Matthew Inman, the creator of The Oatmeal webcomics and popular card game Exploding Kittens, has released a free mobile word game called Kitty Letter. Inman describes it as “Scrabble combined with Clash Royale.”
In the game, you swipe around letters at the bottom of your screen to spell words, which sends small armies of cats marching toward your opponent in an attempt to blow up their base. Your opponent, meanwhile, is sending armies back at you to try to blow up yours. The mechanics are easy to pick up, and everything was in reach of my thumb, so I could easily play it one-handed.
I played the first few levels of Kitty Letter’s story mode, which not only served as a tutorial for the game’s mechanics, but also told a silly, Oatmeal comic-like story. There were lots of funny drawings, offbeat gags, and even an extended section where I was forced to listen to a person make deer noises while backed by smooth Barry White-style soundtrack. If you like The Oatmeal, you’ll probably enjoy the humor here. (I do, so I found it all very amusing.)
Best of all, it’s free to download, and the entire single-player story mode and its multiplayer mode are free to play. I’ll let Inman explain why he made the game free in a blog post:
I hate free-to-play games. I hate games built entirely around player retention and tricking people into keeping the app open as long as possible. I hate coins, currencies, chests, and other money-printing schemes disguised as fun. For Kitty Letter, I tried to just make the game as enjoyable as possible. This means that sometimes the chapters are long and almost seem to be discouraging you from playing. There’s an entire chapter built around slapping a trout in order to defrost it, and some musical deer that make sexy groans for way too long. I tried to just build a short-lived, likeable game, rather than a medicore game stretched across months of free-to-play garbage mechanics. Fuck retention. Fuck in-game currencies. Embrace the trout, I say. Embrace the groaning deer.
If you want, you can spend money on in-game cosmetics drawn in Inman’s signature style, but they’re not required to play the game.