Letterpress - Word Game
October 26, 2012 1:39 PM   Subscribe

It's Boggle + Go (or Scrabble + Risk). It's by Loren Brichter. It's a wake-up call for Game Center. It's Letterpress - Word Game. (I know, it's Friday... sorry, Flash.)
posted by progosk (87 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's the first time I've caught myself playing a game at work in five years, and then repeatedly caught myself playing it. I've also got about 15 games running concurrently, which makes me a pressmaster or something.
posted by furtive at 1:45 PM on October 26, 2012


It's damned addictive is what it is. (Our Dear Leader agrees, I guess?) I can't think of how many times I force-closed and reopened to get around the Game Center issues last night. Everything seems to be running smoothly today-- no hangs at all for me.
posted by supercres at 1:46 PM on October 26, 2012


S'long, Mrs. Robots:'-(
posted by No Robots at 1:48 PM on October 26, 2012


It's fantastic, and truly reveals how craptastic GameCenter (currently) is. I might have made it through one game (out of 20+ so far) without GameCenter errors.
posted by pmbuko at 1:50 PM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's a weird word game, in which letter rarity is not a sign of value (i.e. you don't get more for using X or Q or Z) and in which the endgame is absolutely key to the whole thing. It's fun, but I'm willing to be "that guy" who sez it's a flash-in-the-pan.
posted by chavenet at 1:50 PM on October 26, 2012


Yeh, GameCenter: you suck.
posted by chavenet at 1:51 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I lost twice and am having a hard time working up the desire to play again.
posted by Sokka shot first at 2:06 PM on October 26, 2012


I'm deaccession on GameCenter, and I'll give it a shot.
posted by box at 2:07 PM on October 26, 2012


I'm furtivecode on Game Center, and if it wasn't crashing again right now you could play me.
posted by furtive at 2:08 PM on October 26, 2012


I have been playing constantly for the past few days--it's entertaining and definitely not the way I'm used to playing word games. Yes, yes, I play Words with Friends...

My username is the same everywhere!
posted by chatongriffes at 2:17 PM on October 26, 2012


Yeah, I'm playing too with my mefi username in game center, but I can only play two at a time because I ain't paying till the networking issues are fixed. But its very good.

It's also a show piece for what you can do with UIKit primitives.
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:18 PM on October 26, 2012


I too am available for play, with this here username.
posted by me3dia at 2:20 PM on October 26, 2012


Game Center is so incredibly broken right now — I've been trying to play Letterpress against random Internet strangers (including kids who are palpably thrilled when they can spell "VAGINA") but it just keeps breaking or failing to update. I'd be apoplectic if this were my online-play-only game's initial release.
posted by RogerB at 2:32 PM on October 26, 2012


Still, this is a good excuse to put my GC handle in my profile — MeFites are welcome to hit me up for a game.
posted by RogerB at 2:35 PM on October 26, 2012


I can be found as _drfu_
posted by drfu at 2:39 PM on October 26, 2012


(I totally bingoed through a triple word score in a recent scrabble game with 'vaginas.' I was stoked.)
posted by kaibutsu at 2:39 PM on October 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I too am there, under this username. It is good.
posted by adamrice at 2:49 PM on October 26, 2012


This is the future, the Letterpress logo spinning, on your face, forever.

ALL MY RAGE, GAMECENTER
posted by danny the boy at 2:51 PM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh how Game Center sucks! Is there any way to play without it?
posted by ottereroticist at 2:52 PM on October 26, 2012


It's a weird word game, in which letter rarity is not a sign of value (i.e. you don't get more for using X or Q or Z) and in which the endgame is absolutely key to the whole thing.

The game mechanics could definitely use a little refining, I agree; right now it's a fun fad and it'll continue to be a fun "casual" game with friends, but for serious strategy it's currently at least a little broken. Making long words is nicely rewarded, especially early in the game, but the small size of the board does make the endgame way too important — nearly all the non-ridiculous games I've played were decided by one or two tiles on the last move, obviating all the great word-making that came before. I imagine a larger grid could help with this, but it'd also be workable, I think, to reward players for holding on to tiles rather than just grabbing them at the final second. And like you say, it'd be nice if there were a way (perhaps another game mode) to make uncommon letters more valuable.
posted by RogerB at 2:55 PM on October 26, 2012


I disagree that the endgame is everything. You have to build to a position in which your good letters (common ones) are protected. If you leave me the opportunity to flip lots of Ts Rs and Ss near the end, that's your fault. You can also build in such a way to keep your opponent on the defensive and not able to attack back.

