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Type:Rider Review

By , on October 16, 2013
Last modified 1 year, 2 months ago


Type:Rider
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5

PROS

  • Beautiful, complex environments begging to be explored.
  • Packed with clever contraptions and physics puzzles.
  • You might accidentally learn something.

 

CONS

  • Controls can occasionally feel a little gluey.

VERDICT

If you want to play a beautiful, clever physics puzzler, and learn a little something about fonts along the way, then Type:Rider is for you. Period.


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Type:Rider is a difficult game to classify. If you boil it down to its bare bones, it's a stunt racer in the mould or Trials or Motoheroz. However, instead of a bike, you're controlling a colon. In fact, the entire game is constructed from letters and punctuation, with each level a kind of alphabet assault course.

What pushes Type:Rider beyond the stunt racer classification is its physics-based contraptions and historical info-bursts. You see, as you work your way through the stages, each of which are based around a particular font, the game attempts to educate you about the origins of that typeface. Collecting the asterisks strewn around the environment unlock handsomely illustrated pages detailing how and why each font was created.

The levels themselves are themed around the relevant typeface. The Gothic stage has a gregorian soundtrack and is littered with religious imagery. The levels based on the Clarendon font showcase it's 19th century typographic origins, and the Futura stages are full of abstract shapes and artistic flair.

Though the text dumps do require you to stop playing and read, you get a sense of the roots of each font simply by exploring each level. It's all feels extremely organic - a way of delivering knowledge and exploring context without making you feel like you're in a history lecture.

Controlling your colon (no laughing at the back) is relatively easy. You roll the character left or right by touching the appropriate side of the screen, and jump by tapping with your free hand. It's more streamlined than some stunt racers, with no option to adjust your pitch, but it can also feel a little gluey. You'll have to navigate some very angular landscapes, and your colon is prone to getting stuck on the corner of some letters.

None of these niggles come close to spoiling the experience, however. Type:Rider is a seriously classy experiment in covert edu-tainment, one which works best when imparting information directly through the architecture of its levels. If you want to play a clever physics puzzler and learn a little something along the way, then Type:Rider is for you. Period.

Screenshots

Screenshot 1 of 5 Screenshot 2 of 5 Screenshot 3 of 5 Screenshot 4 of 5 Screenshot 5 of 5

Comments

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SumoSplash 2 months, 1 week ago

Hmmm.

Not so sure about the five stars on this one James. If we exclude the highlights of the game, I simply couldn't get past the mix of abysmal frame rate and frustrating controls. I also saw roughly five direct uses of Limbo puzzles and themes within the first four levels. In fact, one could argue the entire concept of the game was inspired directly from the Hotel sign itself. I really wanted to enjoy the game, but had to delete it due to these formidable roadblocks.