Morning! I haven’t been posting much lately. Partly, that’s because I’ve been buying a house. Mostly, though, it’s because I played the word BOWSPRIT on Letterpress a few weeks back, and I’ve been giving myself a short holiday as a reward.

Letterpress is an asynchronous word game that uses a territory-capturing gimmick, a little like Panda Poet. It’s made quite the splash on iOS because it’s stylish in a colourful-yet-minimalist manner, and it’s by the guy who invented that pull-down-to-refresh Twitter updater. Its playing arenas are small, and a lot of people are starting to suspect that it’s a little too easy to brute-force your way to victory, but none of that really matters to me. What matters to me is that you create accidental pieces of art as you play.

In Letterpress, see, you and your opponent stain letter tiles in your home teams’ colours as you make words with them, and any captured tiles – tiles you’ve used that are surrounded by other tiles you’ve used – turn a deeper hue. This means that each game sees the arena shifting and ripping with patterns as the tiles go back and forth, and by the end you’ve got a neat little 5×5 panel finished and lined up on the app’s home screen.

I’m fascinated by this sort of accidental by-product of games. It’s what makes puzzle games in particular so intensely pleasing to simply look at. Letterpress is available here, BTW. It’s free with a small micro-transaction to unlock extra stuff. You’ll probably end up paying purely because you want to give the designer some money.