What the hell is Type:Rider? Well, it’s part puzzle game, part lesson in the history of typography. Or, as described in-game: “Type: Rider is a transmedia << gamedocumentary >> that aims to revive interest in the history of typography through a multimedia world”. Interdasting.
Starting with Type:Rider’s puzzle element, you control what I’ve just learned are two dots forming a colon. That saves me describing them as a pair of balls, at least.
The aim in each of Type:Rider’s nine worlds (10 including the tutorial) is to guide your balls (sorry, the colon) to the end, preferably picking up letters A-Z along the way.
In terms of controls, it’s simply a case of moving left and right and jumping, but like Limbo, there’s lots of fiendish stuff going on with moving platforms and gravity and the like.
Incidentally, Type:Rider welcomes three different control types, namely Tilt, Intuitive and Buttons. I went with Intuitive (the default setting) and didn’t feel compelled to change at all, but it’s nice to have the option I guess.
Getting back to those levels, you’ll also find half a dozen asterisks dotted around, each corresponding to a little history lesson.
See, each of Type:Rider’s worlds represents a period in the history of typography, from prehistoric cave paintings to the pixel – and everything in between.
I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about those educational bits. I mean, it’s kinda strange stopping in the middle of a puzzle game for a history lesson, but some of the material is genuinely quite interesting.
I reckon my opinion was maybe slightly skewed by my need to blast through Type:Rider as quickly as possible (as is often the case; deadlines, yadda yadda yadda).
In truth, I’m feeling slightly guilty, so much so that I’ll probably go back and read through the typography stuff properly when I get a spare 15 minutes.
But anyway, yes, what Type:Rider offers is the slightly odd marriage of a fairly great puzzle game with a lesson in typography, and I can’t leave without mentioning the abundance of style; that goes for both the excellent visuals and the fantastic soundtrack.
Fancy it? Don’t be put off by the educational stuff, it’s entirely optional. If you choose to treat Type:Rider purely as a puzzle game, there’s still lots to enjoy, including a minecart section wherein someone’s trying to shoot you (for serious) and a game of Tetris (true story).
- Looks great
- Sounds great
- Three control types
- It’s, er, educational
- Some of the puzzle stuff is infuriatingly hard
- Intermittent loss-of-sound issue (had to close the app a few times)
Summary: Type:Rider is a strange but brilliant app, fusing a challenging, super-stylish puzzle game with a lesson in the history of typography.
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Android requirements: Gingerbread (Android 2.3) or above.