5am Games

Based in Zurich, Switzerland

Release date:

Early 2020




Nintendo Switch





Press / Business contact:






Letters is a 2D puzzle adventure game about two longtime pen pals. The player navigates their way by running through the pen pal letters, overcoming physical obstacles by combining drawings with certain words in the letters that block the player’s way. Often, the correct words must first be created by removing letters. 


This project started in 2015 as a small student prototype at the Zurich University of the Art. It was just a three weeks long module, but it was enough to realise that the idea of using the written media as level design and splitting words apart to create new ones has so much potential. Later in 2017 the team of three passionate students came together to make this idea into reality and develop a real game out of it. We called ourselves 5am Games.

In real world the game has to have more then just a good gameplay idea. So now we are working a lot with a narrative timeline to make players connect with our pen pals. Letters is a multilinear game now. A visual concept was developed to be heart-warming and to remind players of their childhood and kid books. There will be several separate time periods covering years of pen pal friendship and we want to use different communication medias for level design. All starts in late 90th with a first letter, continues with first chats in the beginning of 2000 and ends around 2019. 

We  managed to create a first exhibition-ready demo during summer vacation in 2017. By the end of the year the demo was already exhibited five times at game conventions and festivals. We also applied for financial support from the national arts council Pro Helvetia, and won it! Also the demo was chosen as Ludicious "Emerging Talent Award" nominee. 

We started alpha in March 2018, got our bachelor degrees in June and were selected among over 400 applicants to attend the Swedish game development and business accelerator "Stugan".

In September 2018 we established our company 5am Games Ltd.


- innovative game mechanic

- charming visuals, changing with times

- influence on the story





Trailer Youtube

Awards & Recognition

Ludicious "Emerging Talent Awards Nominee" 2018

Additional Links

Personal twitter for Aleksandra Iakusheva (@Aleksandra_Ya) available on twitter.com

Personal twitter for Martina Hotz (@MartinaHotz) available on twitter.com

Personal twitter for Selina Capol (@SelinaCapol) available on twitter.com

Zurich University of the Arts, Game Design website gamedesign.zhdk.ch

Swiss national arts council Pro Helvetia prohelvetia.ch

Team  & Collaborators                      Contact

Aleksandra Iakusheva                                                            Inquiries

original concept, programming, 3D art, project management       info@letters-game.com

Martina Hotz                                                                        Web

story design, level design, puzzle design, sound design              www.letters-game.com

Selina Capol                                                                        

visual concept, character design, 2D+3D art, animation   


Dee Kourtsman

music, Freelancer   





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

(Reformatted for Wix Website)