When Alene and I first connected back in 1999, she carried with her a little handheld computer — a Psion-5. There was a small community of developers making games and apps for this little machine and Alene installed one of those games where you have to make as many words as you can in two minutes. We found that we could rather enjoy playing it together — and we played it so much that the surface layer of the screen ended up being worn away.
Years later, in 2010, Alene got her first iOS device (an iPod Touch) and we enjoyed choosing a word game from the App Store. After trying free/lite versions of a few, we settled on a game called Word Warp and Alene bought the paid version. Two iPhones later, we’re still enjoying it!
I won’t bother explaining the appeal. If you enjoy word games yourself, no explanation is necessary. And if word games are just not your thing, an explanation is a waste of time on my part!
Another game we got hooked on was 2048. We reached 1024 on a few occasions, but Alene had to stop playing it because the repetitive swiping motions caused a nasty lump to form on the top of her wrist. It was painful and she needed to wear a wrist brace for a while — so I suggested she delete the app from her iPhone. After a few weeks, the lump had gone.
But one of the neatest things is something Alene coded herself using Pythonista for iOS. It takes an image from the camera roll…
It can be rather hard, depending on the picture — especially as you don’t have it to look at! The iPad version is a 48-piece puzzle, but is made more doable by automatically placing the four corner pieces at the start. As each tile is slid into place, it makes a most satisfying click.
On Alene’s iPad (which is the original model but still going strong) we have an art app that allows us to create a design which we then make a puzzle from. So we will never run out of puzzles!