Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Type:Rider (Game)

Not much is known about the origins of Type:Rider, this casual educational platforming game seems to be a one-off from both the developer and publisher, Ex Nihilo and Plug In Digital respectively, as there is little information about either on the web. Although this little title weighs in at a low game play time those that have played it have had nothing but praise for it. What's all the hype surrounding Type:Rider about and is it as well deserved as the public are making it seem?

Genre: Casual, Platformer, Educational
Developer: Ex Nihilo
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Release Date: November 6th, 2013
Play Time: 2-4 Hours
Price: $6.99 USD
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android

Official Website



                                      










Rating: 7.0/10







Not much is known about the origins of Type:Rider, this casual educational platforming game seems to be a one-off from both the developer and publisher, Ex Nihilo and Plug In Digital respectively, as there is little information about either on the web. Although this little title weighs in at a low game play time those that have played it have had nothing but praise for it. What's all the hype surrounding Type:Rider about and is it as well deserved as the public are making it seem?

Certainly Type:Rider is the first of it's kind, a video game that takes modern indie elements and ties them with a landscape comprised of typography style artwork and level design. The architectures and artwork within the game are absolutely stunning, it's apparent that the creators put a lot of time and effort into planning the level designs and structures so that they flow both elegantly and smooth; all the while being pleasing to the eye. There are ten levels in all, each exploring a different font style ranging from classics such as Gothic and Helvetica to more modern typefaces like Futura and Pixel. Among the levels are hidden ampersands that must be found and also asterixs that, once collected, provide additional historical information regarding the font type of a particular level.


Where the aesthetics and design exceed expectations the functionality of the game fails miserably. The controls in this title are absolutely horrendous as the player will find themselves controlling a colon, or in other words two balls. The controls find the weight distribution frustratingly uneven between these two balls, and this often causes the jumps and trajectory to be off on an annoying level; this flaw gets exhausting quickly as the entire basis of the game play is platforming which entails some precision jumping. More often than not when attempting to go up any sort of bump or hill the player will find the colon being pulled backwards or incapable of performing a jump on the first try as one of the balls is always flying off in the opposite direction than you're trying to go. Luckily, however, there are infinite lives in place and a multitude of checkpoints. One question is left begging though, why a colon of all punctuation marks? A better suited punctuation would be an at sign, exclamation point or question mark; if rolling is truly necessary then the at sign would've been perfect for this title without the extra hassle of the tag-a-long that the colon offers.

While Type:Rider offers a diversely unique aesthetic game design and enchanting landscapes, the game's fatal flaw lies heavily in the agonizing controls. The educational aspect of the title is intriguing for those who are interested in art, typography in particular, and offers a little incentive to explore more than what's on the surface of the level designs. The player will even uncover a secret level once the main game has been beaten, one that is difficult and without checkpoints and this is where the controls become infuriating. The musical score and sound effects are mellow and add a relaxed atmosphere to the game, but overall are not memorable elements. For the asking price of $6.99 it's ultimately up to the individual gamer if three to four hours of content will be enough for them, but take heed of the warning about the controls before adventuring into this title.

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