If you’ve only played Windosill, you also need to stop what you’re doing and pick up his similarly amazing iPad app Feed the Head (also available in miniature iPhone form), and then Levers and smaller toys Acrobots and Carousel, at which point all your iOS devices will be at maximum (read: proper) wonder-levels.
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.