5 casual games for designers

These games will not only make time disappear, they'll improve your design skills.

Computer games get a bad press – they're blotting paper for time, destructive, bad for the mind and terrible for the creative soul. That's probably true, but only if you're playing the wrong games.

Here's our collection of five casual games that will help hone your design skills, and also let you have some fun along the way.

01. Pixactly

5 games for web designers

So, you think you're a master pixels pusher? If somebody says: "draw me a box 54 by 35px", could you?

Pixactly puts your intuitive feel for pixels and on-screen dimensions to the test by firing out dimensions. You're then challenged to produce rectangles with the requirement measurements.

It sounds easy but it's not and if you're your hopeless, the game won't pull it's punches!

02. Kern Type

5 games for web designers

Kern Type is a fiendish game that explores the science – or black art - of kerning.

Game play is simple. You're presented with a word whose kerning leaves a little to be desired. Just pick up the letters and sort out their spacing. You'll need a steady hand, a sharp eye and plenty of finesse.

Each new round ushers in a different typeface. It's great fun and good practice.

03. Hex Invaders

5 games for web designers

The aliens are coming and it's your job to save the world! Hex invaders is a variation of the classic Space Invaders riff.

As you play, the game flashes up a colour's hex code and you're tasked with taking aim at the invader whose colour corresponds with the code. The game is fiendishly addictive.

04. The Bézier Game

5 games for web designers

The Bézier Game is slightly more gentle. It's designed to help designers master Photoshop's Pen Tool.

As you play, the game displays shapes and you need to redraw them using only the prescribed number of clicks or nodes.

As each turn progresses, the shapes become more complex. You'll even be introduced to keyboard shortcuts.

05. I Shot the Serif

5 games for web designers

To be a winner at I Shot The Serif you need to take aim at the serifs and leave the sans typefaces alone. It sounds easy but, given the time constraints, it's surprisingly difficult.

If you're a winner, you'd be promoted from junior, through middle-weight and hopefully right up to senior.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he’s worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella. Follow him on Twitter @tom_may.