If you consider yourself among the John Grubers of the world and have an unnatural love for Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann's masterpiece commonly known as the font "Helvetica", make sure you're sitting down for this one. iPhone developers Speed Noise Movement have built an entire game focused around the typeface. It's called Vetica [$1.99], and in the game you pilot an A, loaded with 12 different weapons, which each shoot different types of punctuation served up in a standard vertical shooter format. Also, I'll openly admit that I chuckled a little harder than I should have at Vetica's tagline: "In letterspace, no one can hear you scream!"

If you've played a vertical shooter on the iPhone, you'll already be familiar with how Vetica plays. Dragging your finger on the screen moves your ship around, which automatically shoots at whatever enemies appear onscreen. An arcade mode will take you through all 13 levels of the game (each with their own unique boss), and once a level is cleared you'll be able to skip directly to it by selecting "levels" from the main menu. Plus+ is also included for online leaderboards and achievements.

It's really clever how the game has been put together, with enemies that consist of single characters, or multiple characters combined together. Enemies behave differently too, with varied weaponry and movement. I love the boss battles: as with any vertical shooter, bosses are appropriately massive and in Vetica are comprised of glorious Helvetica-based ascii-art.

If you don't find yourself even slightly amused that a vertical shooter now exists revolving solely around the font Helvetica, you're probably better off sticking with some of the other more colorful shooters out there. However, if you're the kind of person who smugly lists Helvetica first whenever defining the font-family attribute, you need this game. Doubly so if you can hold an intelligent conversation on the differences between Helvetica and Helvetica Neue. In fact, if you're that kind of person, you'll also probably love The Font Game.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Guise

    Cool concept for a vertical shooter. Hoping for a sequel based around Futura. Because Futura rules.

    • Anonymous

      I'd take Georgia over both!

  • The Truth


  • http://twitter.com/Niasyn Allan Lee

    Is Comic Sans the end boss?

  • http://twitter.com/Niasyn Allan Lee

    Is Comic Sans the end boss?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrzej-Raczynski/668591493 Andrzej Raczynski

    nice, but unless i'm missing something, seems weaksauce to me to not make this a universal build.

  • Anonymous

    Love the "Alien" reference - even the opening title. Looks good! Should have been "In Letterspace, No One can Hear you Type"

    • Anonymous

      It's overdone as it is, don't encourage them.

      • Anonymous

        LOL - this is true.

  • Guest
    • Collin

      And it's not the only one. They also have the "Eleven Alarm Freebie Alert" post. Odd.

  • Werdyl

    It's the other way around. All the references in the page's source code are directed to here.

    Anyways, this seems like a pretty neat concept.

    • Guest

      Yeah, that's what I said. ...the article from toucharcade is being ripped off on the other site. ie: the other site is copying it.

  • Werdyl

    Sorry, my bad. I misread "ripped off on" as "ripped off of". Unfortunately, these sites are pretty common. They hoard news articles off of many sites in a given topic without giving any credit to the original authors.

    I think this game would be pretty neat if there were different font themes, such as Comic Sans and Papyrus. xD

    • Guest

      Sorry, replied above before seeing your second post πŸ™‚

  • Soul of Wit

    I'll wait for the serif update πŸ˜€

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TEF5PM4FCTGL6ANXGXVR7HEOXU Lili Lin
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  • Bigred447uk

    Can we get rid of the spam in comments.

    This looks throwaway. I hope some of you bids at TA are lapping up M.Europa so we can get a juicy review to read.

    Best font game I've played is font monsters.

  • An old, old man

    Hey! I wrote pretty much this game! It was somewhere around Chapter 6 in the BASIC manual I took out of my local library, circa 1986. Though in mine you could fire only asterisks, and the enemies were equals signs.

  • http://twitter.com/tehviking Brandon Hays

    I think I'll wait for the Windows Phone 7 ripoff version, Rial.

  • Gert

    Helvetica may well be the first font in history, and might be the only one ever at all, that has jumped the shark.

    Gruber gave the first push.

    Then came the calendar app, called "Calvetica".

    This does it.

    • Gert

      It's sad, because I did like Helvetica Neue.

    • Gert

      Allthough I'm still looking forward a bit to the FPS called "Hellvetica".

  • Jon_draper

    A platformer game built purely out of windings could be awesome... (sort of)

Vetica Reviewed by Eli Hodapp on . Rating: 3.5