Early last year, we took a look at the atmospheric puzzle platformer Typoman on Wii U. So, how has this enhanced "Revised" version changed our outlook on the word-based puzzle-filled adventure?
The first thing I noticed about Typoman: Revised were the wonderful environments. It has a dark and gloomy dystopian vibe but the backgrounds give just enough color to make Typoman and his enemies pop off the screen. Small and cute attentions to detail should immediately bring a smile to the faces of most players. I'm speaking of fun additions like building all ladders in the game out of stacked capital letter H's.
Typoman: Revised features some sporadic platforming challenges but most of your time will be spent solving word puzzles. One of the Revised edition's top enhancements was noted as "better controls and movement" and our initial review noticed this was an issue citing "finicky platforming segments" as one of its main drawbacks but I'm happy to report that I had no movement or platforming issues during my playthrough. Typoman: Revised also provides generous checkpoints meaning you won't have to replay long segments over if you're stuck on a certain tricky platforming section.
Interactive letters and words are scattered throughout Typoman's prologue and three chapters. This is where the bulk of the gameplay comes from: clever word puzzles that really get your mind working. A fun early example is figuring out how to open a gate that is blocking your path. You'll be given the letters NEW WORD with which to jumble around in the hopes of finding the magic combination that would open the gate. This puzzle took me a few minutes as I thought of words like OPEN and UNLOCK that didn't work. Finally, I remembered that when the gate first closed, it had moved upward so DOWN suddenly became the obvious correct answer.
Early on, you'll only be presented with a handful of letters with which to spell many useful, interactive words. However, by the end of the journey, you'll be parsing through 10 letters or more in the hope of spelling out your solution. Generally, the solutions make a lot of sense but there were a couple instances where the answer was a bit more obtuse than expected. Still, I was able to complete the entire campaign without looking up a single solution and most players should be able to do the same as long as they have a little patience.
Besides finding keywords that help you interact with the environment, you can also log hundreds of other words in the in-game dictionary. These words don't add anything to the game (certain ones provide cute little animations) but there is an online leaderboard that counts how many words you find and they also reward you with trophies. Don't worry; you don't have to drag the interactive letters around with you to spell words: you can use a word scrambler interface that allows you to quickly swap and remove letters.
As you explore the three main chapters of the game, you'll run into an area full of poisonous gas, a raging fire that blocks your path, deadly monsters formed by negative words like DOOM and HATE, and powerful turrets that won't hesitate to gun you down. All of these obstacles are solved using unique word-spelling mechanics. Later on, an additional antonym mechanic will really give you a run for your money. Typoman: Revised can be tough but when you come up with a solution that works, it both allows you to move forward and makes you feel quite smart in the process.
Our initial review criticized Typoman's short length and lack of replay value. This still holds true but trophy hunters have incentive to play through two or three times with slightly different requirements they can focus on. Collectible quotation marks have also been added and scattered throughout the adventure, providing a bit of extra replay value if you're interested in going back and tracking down every last one. Thankfully, there is a very thorough chapter select option so you can generally restart almost anywhere you like.
Typoman: Revised isn't afraid to test your wits and word descrambling abilities as well as your grasp of the English language (I don't think there would be any way for non-English speakers to complete the campaign). It also makes sure you've been paying attention to all of the mechanics by throwing in a few tricky puzzles right at the end. Typoman: Revised is a notable improvement over the original game and will be especially endearing for gamers who have a love of the English language.
- + Delightfully challenging word puzzles
- + Great environments littered with wordplay
- + Improved controls make platforming streamlined and less frustrating
- - Still a bit on the short side and without much replay value