Solve intense calligraphy-based puzzles or play slowly and carefully with Zen Shapes
Keyboards and tablets have kind of shot a hole through the once-sacred art of calligraphy. One’s ability to type quickly is valued far above the steadiness of their hand—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing for those of us whose handwriting is bad enough to offend crayon-wielding three-year-olds everywhere. But maybe it’s time to slow down a bit and celebrate calligraphy with the help of Zen Shapes for iOS.
Zen Shapes is a puzzle game that’s based around the art of calligraphy. You play as an apprentice to “Master Lu,” a famous calligraphist and artist with an impressive stack of paintings. By using scraps of paper, you build up ink paintings to create magical shapes—but you need to move quickly before your queue overflows.
There are 60 puzzles to solve in Zen Shapes, all of which require you to solve your little ink problem through different tricks and combinations. If you’re up for a little non-traditional calligraphy, you can opt to solve your pen-and-ink problem with power ups like bombs, hurricanes, stopwatches, and time-freezing potions.
If fast-paced puzzle-solving isn’t your thing, though, you can opt for Zen Shapes‘ titular “Zen Mode,” which cuts you loose and lets you combine paper scraps to make complex and pleasing shapes for as long as you want.
Zen Shapes features comic-style graphics and voice work from comedian/voice actor Andy Valvur. The game will be available on November 29, so that gives you some time to practice your penmanship. Print out the alphabet a few thousand times, then report back to us.