I love typography. There is something so beautiful and useful about the design of letters. If you've ever taken a look at the last page of most books, you'll notice that there will be a note on the typography. You'll find that many fonts are very old and hail from all sorts of places. It seems as though I'm not the only person intrigued by the mysteries of typeface. Type: Rider is a new title that aims to enlighten you with the history of typography while at the same time providing some physics puzzle-solving fun.
I enjoy a good high concept game. Even if it doesn't perform very well, I tend to think of it like a cute kitten that tries very hard to jump up onto the bed but can't quite make it. After playing it, I can't help but sigh at the fact that at least they tried something new. Even if Type: Rider isn't fun, I might be able to learn about the history of this little serif font my words are appearing in right now and treat my eyes to something beautiful.
As is the same with its subject matter, Type: Rider is completely obsessed with design. Everything about its visuals has been meticulously thought out and painstakingly rendered. You play as a hapless and lost colon that has to make its way through numerous levels highlighting history of various types of type. The over world where you choose which type of font is lovingly rendered. For instance, it is moody and rainy as you pass by Gothic.
Once you delve into a style of typeface, you're treated to a series of levels that utilize that font to create a series of platforms, gaps, and tunnels for you to roll that little colon through. All the while, the background features images of the typeface used, notable places and historical figures. Also, you have the chance to collect every letter of the alphabet in that particular style. It adds a bit more challenge than the usual level navigation and trying not to fall for any traps.
The levels themselves look absolutely gorgeous from their highly detailed backgrounds to intriguing use of letters as terrain. It is inspired and occasionally difficult. The levels slowly ramp up the difficulty and become beautiful mazes full of dangerous spikes. Occasionally, this can get frustrating and I did find myself repeating certain sections because they were so difficult to navigate. One wrong move and you'd find your rolling colon flying off the edge of the level. But it did provide a bit of satisfaction once you successfully made it.
Quite honestly, this is one of the most unique and educational titles I've come across in a very long time. It is certainly not a game for everyone. If you're looking for nonstop action, something tells me that you really have no interest in typography or simply platform puzzling. But, if you're looking to slow down your gaming time and learn a bit about history, then you can't do better than Type: Rider.