Release Date: June 9, 2015

Developer: Tiltfactor

Play Smorball to save scanned books from digital oblivion.



Play the Game:

Click here

Smorball is a challenging browser game that asks players to correctly type the words they see on the screen–punctuation and all. The more words they type correctly, the quicker opposing teams are defeated, and the closer the Eugene Melonballers get to the Dalahäst Trophy.  As an opponent approaches, type the phrase in the corresponding row and press “enter,” commanding your athlete to tackle the opponent. Punctuation matters, so type carefully and quickly – some opponents must be tackled multiple times before they go down!

In addition to being a fun typing game, Smorball tackles a major challenge for digital libraries: full-text searching of digitized material is significantly hampered by poor output from Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. When first scanned, the pages of digitized books and journals are merely image files, making the pages unsearchable and virtually unusable. Smorball presents players with phrases from scanned pages from cultural heritage institutions. After much verification, the words players type are sent to the libraries that store the corresponding pages, allowing those pages to be searched and data mined and ultimately making historic literature more usable for institutions, scholars, educators, and the public.

Play Smorball and help save scanned books from digital oblivion!

Web (Free)

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Biodiversity Heritage Library, Missouri Botanical Garden, Museum of Comparative Zoology  (Harvard University), The New York Botanical Garden, Cornell University Library

Boston Festival of Indie Games (Best Serious Game 2015)



  1. 9
    Total Game Reviews: 5

    It is super cool.It can help people learn to type quickly and it is a fun way to learn.It was easy to learn what to do. I don’t like how fast the robots were going and I would start to feel pressured.It didn’t glitch and it didn’t crash. It would be a game I would play again.

  2. 7
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    I like the whole game concept but but give us more time to type.P.S. like the music

  3. 10
    Total Game Reviews: 3

    Best game ever. I was skeptical at first and got so addicted! Felt so good beating the last level. Very cool cause to help digitize books while having so much fun.

  4. 8
    Total Game Reviews: 1

    I really like the concept of "Smorball" my advice would be to add some cheerleaders to engage the female students.

  5. 7
    Total Game Reviews: 2

    I really enjoyed the game, but there were a few things that should be different. With the instructions, they should be left up longer, or they should have a “next” button to push when you are done reading. Also, there should be a mixture of females and males on the field. This game helps students learn how to type faster on a computer, and lets them progress into different rounds, which is really neat.

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