Care to test what the recipient on the other side is made of? Feel like a friend has become too passive and needs a little kick in the butt? Has your crush left you high and dry, and you are looking for an innovative eye for an eye? Want to invite a friend who is complaining about having gained a few extra pounds for a pizza without guilty conscience? Is your nephew obsessed with the latest video games, intriguing riddles and detective tasks, while you have ran out of new ideas how to keep him entertained? Has your girlfriend become bored with the standard foreplay and you would already like to have her melting before she actually arrives on a date? Is your friend visiting town for the first time and you would like to give him a basic and unique local geography lesson?

It may seem like these questions and situations have nothing in common, let alone that what they do share is an intelligent, almost perverse technology which just might be changing and challenging our established behavior patterns and paths. But fear not, changes to established interpersonal communication are not only refreshing and welcome, but may prove educational, funny and innovative.

What is Tricks! about?

Tricks! is an extension of the Messages with a twist! Tricks! enables the sender to set an obstacle or a challenge for the recipient to solve before he or she can open and see the text message. The sender actually sends the recipient a text message ‘wrapped’ in a challenge, which the recipient needs to perform in order to be able to view text message. Depending on the type of challenge, this may require the recipient to do some detective work, apply basic knowledge of logic, orientation in space, or the challenge may be for the receiver to simply spin or shake the phone.

What are the challenges up your sleeve?


The text message is written in a single line, while the screen looks like a viewing lens, which only allows the recipient to see a small part of the message. The recipient must then turn around full circle and move the lens left and right along the line, and understand that the speed of moving the lens is proportionate with the pre-selected difficulty level of the challenge. In public, the recipient’s maneuvers will appear eccentric and might make him or her feel uncomfortable. But as the sender, you might just rouse the recipient to the point where he or she will crave new challenges. Perhaps this challenge is not really suitable for a romantic get-together or those who tend to experience dizziness, but is perfect for those who like movement challenges and do not fear being called weird and are good at handling criticism.


Another movement challenge, minus the need for the recipient to move. When the recipient gets the message, it is displayed spinning like a propeller on the screen, which only begins to slow down once the recipient points the device to an exactly set angle (as if using a compass). Spinning is accompanied by the sound similar to Geiger’s radioactivity meter. The recipient may reproach you for having a foul sense of humor, but will certainly experience initial shock, followed by a relief of there being nothing wrong with the phone device.


Similar to SPIN, the recipient’s challenge here is to physically shake the phone in order for the blurry chaos of words on the screen to crystallize into a text message. Perhaps the recipient may not see the Biblical prophecy of ‘In the beginning there was word’ when they first look at the screen, but he or she is going to draw a breath of relief realizing that the phone has not deserted them and sunk into blankness, but will continue to serve them within the organized chaos of words. If of course, he or she does not accuse you of having nearly destroyed their phone no thanks to you.


Sender determines the geographical area on a map of a city (in radius ranging from 10 to some 100 meters, depending on the difficulty of the challenge), where the recipient is required to go if he or she wishes to read the message. Once he or she is in the radius determined on the map, the full message can be seen. Challenge suitable for geostrategic types, who wish to learn about city streets and infrastructure. Also suitable for a quick romantic date or inviting a friend to a new coffee shop or restaurant. Win over the recipient by making them step on a new territory, you are better familiar with, giving you the benefit of the final word in the negotiations. You can also use this challenge to verify loyalty, belonging and motivation of your friend - will he or she dare tread the unknown territory and trust you in the process?


Send this challenge to those who don’t like to walk and motivate them to start moving and do a minimal workout. The recipient’s challenge is to take a certain number of steps or climb a certain height in order for the text message to be revealed. It could happen that he or she will curse you, but will end up thanking you for every single calorie burnt and for having livened up his or her monotonous day.


This is a problem-solving challenge. The recipient needs to join equal size squares until reaching the total score of 2048 on a 4x4 square displayed on the phone screen. The text message is displayed once the recipient reaches the pre-selected level of difficulty. Challenge suitable for those who excel in mathematical reasoning, like solving Sudoku, play chess and similar. Why not join message reading and training of the grey matter?

Difficulty level of challenges

As senders, Tricks! allows you to choose among three levels of difficulty. You can choose from easy, medium and hard difficult levels. Easy challenges involving movement mean that the required shaking and turning of the phone will be moderate. With the geostrategic challenge easy level means that the radius of the meeting will be the narrowest and the recipient will be required to make fewer steps. If you select the most challenging, Tricks! level, the radius of the location will be the widest, while the Shake, Spin and Panorama challenges will involve the intense shaking, spinning and phone directing.

What’s the point of Tricks!?

We won’t even try to deny it. Tricks!, in itself, makes no sense. Some may say it is just another evidence of decadent society as we know it reaching its peak, to be followed by decomposition of ethical values going hand in hand with computer technology designed to encourage narcissism, social irresponsibility and nihilism. Tricks! is bizarreness personified, resulting in devaluation of society on the one hand and yet, on the other, a fun, innovative and intriguing experience for your friends and family, who daily long for increasingly bold and groovy experiences. You will also be able to get their ‘feedback’, make psychological assessment, and reward or punish them by presenting a challenge. We agree that true friendships can stand any test, but perhaps proposing a quick detective task, flavored with (dis)tasteful humor, might just be too good to resist.