Sunday, 21 August 2016 00:00

Typoman: Revised Review

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Pitfall Meets Speak & Spell

What an imaginative idea; you unscramble letters to form new words that affect the environment. Anyone who loves writing should love this game. Hmm.. Pandering to reviewers, eh Brainseed? Works for me.

In this challenging, well-crafted puzzler, you are an ink-based life-form, who must always run to the right in order to free the princess. No that's not right. You must always run to the right to escape “hate” and “fear”... Or perhaps it's meant to symbolize our own mortal progression through time and space, ever forward never back, through dark needle-infested caves, protected only by faith and hope.. (/cynical giggle) Cornography aside, there are entertaining metaphors all around, and the likable little “HERO” has character. Everything good about word scrambles and crosswords is represented here, along with some creative metaphor thrown in for good measure. Run, climb, jump and spell your way to victory. But be careful what you spell. Words can be dangerous as well as helpful.

The graphics are quite good for a 2-D right-scroller. Our protagonist inhabits a foreboding, gritty world rich with shadow and artfully crafted fire-light. The eerie music is well-suited to the dimly lit environment, creating an atmosphere of desperation befitting the demons that will soon be hot on your trail. But don't worry, there are plenty of save points, so you won't have to do too much back-tracking.

Having won Best Game Production at German Computer Games Award 2016, Typoman is a creation it's developers should be very proud of, “Typoman was awarded Beste Inszenierung [production] which carries a value of EUR 35,000. The jury awarded Typoman for having amazing aesthetics mixed with intelligent puns and for the great atmosphere in which the game world is presented.”

The educational game mechanic is brilliant and looks enticing to build upon. I'd love to see it in more genres.


It's not terribly long, only taking around 3-5 hours to finish; probably less if you do crosswords every day.

As with all side-scrollers, it's rather linear, but since that's its nature, I won't hold it against it.

It's not especially replayable; once you've solved the word puzzles it's unlikely you'll forget them. Still, there are Easter eggs to be found. Also, a few of the hidden quotes are quite difficult to reach, and you can go back at any time and replay any puzzle you have already completed. I was unable to determine with certainty, whether there are multiple solutions possible for any of the puzzles.

I had to refer to a walk-through on Youtube at times; some of the word solutions seem ambiguous to me, but perhaps my vocabulary isn't as robust as I'd like to believe. Or perhaps I'm just too impatient.

I'm guessing it would be difficult to port this over to other languages, due to its nature. For now at least, it's English-only.

It locked up at one point, while I was trying to spell the word, LOVE. /sigh There's no need to get personal, Typoman. There were no other crashes, but HERO did get its left-right directions crossed once after I buried her with letters, and I had to reload the checkpoint to fix. At least I didn't have to restart the whole program.

It's overly serious. It could use a little comic relief now and then, and with the cute little LIE running around, there would seem to be ample opportunity for it.


The Verdict

The price is a little high in my humble opinion, but Brainseed Factory has put a lot of spit and polish into Typoman, (sadly) leaving this critic with almost nothing to complain about. It's got a brooding feel to it, difficult puzzles to solve, and plenty of riddles to unravel. Batman would love this game; I find it a little depressing. I give it a nine for creativity but minus one due to limited replayability, for an eight. Steam reviews show it doing quite well (21/21 positive reviews as I write this) and it's 20% off till Monday.

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Kevin Riggs

Kevin Riggs is an analytical writer, dedicated to disc golf, cooking, and promoting science and critical thinking. But he also has a dark secret. At night, or whenever it's dark enough for dark secrets, he plays the shit out of video games on Steam under the dark, dark, pseudonym of, “Lazyface”. Kevin played his first video game at a Shakey's Pizza, back in 1977, when they cost two-bits each, and stood a good 5-8 feet taller than they do nowadays. It was called “Space Invaders”. Quaint, eh? He even remembers when pong still seemed like a pretty cool idea.