Amanda: Welcome to the GameGrrlz blog! Today we’re discussing the new physics based iOS game Supertype by Philipp Stollenmayer. I just love this clever little game- it’s a great example of how to do a lot with a little. It requires you to type (or drop pre-typed letters by drawing lines to guide them) letters that hang over little obstacle courses and then drop the letters, trying to get them to touch dots that are obscured in some way by the obstacles. According to their shapes, they will navigate (or fail to navigate) the course below, in a quest to touch the dots. O’s, of course, roll, p’s will tip over to the right, q’s to the left. The dots on i’s and j’s will fall off the letters and go on their own trajectories. So it’s up to you to find the right letters to plug holes, make ramps, swing on pegs, and roll over bumps. And it’s REALLY fun puzzle solving, with clever solutions to minimalist but elegant problems. You’re rewarded when you win a level by a shower of newspaper confetti that scatters over your screen, which is a lovely reward for a level well played. There’s enough variation in the levels to keep you guessing, and you can hop between levels and come back to a thorny one, which I appreciate. Even when you’re failing at a level, it’s a joy to try different letters and see how they interact with the obstacles of that level.
Eva: Oh, joy! What a fun experience learning how every letter of the alphabet responds to gravity, weightlessness, jostling and interacting with each other! Supertype is a great game because you never feel like you are failing, but just experimenting with differently shaped tools with certain tendencies. You have to type letters, use a space or create a little finger-drawn bar, and considered the physics of the play. Once you hit the check, you’ll see if your string of letters or your bar achieves your goal. One game even featured my name, which was super cute, but that was just about all of the personal interaction you get here. No hints, no how-to-play; you just get going. While I like getting thrown to the wolves and getting it all figured out by my little lonesome, I wonder if other players would like a little more guidance. The beginning games are simple enough and you learn which letters with a hook, dot, or cup or are wide or slim enough to use in that challenge, and this is useful information as the walls get more challenging. They use actual wallpaper for background, and I’d like to see wallpaper that looks like it wasn’t torn out of Ethan Allen’s 1988 sample catalogue; but that’s the designer in me, and it did not make me enjoy the game any less. I can easily see this game becoming a sensation and a go-to for clever and endlessly engaging puzzling.
Eva and Amanda are best friends who puzzle obsessively. Our focus is on iOS puzzle games, interactive fiction, and live room escapes.