It's a really good battle simulation: pick defensible positions early and expand from there, attacking where your opponent is dug in but vulnerable while maintaining your own defenses.
posted by supercres at 3:32 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm MarvinTheCat. Play away!
posted by MarvinTheCat at 3:48 PM on October 26, 2012


Pepsi game?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:00 PM on October 26, 2012


I'm "ColdChef" and I don't really completely understand the game yet. So beat me while I'm still terrible!
posted by ColdChef at 4:01 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sure it's coming to Android at some point... but please, soon.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:36 PM on October 26, 2012


It's fun and yes the endgame is key.

One of my last opponents with his 5x5 letter grid played SLUTS, POMES, VOYEURS, PLUMBERS, PERVY and PORNS as their first 6 words (and kept the game competitive).

And I am: sam on the moon.
posted by samhyland at 4:40 PM on October 26, 2012


Okay, I'm in. Same username as here.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:42 PM on October 26, 2012


Huh. The fact that it doesn't have a computer opponent made me give up. I started my two free games, and both opponents promptly disappeared while I was still wanting to play. And then it crashed. Deleted. Maybe I'll try again with version 2.1.
posted by DaveP at 4:42 PM on October 26, 2012


I'm worse than ColdChef, so play me for a quick self esteem boost.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:04 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


undue influence, and golly, I am usually bad at word games. There is also a MeTa where some usernames have been exchanged.
posted by undue influence at 5:07 PM on October 26, 2012


Rah, I just got smushed in my first game. It's hard. Will be adding mefites, just a heads up!
posted by undue influence at 5:09 PM on October 26, 2012


Same username for me as well, and enjoying Letterpress so far!
posted by Songdog at 5:10 PM on October 26, 2012


Random opponents so far are very weak. I'm gonna try some mefites. mr__roboto with two underscores.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:19 PM on October 26, 2012


I dunno man, this lady I'm playing just took RUTHLESS advantage of a tactical error I made.
posted by Sokka shot first at 5:22 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I discovered Letterpress a couple of days ago and am loving it. What strikes me about GameCenter is how fucking awful the design is.

So I'm in the pixelly-perfection of Pocket Planes or the minimal-loveliness of Letterpress and I bring up a GameCenter window and I get this jarring pseudo-baize-and-wood-pool-table monstrosity with some awful serif font, that might actually be Times New Roman. If it were Microsoft you'd expect it, but you would like to think Apple could come up with something a little more neutral and, you know, classier.

Anyhoo, I'm rockmejoe over there so bring it on.
posted by jontyjago at 5:38 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've bought into the Apple ecosystem, but Game Centre is a steaming turd and someone should be fired.
posted by panaceanot at 6:00 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sold. gerrycanavan if anyone is looking for another game.
posted by gerryblog at 6:27 PM on October 26, 2012


I've been watching an irregularly rotating letter E for some time now....is this like Zombocom or something?
posted by pravit at 6:36 PM on October 26, 2012


can I play this computer game with... my computer?
posted by rebent at 6:57 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've bought into the Apple ecosystem, but Game Centre is a steaming turd and someone should be fired.

Yeah. This will spook game authors forevermore, and there are cross-platform alternatives that work just as well or better. No one is going to code against GC without a backup platform.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:00 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


None of my friends are playing yet, which makes me sad.

Same name in Game Center.
posted by caphector at 7:39 PM on October 26, 2012


I'm there as {168}, and the strangers I'm playing are all too weak. Let's play!
posted by 168 at 7:49 PM on October 26, 2012


Unfortunately, I was really excited to see this game, but was crushed to find out you need an iphone, ipad, or i-whatever. That type of thing should be included in posts like these!
posted by jkafka at 7:59 PM on October 26, 2012


I'm in, same username.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:33 PM on October 26, 2012


Letterpress broke my heart earlier when I thought I'd won a game with INFECTED but actually missed an F in the top right corner. Also on notice: jerkfaces who resign right as you're about crush them with SKIRMISHED.

I'm brieche on Game Center and up for games all day erryday!
posted by brieche at 8:45 PM on October 26, 2012


I'm aubilenon on the shitty shitty game center.

