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Review: supertype – it’s a word game, but not as you know it

See what happens when words and physics collide

Price: $2/£2
Size: 31.3 MB
Version: 1.1
Publisher: Philipp Stollenmayer
Platform: iPhone / iPad


Update! There was a lot to love about supertype, the physics-based word game. But what does the app look like a couple of years later? Have we got new game modes or content, or has supertype remained unchanged?

So what’s new? While most of the updates which have reached supertype have fixed bugs and made other small improvements, the app did get a big update around a year ago. This brought brand new levels – 27, altogether – and an all-new level editor, which allows users to create and edit their own levels in the app. It’s a really nice addition and something which fans of supertype will undoubtedly appreciate. However, it’s disappointing to see that supertype hasn’t received optimization for Apple’s newest devices (like the 2018 iPad Pro, for instance). It still doesn’t support landscape mode on the iPad, either, which is a shame – especially in the age of iPad keyboards.

Revised rating: So the bottom line with supertype is both good and bad. On the one hand, new levels and the level editor are great additions and we’re really pleased to see them. But the lack of optimization for Apple’s newer devices is also a shame. And so after a lot of thought, we’ve decided to take half a star away. ★★★½


Our original review, written in May 2018, is presented in its entirety below.

You couldn’t be blamed if you thought supertype, a new app for iPhone and iPad, was either a third-party keyboard or a letter-tile game in the vein of Scrabble and Words With Friends. The app, however, is something quite different, and a lot more unique.

In fact, supertype places zero emphasis on word meaning whatsoever: instead, the game is concerned with physical letter shapes. Because in supertype, the aim of the game is to collide with floating orbs by typing letter combinations which fall from the top of the screen and land on increasingly irregular platforms. The way these letters bounce and roll will influence whether you’re able to hit the target – or targets – in the game.

Choose your word – or your nonsense word – and aim to hit the floating orb with your falling letters

The aim in supertype isn’t immediately apparent: there are no introductory levels or how-to boxes which appear when you first launch the app. After completing one challenge, a swipe to the right presents you with another puzzle, and further puzzles after that. The difficulty soon ramps up though, and players will find themselves pondering over the direction in which certain letters fall. Type an “o” if you want something to roll down a ramp, for example, or a lower-case “l” to slide through a tight gap.

Taken it out? Then swipe right to start the next challenge.

supertype’s game rules allow players to type any combination of letters in order to capture those floating orbs — even nonsense words and multiple spaces. This almost feels like cheating, and it begs the question of whether supertype might be even better if it only allowed users to input real words. This would definitely make supertype more difficult, but it’s something we found ourselves trying to do as an added challenge.

Earlier levels are clearly easier, but the challenge soon increases

Later in the game, letters will already be presented on the screen and players need to draw lines with their finger in order to reach those floating orbs. These add some variety to what would otherwise be a repetitive format.

Later, you’ll need to draw lines to guide predetermined letters to their floating goal.

supertype includes some really satisfying sound effects – be sure to play outside of Silent Mode if possible – and its minimal letterforms and busy wallpaper-esque backdrops make for a smart aesthetic. There’s also support for the iPad, though at the minute, iCloud Sync appears to be missing from the game. This is something of an oversight which should be fixed in a subsequent update.

The bottom line is that supertype really is a word game like no other. There are plenty of levels to work through and these are varied enough to ensure that players don’t get bored easily. There are also no IAPs – instead, the game’s relatively low price tag unlocks everything supertype has to offer.

Bottom line? Fans of word challenges and physics games alike will get a lot out of this highly unique pick-up-and-play puzzler!