Brandon Boyer

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If you even briefly touched, let alone played through, Patrick Smith’s recent point-and-click hyper-surreal puzzler Windosill, you will have instantly realized the effortless ease with which he’s able to turn little vector objects into living, breathing digital things (this is especially true for a certain turning-point scene in Windo).

As I noted at the time, Windosill was just the latest in a long line of these digital toys and distractions, which Smith has just begun porting to the iPhone, including one of his best, Levers [App Store link]. Levers is as subtle and atmospheric as they come: as you’d gather from the screenshot above it’s a succession of increasingly difficult balancing acts.

Each perfect balance tosses a new object into the ocean below that has to be carefully counter-weighted with all the things before it, while its livelier objects (see: the blackbirds above) obliviously confound your progress just by nature of their self-animate presence.


Also added to the App Store is Smith’s Acrobots [App Store link], even more of a simple digital distraction, but also more of exactly what he does best: rendering ’emotion’ in characters even as abstracted as the ‘bots above.

There are no goals in Acrobots, simply a series of variables and controls which the ‘bots must obey, as they either actively flip and spring off one another (the Acro– part), or simply try to build themselves into a stable structure, which is where their carefully seeking feet (thrown off by their tri-pedal-ness) reach out for one another in a way that’s honestly kind of heartbreaking when they can’t find a mate/wall to match.

Of the two, Levers will obviously provide you with the better game experience, and it’s worth noting there’s a Lite version of Acrobots that’s just gone live. Both of the toys are also previewable/playable on the web (Levers / Acrobots), but both are perfectly suited for the iPhone as it lets them be exactly what they should be: diversions that let you directly touch a realistic but otherwise fantastic world.

Levers, Acrobots, Acrobots Lite [Vectorpark]

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