Brent A. Hopkins
In Casual Commitments, we explore the ups and downs of casual gaming.
You will not be confused by what you are playing.
I would like to start off by dedicating this article to a bunch of my friends from Bradley University as I thought about you all quite a bit when playing this game. I was a business major, yet most of my close friends were art or language art majors. I was brought into the art fold gently and one of the things I recall is the seriousness of choosing the correct font for a project. This game put me right back in that mindset, which is a good thing.
Type:Rider is, at its core, a very simple game that takes the player through the history of typeface through physics-based platforming. There is no character development, really as the player takes control of two dots — a colon — and ventures into different levels based on famous typefaces. The controls are simple, with the left and right arrows guiding your dots around and the space bar for jumping. That is it, and everything else is left to you to figure out.
The levels are split up into four sections: two general platforming sections and two gate sections. The gate sections are always brief and require you to solve a simple puzzle to get a third white dot into an unlocking mechanism to open a door. This repeats for all the stages but the last which is something I will talk about later.
Ebony and ivory will lead you to success.
I played this game on Steam as I don’t really enjoy playing cell phone games and one thing that instantly caught my attention was just how atmospheric the game is. This game is easily the most graphically-pleasing game I have reviewed here. The backgrounds are clean and crisp and really fit with the typeface they are supposed to represent.
This just oozes Gothic.
The thing with any game is that no matter how good it looks the soundtrack is what really ties it together, and when you get both going you can really suck in your audience. This is another area in which the game excels. This game sounds phenomenal and from the moment I hit play I was surprised at how excited I was to see how the next area would look and sound.
The gameplay itself is nothing to write home about. Each level has the entire alphabet, six asterisks, and an ampersand to collect. The alphabet and asterisks are extremely easy to find and take practically no skill to get. The asterisks are special in that they unlock book pages for that typeface, which share the history of that typeface for the player. Collect all six and get the entire history. You unlock knowledge (which is something I wish you would see more in games) and I found myself reading them out of genuine interest after playing through the unique stages. The ampersand on each stage is harder to find and while it doesn’t unlock anything in game, it gives you a reason to search around the level and really take in everything the designer had in mind. The game tracks the total for all of these and you get achievements for getting them all.
The game overall is solid and gets the point across of learning to love your typefaces, even the much chagrined Comic Sans, which is used in joke form not just on the Internet, but also in this game. The whole experience takes about three to four hours to complete so it never feels too long or boring.
When your typeface history looks like it comes from Reddit, you’re probably learning about Comic Sans.
There is one major issue I have with the game though, and it is very important to any game… the controls. This game is extremely easy to play but the physics engine leaves a lot to be desired, and a part of you will wish for more direct control of your dots as you die again and again. This may not be an issue for most of you if you play it casually, as you will breeze through this but the allure of achievements sadly drives me. That being said, there is one that requires you to complete a stage without dying, which honestly added an extra 40 minutes to my play time.
Overall, I would highly recommend this to the designer/gaming subset of folks out there and honestly, to anyone who likes a good looking and aurally arousing gaming diversion. This game gets an easy 4/5 tildes from me. There is practically no replay value, but for the cheap price of $3.49 I was more than satisfied.
Type:Rider is published by BulkyPix and is available on the App Store, Steam, or Google Play for Android.
Image sources: Fast Company, Steam, Hyperallergic.com