasy adventure themed planner again, especially since I was a bit too young to have much to plan when it was first around! In any case, this is a lovely and nostalgic little app and I’m glad it was possible to make it!.Version: 1.4
Sound at last!I reviewed this app when it first came out. And I said I would only give it 5 stars once they added the ambient sound effects that I had grown so used to from the Canvas Cycle website. Well after a lot of waiting they have finally added sound! Only up to May so far but I am very happy about the development. Not quite sure when it happened. But now I can hear as much as see these lovely landscapes!.Version: 2.5.65
Beautiful, but missing important featureI got this because a friend of mine was using it as a live wallpaper, and for that it's perfect. So I went to follow suit, and found that the IOS version does everything... except let you save the image as a live wallpaper. I'd really appreciate this feature being included. Occasionally I'll use a screenshot but it's not the same and there are millions of other choices for static images, which makes me use this app very infrequently. It would be another matter if I could bring my phone to life with these lovely scenes. I've been waiting for months now but no update yet... Hoping it's in the works..Version: 1.11.51
Need to add “enter date” functionI love the pictures and the progression of time in the app. This is a beautiful realization of a fantasy world. Its great to have it available for my iPad. In the original program, you could also enter the date of the month so the app would jump to that calendar date. Want to see the scene from 12/25 or 07/04? Just enter the date and you’re there. I’m missing this option in this current app. Can you release this as an update? Thank you!!.Version: 1.9
Love This!Super glad to see this new cut from the old “Seize the Day” software ( seize the day was a calendaring pc program that had many cool features). This was seriously one of my favorite computer programs of all time and was way ahead of its time. I had seize up and running anytime my computer was on. These images on this new app were just a part of the program but one of the coolest features. I love the retro, but beautiful art work. I hope you release all 12 months!!.Version: 1.2
Stunning pixel art worlds, please consider...This app is great but you should look into making a widget for it! With iOS 14 allowing you to put widgets on the Home Screen that would be a wonderful addition to add and would probably get more people to download since everyone is currently widget crazy now on iOS..Version: 1.11
So gorgeous!!For starters simply because I would really love for you guys to add some of the features that were available on the website, such as clicking a specific pallet color and having that color highlighted on the image. also, it was nice to have the widescreen image and i am wondering if a landscape mode would be possible.
overall it is wonderful but different from the website in ways that were a little disappointing. still well worth $2..Version: 1.4
<3 the app, wish new effects can be disabledLove the app and the artwork - brings back memories of old 90s games. My one wish was the additional effects can be disabled (for example snow) via settings so the animation is color-cycle only..Version: 2.1.61
Needs the ambient sounds, but I’m a fan.I genuinely applaud the effort to bring this project back to life after so many years. This was my go to calendar PIM until it no longer was updated to stay current. However, without the accompanying ambient sounds it’s 3 stars for me. I’ll continue to be a fan and cheer this app on, but please add in the sounds we were all so fond of as well. It’s not the same without them..Version: 1.2
Great to See New Updates!Thank you for the new options to show random months. Glad to see there is still new development being done in this great app.
So while we’re talking about it, here are a few requests for future updates:
- Allow the ability to select a specific day of the month (late October for fall leaves anytime, or early December for the house before Christmas decorations, etc.)
- Add the ability to have audio with each scene (waterfall in May, rain, wind, etc.)
Thanks - love the app!.Version: 1.11.51
Don’t hesitate to buy this gorgeous appThe December scene was just released, and the only regret I have in buying this app is that I think this is the last one. The monthly artwork is so gorgeous and otherworldly, not to mention calming. I often stare at it before bed to make myself feel safe and sleepy. Get this app!.Version: 1.11
So coolI remember finding out about seize the day shortly before this app was released, I’m super excited to see that each new month is bringing new scenes that are very different than the original release but are still done in that same pixelated style!.Version: 1.7
Utterly gorgeous.These scenes are nourishing to me in the strangest way; they’re so immersive, utterly gorgeous beyond beauty. The weather effects are just remarkable. I agree with the other reviewers that I’d love if there were sound effects, but I am just tremendously grateful for this being brought into this world..Version: 1.6
This app makes me so happyThis project is such a beautiful and interesting piece of history and I'm glad it's available in an easy and modern way (:.Version: 1.7
Retro heaven!I grew up playing the classic Sierra adventure games that featured gorgeous pixel art scenes like the ones in the Living Worlds and am stoked to see the artistry revived in a way that encourages interactivity and observation... I’m in retro heaven!!.Version: 1.0
DreamlikeThis app is just beautiful! it’s very nostalgic and very relaxing to watch. these are beautiful works of art! only thing i wish it included were soundscapes, as others have said.Version: 1.11
I love it!So much better than a game..Version: 1.11
Wonderful retro calmI love this app! It’s beautifully retro 16-bit colour and pixels bring to live nature and fantasy scenes in a way that reminds me of all the kinds of games I played as a kid. I know they update this in an ongoing basis and I’m really looking forward to all the additional features they hope to add. I’d love to have sound, maybe someway to make this a dynamic wallpaper? Who knows, it’s such a lovely and simple app..Version: 1.11.51
Love it!I’ve always loved these animations and used to use the site they were on to relax. Glad this easy way to support the creators exists, I just wish there was sound! The old site had sounds of waves and trickling water that made the scenes feel that much more real..Version: 1.11
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