The first random match I played only has played "pussy" "wussy" and "jizzes" so far. Which is pretty awesome.
posted by aubilenon at 9:15 PM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am sourmae on game center
posted by amapolaroja at 11:05 PM on October 26, 2012


jkafka, tags are your friends..

With this avalanche of error reports/malfunctions and gamer vociferations (just played that ;-), I am pretty sure that there is going to be some Game Center shake-up, both graphical/UI and of who's in charge, in 3... 2...
It'll be nice to say we were part of that. It really is gratingly excruciating (just played those, too - ha!)
posted by progosk at 11:07 PM on October 26, 2012


Woah - the very cute (make avatars enlargeable!) labelIngenue just lured me in with WILL and AMOUR, but then, to my unhearing MOLYBDENUM and CATERWAUL, lashed out with FLAMBOYANCE, and trounced me with TRAUMATIC. Letterpress conversations... (make the opponent contactable!)
posted by progosk at 11:18 PM on October 26, 2012


I need to sit down and try this but first I need to dig out from three weeks of other game notifications.
posted by immlass at 12:26 AM on October 27, 2012


I upgraded so I could play more than 2 games at once
posted by amapolaroja at 12:28 AM on October 27, 2012


Wow, I am really bad at this. Play with me for an ego boost, I guess.
posted by undue influence at 1:15 AM on October 27, 2012


I'm digdoug502 (and very unimaginative)
I just sent invites to a bunch of ya'll.
posted by DigDoug at 6:30 AM on October 27, 2012


Needs a "rematch" option. Playing the random opponents, haven't lost yet! Same name there, ready for challengers...
posted by nicwolff at 7:06 AM on October 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoops, not the same name, I'm "Nic Wolff" on Game Center.

Does anyone else have a permanent "1" notification badge on their Letterpress icon? Annoying.
posted by nicwolff at 8:04 AM on October 27, 2012


Wait, I can protect letters in the course of two moves??
posted by Iteki at 10:23 AM on October 27, 2012


Best part of this game? Dirty words will totally play.
posted by ColdChef at 10:34 AM on October 27, 2012


My username is catnipstrike. Add me!
posted by timshel at 12:27 PM on October 27, 2012


I am speicus on Game Center. Disclaimer: if you play me, you will lose.
posted by speicus at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2012


Best part of this game? Dirty words will totally play.

Also the worst part – strategy compelled me to play the N-word last game and now I feel like a dick.
posted by nicwolff at 1:53 PM on October 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am loving this game so much! I find it fascinating how hard it is for my brain to process that the letters don't have to be next to each other like boggle et al. I am beanbagjo on GameCenter, feel free to start a game with me!
posted by Joh at 2:31 PM on October 27, 2012


I have now used "penises" as my starting word against two separate Mefites.
posted by timshel at 4:07 PM on October 27, 2012


I like it. Been playing with Mrs Jimbob all night, and tried one random stranger who actually put up a fight and stayed to the end. I agree that rare letters should be worth something - a bonus point to the first player who uses them, maybe? But apart from that, it puts up a fun battle, and games don't drag on.

Username's ozjimbob2 if you want to look me up.
posted by Jimbob at 6:28 PM on October 27, 2012


The dictionary is a little weird. It allows SONTAG and PANTALEON as "words" but not PISSY or THEMATIZE.
posted by RogerB at 10:33 AM on October 28, 2012


Same username here.
posted by brundlefly at 11:07 AM on October 28, 2012


nicwolff: next time, try GINGER.
posted by logopetria at 11:37 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Got it to work, this game is great!
pravit726 on Game Center
posted by pravit at 3:31 PM on October 28, 2012


mik3pop on gamecenter
posted by mikepop at 7:30 AM on October 29, 2012


OK, it seems to be working now. If you'd like to play me, I am fuzzysquid on gamecenter.
posted by danny the boy at 10:27 AM on October 29, 2012


With this avalanche of error reports/malfunctions and gamer vociferations (just played that ;-), I am pretty sure that there is going to be some Game Center shake-up, both graphical/UI and of who's in charge, in 3... 2...

