mode of expression, LLC
Based in New York, NY

Release date:
December 10, 2012

iOS App Store
Web (Flash)


Regular Price:



The Grading Game was conceived during a "game jab" that encouraged participants to create a first person shooter, a la "Call of Duty". Rather than create yet another violent action game, we envisioned a game where a pen substitutes the gun. Instead of shooting marauding aliens, the player would "shoot" grammar and spelling errors. We called that prototype "First Person Tutor", and we liked it so much that we decided to make a full game experience around the idea. The Grading Game is the result!



  • The arcade QUICKPLAY mode presents increasingly difficult levels as players race for cash to pay down their student loans.
  • The CAREER mode offers a topic-by-topic progression through an academic career, with unlockable levels and multiple stage types.
  • Players can hone their skills in the PRACTICE mode, where they can focus on a specific kind of error, on a specific type of level.
  • Errors are generated randomly, drawn from the most statistically common mistakes found by copyeditors. Uncaught errors are promoted, and caught errors are omitted to keep the challenge fresh!
  • More than 100 levels, ranging from illegal numbers to Kim Jong Il's hairstyle!
  • Addictive, casual gameplay -- levels take approximately 30-45 seconds, and the game can be played while holding onto the bus!


Word Fireworks: Korean [App Preview] Vimeo

Word Fireworks: Chinese [App Preview] Vimeo

Word Fireworks: Japanese [App Preview] Vimeo

Word Fireworks: Hebrew [App Preview] Vimeo




Awards & Recognition

  • "The Grading Game: Best Serious Game (nominated)" IMGA, 2013
  • "The Grading Game: Excellence in Innovation (nominated)" IMGA, 2013

Selected Articles

  • " I’m frankly surprised by how much I like The Grading Game. It is ultimately about grading papers and looking for spelling errors, but somehow the intense time limit, scoring mechanics and various modes wrapped around that seemingly bland premise make the game super addictive. "
    - Ryan Rigney, Wired
  • "The way words pop as your red pen dashes them out of existence feels wonderful, and the professor’s increasingly petty reasons for demanding that you fail students are sure to strike a cord with, well, everyone who’s ever attended a university."
    - Nathan Grayson, Rock, Paper, Shotgun
  • "Are you the kind of person who scours The Sunday Times for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors? If so, apply for a job as a sub-editor — but first try The Grading Game...There is plenty to keep you coming back. If you like to to correct sloppy writing this is the gaem for you."
    - Arion McNicoll, The Sunday Times

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About mode of expression, LLC

mode of expression is an independent studio that creates creative apps, cutting-edge web experiences, and unique games.

More information
More information on mode of expression, LLC, our logo & relevant media are available here.

The Grading Game Credits

Charles Deck
Designer/Developer, mode of expression, LLC

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks