Downwordly is a word-building game that forces you to think ahead because some letter tiles are locked away. Downwordly offers a few single player modes: Daily Challenge, Endless, Puzzle, and Solo Versus, as well as a multiplayer competitive mode. The last tile of each layer is a stackable 2x multiplier. In multiplayer, it’s very important to guard those shiny tiles and prevent your opponent from gaining access.
I’m not sure when I had the first idea for Downwordly specifically, but I remember wanting to create something that could help with low stakes connection during the pandemic. Specifically, I was hoping to create something I could play with my wife and my mom. Ultimately, I’m very proud of the end result. Downwordly was a few new firsts for me: the first time I was featured by Apple (Essential Word Game and Game of the Day on August 10th, 2021) and the first time I built something that was cloned, twice. I haven’t fully processed being cloned, but I try to see it as a flattering thing.
A lot of Downwordly art and all the music was done by my very talented collaborator and friend Galen Drew.
I was excited to see the traction in the App Store. The high point was briefly to be more popular than the original Words With Friends. This is obviously a super unfair comparison since Words With Friends 2 was the current version, but I was still pleased.
It’s fun to prototype ideas and get them to a playable state. It’s even more fun once you reach that state and you experience something unexpected or just plain interesting. I love to let my wife or brother try things to see how they react. I had to get Downwordly into TestFlight quickly because my wife wouldn’t give me my phone back because she wanted to keep playing the dev build.
Here is an early 3D version with the stacking supported.
A slightly better looking version.
App Store featured app screenshots aren’t supposed to contain words. Likely for localization reasons and also to be very scalable across different App Store surfaces. This presented a bit of a challenge since Downwordly is primarily about letters and words. Ultimately, the App Store editors kindly edited the PSD I gave them to remove some letters. The state in this screenshot is possible within the game, but it looks visually interesting!
I’m a big fan of the game Baba Is You, so to be featured alongside of it was a thrill.
Thanks to a fortunate email from a player, I found out that Downwordly was featured in a print magazine, Games World of Puzzles. After another fortunate email to the editors, I was able to get a back issue.
I’d never heard of the word Carbaryl before!