...1: Head-Apple-skeuomorph Scott Forstall has been ousted. Sir Johny Ive will now be in charge of software design, too. Now, how differently do you think his Game Center will look/work?
posted by progosk at 4:27 PM on October 29, 2012


One game against an internet stranger and I'm hooked. emelenjr on Game Center.
posted by emelenjr at 5:35 PM on October 29, 2012


I played the game but deleted it. One glaring problem is letter distribution - I had a game with three Zs and only two vowels, both of which were "O". Play "zoot" and you've also used up "zoo" and "zo", which LetterPress thinks are prefixes of, I suppose, "ot" and "t". I squeezed out "zoon" but "zoom", "dzo", and "oozy" weren't possible. Also, while trying to cover the z's and end the game I was forced to use small words, allowing my opponent to eat away at my margin. It doesn't seem well thought out.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:04 PM on October 29, 2012


Is there an etiquette that I'm missing?
Should I be trying to keep the game going with lots of words or is it cool to try to win as fast as possible? It seems like many people choose not to use the last 2 tiles or so and win, so then I grab the tiles and beat them and feel kind of bad.
I'm asking seriously if it's just a lame unfun thing to win quickly; I don't want to be that Draw Something guy who just writes the word.
posted by chococat at 8:35 AM on October 30, 2012


My personal version of good etiquette would be the exact opposite — you should always go for it if you can. The games that go on forever because XQJZ remain unclaimed while you keep playing PASTING PESTING STEPPING back and forth forever (and then go back and add different suffixes when ING is used up) are way more boring than the quick ones. I wish the game were smarter about word stems so this wouldn't happen as much in the first place. But the way it works now there's usually a sort of strategic detente with about the last three uncommon letters unclaimed, and as soon as one or two of them go, it's fair game.
posted by RogerB at 9:02 AM on October 30, 2012


I agree that it's more fun fast.
Although winning with "QI" is getting a bit old.
posted by chococat at 9:12 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm actually quite enjoying Letterpress, and yeah, could do with playing some Mefites.

There's nothing more annoying than starting a game against a random stranger, spending minutes of my life, that could otherwise be profitably spent reading crap topical gags on Twitter, crafting a strong opening, only to then see them fold the game straight off like someone who just isn't taking it seriously, damn it .

And not even get the pathetic validation of seeing a win column increase by +1 in a statistics page.

So yeah. I'm harhoo on Game Center and I dunno the etiquette really but I may start picking some people from this thread at random to challenge.
posted by Hartster at 11:08 AM on October 30, 2012


Just added a bunch of you, so bring it on. unliteral on Game Centre.
posted by unliteral at 7:22 PM on October 31, 2012


Best. Letterpress. Game. Ever.
posted by ColdChef at 7:28 PM on October 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


But the way it works now there's usually a sort of strategic detente with about the last three uncommon letters unclaimed, and as soon as one or two of them go, it's fair game.

If I'm playing a strong opponent, I often find the game in a state where we're trading the lead back and forth, with a couple of rare letters left unplayed that can't be used in the same word. Whoever is the first to break and use one of those letters ends up losing, because their opponent can snag the last tile with a long word and win the game.

Games like that, where people are avoiding the last couple of letters, are about attrition rather than etiquette. It's cool emergent gameplay.
posted by lostburner at 12:01 AM on November 1, 2012


I upgraded so I could play more than 2 games at once
My oath, 29 and I still have leachers.
posted by unliteral at 6:17 AM on November 1, 2012


I just realized I had the rules wrong! I thought that I wasn't allowed to play blocked tiles at all (which seemed how my opponents were playing, too). Turns out you can play them, but you can't convert them.

Hrm.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:38 AM on November 2, 2012


I just realized I had the rules wrong! I thought that I wasn't allowed to play blocked tiles at all (which seemed how my opponents were playing, too). Turns out you can play them, but you can't convert them.
Heh! Yes, this is funny. In particular when they haven't used an 'S'.
posted by unliteral at 2:09 AM on November 5, 2012


Although winning with "QI" is getting a bit old.

Play QIS and then you own the Q forever...
posted by nicwolff at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2012


Depending on its position. Q can fool you.
posted by unliteral at 9:01 AM on November 5, 2012


Well, that suqs.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:52 PM on November 5, 2012


Sorry, can't respond, someone may have given me a tranq.
posted by unliteral at 3:00 PM on November 5, 2012


Seems 30 is the maximum amount of games. Congratulations to the siow players, you get the forfeit win, if you can call it that. Win I mean.
posted by unliteral at 1:01 AM on November 11, 2012


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