Part of the thrill of the word game is finding order and sense from jumbled chaos, it comes from carving out words from a mess of letters.
Zach Gage's TypeShift distills this thrill to its purest form, blending elements of anagrams, word searches, and crosswords in a concisely-designed puzzler.
While Gage's previous word game Spelltower filled the screen with letters, TypeShift takes a more minimalist approach.
Every challenge presents you with a grid of letters, and your goal is to shift columns and create words within the centre row. Finding a word marks those letters until you've used every tile on the grid.
It's simple, but surprisingly compelling, especially as the grids grow in size and complexity. Sometimes you feel like you're unlocking an ancient cypher, sliding tiles into place with a tactile thrill.
Sliding into place
Many words can be formed from the letters on a grid, but the true test is clearing levels in as few words as possible.
Suddenly TypeShift moves from a relatively simple word game to one about carefully analysing every letter, planning every move, and wracking your brain for the most efficient words.
Clue puzzles build upon those aspects, adding crossword elements to TypeShift. Short phrases and hints offer context to find specific words within the grid.
This slight twist on the mechanics feels refreshing and substantial, as it introduces wordplay and deduction to the precise grid shifting.
Between the hundreds of standard stages, Clue puzzles, and daily levels that increase in difficulty throughout the week, TypeShift contains a hefty amount of content.
Leaderboards and unlockable themes add more incentive to play, but TypeShift's smart design and enjoyable gameplay will keep fans of word games entertained for a long time.