A lot of people have (unwritten) lists of games on other systems that they wish would come out for a system they actually own. For me, Typoman would be on such a list. Luckily, it’s now heading to Steam and I’ve finally been able to play it.
When I first saw Typoman, it was being published by Headup games for the Wii U and being shown off at Gamescom. I instantly fell in love with how wonderfully creative it was, with its blend of platforming and wordplay – but was a little sad to learn that it was only coming out for Wii U gamers, since we weren’t covering that platform at the time. Luckily, the developer, Brainseed Factory, is now self-publishing the game on Steam – and it comes with a few enhancements as well! Welcome, Typoman: Revised.
In Typoman, you play the role of the hero – as you do in countless other games. Here, however, your character is actually made up from the letters in the word “hero” – a sign of things to come. In a world that combines the shadowy visuals of titles like Limbo and “Red Game without a Great Name” with more action/puzzle oriented platforming, your hero has to overcome challenges of all kinds.
There are plenty of traditional moments where jumping and running at the right time is extremely important, and there are boss fights to be found as well – but the real star of the game is the way it deals with word/letter-play. The world is literally scattered with letters and words, and they play different roles depending on how they’re positioned. Changing the position of the letters can form words, and different words to different things. Roll an “O” towards an “N” and a nearby platform might turn on, and when you approach the word “part” it might suddenly swirl around and kill you – right after it reveals that it was “trap” backward.
Without spoiling too much, the game is filled with tons of creative touches like that – some a little more obvious than others. This is where the game shows a bit of a flaw: you have to be able to think along the same lines as the developers, who are clearly fans of wordplay themselves. If you’re not, then odds are that this isn’t your game. This is, in part, down to the fact that the platforming itself is not up to the level of Rayman or even Limbo, which only had a limited amount of platforming in it. In Typoman, you’re rarely doing more than just walking and jumping to the next word puzzle, without much need for expert timing.
These word puzzles, for me, made Typoman: Revised a game filled with fun and wonder – but also a game with a limited amount of replay value and one that’s not for everyone. The same can probably also be said for Scribblenauts, and if that wasn’t your thing then you’re not likely to enjoy Typoman either. But if you enjoy clever wordplay mixed in with traditional gameplay styles, then this is a game well worth playing through at least once, even if the playthrough might not last as long as you’d like – coming in at about three hours if you take things slow.