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Playing With Letters

rated 4.29 / 5 stars
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Puzzles - Other

Credits & Info

Jun 9, 2015 | 12:11 PM EDT

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Comprehension 5 Points The antonym for incomprehension.
Math 10 Points Everyone's favorite school subject.
Aibohphobia 25 Points "I" can't tell you the answer.
Name Calling 25 Points Evil lives on.
Nag a Ram 50 Points No clues here.
Riddle 50 Points Me this.
Locations Revealed 100 Points For a small price.

Author Comments

SUPER EDIT: The long awaited sequel is now released! If you enjoyed this game, make sure to check it out:

EDIT: Thanks for the frontpage, Tom!

A game about playing with letters, as the title gives away.
The game is as much about the story as it is of the gameplay.



- Enter to fast forward to the next line or to test an answer

- Backspace to skip to the end of a letter, or to delete written text

- Z to proceed

Some of the levels might be a bit difficult, especially the first real one. In most cases, there will be an important hint in the title of each letter.
Remember, some of the words and sentences have underlying meanings.

I would appreciate it if no walkthroughs were written in the reviews.

For more info, click this link:

EDIT: Whoo! Daily 4th place :3

Okay. A ton of people have wanted to know about the secret ending. I have thus far messaged all those people and told them how to find it. However, I figured out an alternate way.
All the people that have beaten the game normally can find an explanation for the secret ending here, as a little extra treat:

The password is the same as the password to beat the game. Only lower case letters, space included (you have to download the document from the link, as it's no longer viewable online).

Thank you for playing, and please enjoy the ride!



Rated 5 / 5 stars

This was by far my favorite game out of the few I played tonight! :D I got lost on some levels, though I completed the other ones within ten seconds. I searched for some of the answers, and I was actually disappointed in myself for doing so because I realized I was on the right track; I just needed a little more time. I can see the mental benefits of playing what you call "psychology" games. I realized that on each of the difficult levels, I tended to think outside the box for about the first minute or so, but over the course of a few minutes, my thinking would become more rigid, and then solving the puzzle seemed impossible. I recognize this tendency of mine from my high school math courses: if I was able to solve complex algebraic problems within the first one or two attempts, I would seem like an expert, but if I failed the first couple of attempts, I would seem like a quitter.

The puzzles are well designed. I think the game's difficulty is perfect, and I actually like that the levels are not in order of increasing difficulty. The storyline seems to be generic (I don't know why I'm saying this when I've barely played any games of this genre); however, the narrator is a very interesting character! It's interesting how you were able to put yourself in the position of such as person in order to make the narration so engaging.

Did you make the typeface? You might not want to follow my advice on this because, as I told you, I have poor vision that can't be fixed with glasses, so I'm of a small minority, but the text was extremely difficult to read. The size is fine; the problem is that the individual letters aren't distinct enough. I think there should have been more contrast in the type design.

People find this review helpful!
LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you very much! For playing the game, and for leaving this nice review :D

The difficulty definitely doesn't increase exponentially, which is an interesting touch on my part. I'm not even sure myself exactly why I did it, but I do remember me wanting the first puzzle to be first, and the last puzzle to be last. So when one of the more difficult puzzles was already at the start, perhaps I decided to focus on an interesting game, instead of a perfectly balanced one :)

Don't worry abut looking up answers; a lot of people have done that. Who knows, maybe I would've myself too? If one is unlucky, sometimes a certain puzzle simply doesn't click, whereas the following two might do so immediately. This game also requires quite a bit of patience, I'm sure, along with some free time.

I've come to the conclusion that the difficulty is apt too, and I'm glad you feel the same :)
Since there are about an even amount saying the game's too easy, and too hard, and those who think it's good, chances are it's fairly balanced in that respect, for what kind of a game it is.

I too would place these in the more abstract and difficult to define, "psychological game" sub-genre. Quite obviously, since I've been inspired by games of that same nature. I'm especially happy that you liked this one a bit more than the other games you played last night!

