Developer: FORMation (c) Jason Franzen & Adrian Johnson
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★★
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

This is a minimalists dream game. You are tested on how precisely you can align a missing letter within a falling word- trying to avoid any slight deviation of placement. This is a very niche game targeting graphic designers, typography lovers and creative types.

They describe it as a ‘very focused product for a very focused market’, and they are right exactly right. It couldn’t be more appropriate for their users.

A word I can’t remember using when describing a game before: beautiful. This application is exactly what I love about creativity and technology, bringing a mix of both so eloquently. The though that has gone into the execution of such a visually perfect interface that completely suits the content is evident. It’s wonderful to see.

The idea is simple, a word appears at the top of the screen, the size of the word varies each time. There is one missing letter. You must guide that missing letter, which is at the bottom of the screen, into the correct position. You tap and hold the handle underneath it to move it side to side. As soon as you touch the handle the word begins to fall and you need to release the letter to lock it into place.

Your score is judged by how accurately you managed to place it within the word. (All based on the size, leading and placement.) You have five ‘ligature tokens’ which you will lose based on how accurate you place the letter.

All the words within the game are terms that designers come across everyday. From font types, styles and influences in design. The music that accompanies this game is not intrusive and is very minimalistic which accompanies the game really well, completing the total package nicely.

Clearly this game isn’t for everyone, and in all honesty you won’t be playing it all day long. There were times when I felt I was having an eye test, especially with the smaller words. Trying to place the letters is challenging, but it’s also fun.

Possibly one area to improve would be the ability to add names to the high scores. Currently it lists the high scores with the date rather than a name.

Lastly, when you go into your iPhone / Touch settings, you can enter your name and alter some settings but I’m not sure why they are needed, and this could use clarification.

KERN iphone game demo from Jason Franzen on Vimeo.

Overall, for that price, I would recommend you get it even if it was for the sheer unique factor that this game will bring to your iPhone / iPod touch. The icon looks great, and because it is very unique you will be able to impress your ‘geek’ friends.

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