We live in a golden age of 2D platformers. With so many of them to choose from, how can you tell which ones are worth playing? Something as unique as Typoman definitely stands out so let's see how it stacks up to the competition.
I should start by mentioning that Typoman was initially released a couple of months ago. However, I didn't really get a chance to play it until now which is actually great news because there was a major update released that fixed a lot of issues that plagued the experience. Since I only played with the update, I can thankfully say that I didn't come across any significant issues throughout the entire journey. Anyway, what is Typoman? It's basically a puzzle platformer where you use words to trigger environmental changes so you can progress further. For example, if you see a door then you might want to spell "Open" so you can continue. In order to spell different words, you can push, carry, and throw letters as well as use the GamePad to descramble letters that are next to each other. I found all of this to be handled quite intuitively and the result is one interesting dynamic that had me hooked from start to finish.
You wouldn't expect a word-based puzzle platformer to have such a dark atmosphere yet Typoman can be downright dastardly at times. Enemies will literally rip your head off while eerie music quietly plays in the background. It's unexpectedly diabolical which actually works in its favour. Seeing what looms in the darkness as you advance will keep your curiosity piqued for every second of gameplay. Who is Typoman? Why is he here? What's he trying to do? In the end, you could probably fill in the blanks yourself but I prefer to just leave it as it is; a desolate world where a figure made of letters defies all odds to achieve something awesome.
Although the entire game can be completed in well under a couple of hours, I found it satisfying and memorable enough to be a worthwhile adventure. All of the various gameplay scenarios and strange scenes that roll out as you play are fantastically well implemented. Coming across a small factory that manufactures letters then running for your life from an advancing inferno is nothing short of thrilling. Then, you may witness an odd event where an evil entity approaches only to be warded off by some sort of guardian angel. From tricky puzzles to unexplainable twists and turns, you'll find it hard not to stay glued to your television until the end.
As I've already mentioned, Typoman is incredibly short. On top of this, there are no incentives to replay it once you're done. You could play through again for the fun of it, but most gamers probably wouldn't bother. The only other complaint that I have is that certain segments can get frustrating. Some puzzles are far too obtuse to figure out on your own. To illustrate this, I saw a couple of steel containers on top of each other. In order to solve it, I found out that I had to spell the word "split". I thought of using words like "lift", "move", and "lower", but "split"? That's just annoying. Also, some platforming portions require very precise and perfectly timed jumps. These are easy to fail and would have been more enjoyable if they offered more leeway. Although it's not a legitimate complaint, this is yet another game that has a last boss who stands in the background with its hands attacking you in the foreground. If you've read some of my previous reviews, you know that this is a pet peeve of mine. Why do so many games have this exact same boss?
Typoman is an intriguing puzzle platformer that's worth playing through once for fans of the genre. However, you'll probably never pick it up again due to its lack of replay value but the journey is definitely memorable enough to at least give it a try.
- + Dark and mysterious atmosphere
- + Interesting word-based puzzle mechanics
- + Overall satisfying adventure with many unexpected twists and turns
- - Very short with no replay value
- - Some puzzles can be too obtuse
- - The odd finicky platforming segment will get on your nerves