Review: Windosill

I love discovering awesome apps that I haven’t seen or heard anybody else talking about. Here’s a delightful gem that’s part game, part “experience,” and all fun. It’s perfect for kids and adults alike, and I guarantee it’s like nothing else on your iPad.

Windosill is the creation of artist Patrick Smith, an artist who specializes in surrealism and vector-based images. It’s hard to describe exactly what Windosill is, and that’s by design. It’s made to be something you experience in a tactile, visual, and auditory way — not something you read about or talk about. As such, there are no instructions, nothing to read inside the app, no story, and nothing I would call a character. So there’s no speaking, and no music, either.

Instead, Windosill presents you with a delightfully unexpected hybrid experience, where you’re presented with page-after-page of interactive art, a sort of storybook diorama, where strange objects and peculiar creatures exist everywhere you look. There’s a small wooden engine that you guide from one side of the screen to the other. Your aim is to get it to the end of this odd little journey, usually by unlocking a door on the right side of the screen. Doors are unlocked with a tiny white cube, so usually your purpose on each page is to find this cube — or coax one of the creatures into giving it to you.

Touch something on the screen — anything — and it reacts. Absolutely everything in this unique little world is interactive, so you can tap, drag, spin, or stretch anything you see. It gets really interesting when you see how the various things on a particular screen interact with one another. Everything functions with realistic physics and has its own sound effects as well. No detail is overlooked.

You may think, on first brush, that Windosill was made for iPad, since it works so beautifully with the touchscreen controls. The app actually started its life as a Flash-based browser game, yet I can’t imagine a more perfect home for it than the iPad. The only nitpick I can offer is that the $3 price feels a bit steep for what’s an hour-long experience at best. But it’s worth it.

But the best advice I can give is to slow down and enjoy it, anyway. Gamers used to blasting through puzzle games aren’t going to get the best experience from it, because this is an adventure you should take your time with, soak up, and explore with great care. Playful, charming, and inventive, Windosill is a feast for the mind and the senses — a rare treat where every bite should be relished.

About Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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