Typography and fonts are natural subjects for games, apps, and even humorous videos. Some have educational value, while others are just plain fun. I rounded up some of my favorites below. Check them out and then you decide which are share-worthy, or just for your own guilty pleasure and enjoyment. (This is a sequel to Type Games Galore.) If I missed any of your favorites, please share them in the comments.
Typeconnection is a typographic “dating” game designed by Aura Seltzer for her MFA thesis. It is intended to help you learn how to pair typefaces. Start by choosing a typeface to pair. Like a conventional dating website, Type Connection presents you with potential “dates” for each main character. The game features well-known, workhorse typefaces, and portrays each as a character searching for love. You decide what kind of match to look for by choosing among several strategies for combining typefaces. Along the way, you explore typographic terminology, type history, and more. By playing Type Connection, you deepen your own connection with type.
Typewar by Eldarion is a fun, and fairly easy font identification game. It compares characters from two of three typefaces: Optima, Times New Roman, and Helvetica Neue. Since they all fall into different categories of typeface design, it is pretty easy for designers of any level. You can click on Learn More to see the glyphs in both typefaces, with stats on how many viewers got it right.
Quests is also from Eldarion, and is for those true typophiles that like a real challenge. It compares characters from two similar typestyles, such as Times vs. Baskerville and Arial vs. Helvetica, and you have to guess which one it is. The point system varies depending on the difficulty, which is based on how many others had trouble with it. Quests is a great way to test yourself on a particular subset of typefaces and/or letters. You can play it as often as you like (they are different every time) and they add new fonts often.
I Shot the Serif by to the point Ltd. is a shooting gallery game where you have to shoot only the serif fonts. There are varying levels – Junior, Middle-weight and Senior – with the faster levels capable of really getting your adrenaline going! Finish five stages to get promoted. Complete all stages at the Director level to beat the game. You can play it online, or get the app.
Helvetica vs. Arial by mimeartist Ltd. is an action game with great sounds, but takes a bit longer to get the hang of. The idea is to move the Helvetica character left and right with the mouse, and to try and beat Arial by jumping on it using the mouse button. (Not sure how this would work with a track pad.) Helvetica moves faster in flight so you really need some time to master this one. The designers bemoan the overtaking in popularity of Helvetica by Arial, so the game takes the side of Helvetica to “let Arial know we don’t need its type around here.”
What Type Are You? by Pentagram begins with a headless narrator mimicking a psychiatrist asking questions to soothing piano music. The questions include: are you relaxed or disciplined, emotional or rational, understated or assertive, etc. Your responses are then calculated to display your “type”. This is so clever that the questioner squirms and swivels in his squeaky chair and swats an annoying fly until you complete each question.
Ragtime by Fathom combines typography and ragtime music. This game challenges you to fix a bad example of ragged text and make it Swiss-perfect. What’s a rag? Rags are the shapes made by the line breaks on any unjustified margin of text, and one of the most overlooked details in typography. A good rag goes in and out from line to line in small increments. A bad rag creates distracting shapes of white space in the margin. Ragtime puts you up against the clock to make the best rag you can.
Fontagious by Gorilla Arm Ltd. puts your knowledge of everyday fonts to the test in this addictive game. It challenges your speed at recognizing famous bands, movies, TV shows and brands. Each example has a pair of clues to help you try and guess as many as you can in two minutes. Sounds easy? Don’t be fooled, its harder than you think. Great for playing alone, and even better for beating friends.
Font Quiz by Paul Brown is a free app with more than 200 different fonts to identify. Simply tap on a font and type in the name. Can you recognize these famous fonts from movies, brands, video games, TV shows and bands? Try to guess them all! Stuck? Tap the “show hint” button to reveal a clue, or use the social networking buttons to ask your Twitter / Facebook friends.
Font Conference from College Humor depicts a font conference (with the fonts represented as human characters) that has convened in order to decide whether or not to offer membership to Zapf Dingbats. It is just so well done, it is not to be missed!
Hitler’s subtitle guy gets a cheap font CD from Hong Kong on ebay is the title of this crazy video. It is actually subtitles over selected scenes from the movie Downfall, and therefore the acting including the raging führer are very realistic and professionally represented. The script is fantastic, with the subtitles in different fonts that relate to the script.
Word Crimes is a very clever, catchy video by “Weird Al” Yankovic. It calls out common grammatical errors to the tune of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. Not specifically about type, but they are so interrelated and this is done so well that I just had to include it!Tags