The story itself is quite simple indeed, and has a continuation in the sequel which I released last year. As you analyzed, I placed the focus on the narrator, villain, or what have you. I guess specifically, on making the dialogue interesting, while still being relevant for the "puzzles", if you will. As we've talked about, I enjoy when games have a good atmosphere, which I tried to accomplish in this game. Partly, through the music I composed for this game, before even making it!

I actually took some steps to be able to go into character (some of which included listening to certain types of music, and performing thought experiments). That probably wasn't necessary, but if the result is good I'm not going to complain :D

Sorry about the font. Your criticism is very vaild, not only because of your vision, since other people have complained as well. I think the style was the right to go with, as that got a fair deal of praise. But the actual execution could've been pulled off better. A lot of people try pressing "2" instead of "Z" in the beginning, for instance.

Thanks again for your well thought out and written review! I appreciate it very much :)
Perhaps someday when you feel like it, you'll try out the sequel ^ ^


Rated 5 / 5 stars

I've never played a game like this before, but this was just fantastic! I loved the story line and how it gives you the answer, you just have to logically find it and put it together!

People find this review helpful!
LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thanks, insomniacaddict! I'm glad you liked the game :)
I wanted to make a text-based game that was a bit different than most, and indeed I also wanted to place a huge focus on the story and atmosphere ^ ^


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Really unique game, really clever and thought provoking. Also surprisingly creepy! Absolutely loved it and can't wait to play the sequel. I will tell the truth though, I totally cheated with an anagram solver app >_< Thank you for bringing such a special game to the table.

People find this review helpful!
LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you for the review, llamareform!
I'm glad you liked the game :D
Using help from outside of the box is not cheating! In fact, the second game even encourages it ;)
I hope you'll enjoy the sequel as well!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Amazing game! I remember trying to play it before and needing walkthroughs to get through the first one just like now (I thought the term was "clocksmith" for some reason). The link to the secret ending just leads me to a blank page with nowhere to input the password. Can you please fix that?

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Glad you liked it!
Yeah, the game is definitely fairly difficult ^ ^

The link used to be viewable online, but now you have to press the big download button that's on the page, and enter the password once you locally open the document. I'll edit the description so that it'll be clearer for people later on :)


Rated 4 / 5 stars

This game is about solving puzzles by collecting and contextualizing visual clues and answering riddles. Both of this mechanical elements works well together: player is taught to notice both visual and textual clues and combine them in a proper way to get the answer. Sometimes text's meaning contains all the required information ("Math" and "Aibophobia" levels), sometimes only a visual clue (color) can give this meaning new direction ("Name Calling" level). This way the gameplay combines very well with the detective story against which it is set. Although operating only in the textual medium, player is forced to take notice on something unusual in the text itself, i.e., its visual properties, that serve as clues (not unlike a detective that looks for inconveniences in a convenient scene). This way the intensity and thrill of a detective story is masterfully achieved with what seems to be an absolute bare minimum means of procedural expressiveness, and are further enhanced with the story, the music and with the text animation and coloring (white against black background).
P.S.: I've played this game after I tried playing "A Sweet Typing Thrill" and got stuck on the "abjurer" level. Probably, the second game has put me in an appropriate mindset, and the puzzles here did not seem as difficult to me. Although the challenges in this game are objectively easier than in the second one, their subjective difficulty for me is larger due to the fact that English is not my native language. With every word-based puzzle I had to ask myself: "Do I even know the word that is hidden here?".

People find this review helpful!
LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Heh, thanks for leaving your thoughts, boticelly! Seems like you take the "review" format seriously ^ ^
Your analysis was entertaining to read! It's to a large part, pretty spot on :)
It seems like you enjoyed many of the different elements in the game too, which is awesome :D

I'd agree that the second instalment is more difficult, even though to a certain extent, these valuations are subjective :3
The games, although similar, differ from each other in theme. This one is more focused on wordplay, while the other one is more about outside of the box information gathering, and other types of puzzles.
I'm well aware that English is not everyone's first language; after all, it's my own third language. But seems like you did just fine either way, so great job!

Thanks again for playing, and for writing a review :D