Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing Is Incredible

By Nathan Grayson on August 13th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

This is not even close to the craziest thing that happens in this dumb, wonderful game.

“When we’re done with you, your fingers will be like gods.”

That is just one of roughly a trillion gems from Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing, which doesn’t really teach typing so much as it uses the act of inputting words into a computer as a loose framework magnificently bizarre insanity. You might remember Icarus Proudbottom and his best spirit owl pal from John’s favorite game of all time (it’s about poo), but this one unfurls a yarn of a rather different nature (it’s not about poo). Sometimes there is typing. Other times? RPG stat sheets, virtual pet minigames, loving odes to the tilde key, copious profanity, and a sinister end-of-game plot twist. Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing probably won’t teach you to type, but it might help you learn to love again.

It begins like any other edutainment game – overly cheery characters guiding you through a tutorial, lots of bright colors, a talking animal of some sort – and then wastes no time spiraling into madness. Exceedingly silly, occasionally dark madness. So it’s kind of like “edutainment” stablemate Frog Fractions, at least in that respect. Without spoiling too much, there’s a sketchy secret agent, the fourth wall gets shattered into four million pieces, the owl is a wizard, and Icarus worships typing with zeal that makes religion look like hobbyist ship-in-a-bottle creation.

For the most part, the writing is excellent. I laughed out loud at multiple passages I typed, not to mention character dialogue and, um, loading screens. A few gags tried too hard and fell painfully flat, but the plot rarely strayed far from my giggle button. Which sounds weird. Ew.

Oh, right: there’s also typing. It’s, um… yeah, it’s definitely typing. Press keys, letters come out – all that good stuff. Tilde (or control, if your keyboard is weird and lacks that most formidable of squiggles) activates a special mode that either replenishes health or gives you a score multiplier, but that’s it. Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing is about the gags, and they’re pretty wonderful.

Give it a go here. I highly recommend seeing it through to the end, which isn’t a particularly huge commitment given that the game’s only 20-30 minutes long. Enjoy!

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30 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Goodtwist says:

    Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiietface

  2. gschmidl says:

    Sadly, it doesn’t play nicely with German keyboards — ‘ and ? wouldn’t work.

    • Hairytoes says:

      At the bottom of the page, they tell about a workaround in the settings. you can turn “kill punctuation” on to solve the problem.

  3. gunny1993 says:

    “I laughed out loud at multiple passages I typed”

    No need to boast about your comedy prowess

  4. Premium User Badge

    JamesTheNumberless says:

    Damn you RPS, don’t post games like this when I’m at work. Also, very glad I requested a UK keyboard instead of adjusting to a German one.

  5. Premium User Badge

    JamesTheNumberless says:

    One thing that’s worth mentioning I think, is how well crafted and polished this game is. It’s similar to Frog Fractions in that respect too. Too often I see indies who think a clever, silly, or surreal idea is enough in itself. They release a game that is just short of the mark all-round in terms of quality and then wonder why they don’t get a similar reaction to the likes of Frog Fractions. This is a game about jokes, but if the actual process of playing the typing rounds was clunky and awkward instead of enjoyable and rewarding , the whole thing would fall flat.

  6. Fenix says:

    GOTY 2013

  7. Premium User Badge

    FriendGaru says:

    I found one level genuinely quite hard using my Japanese keyboard. Goddamn punctuation.

  8. timethor says:

    I’m not the type (>_>) who normally likes these small scale indie games.

    But this was a very entertaining, polished, complete package. Jokes, gameplay, even a bit of story..

    I do wonder how it plays for someone who is way worse/better at typing than me. It started to become properly challenging towards the end, but others might never get there, or find the end trivially easy.

    Or does the game have a sneaky autobalance based on your early performance?

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      I’d like to know that too. There was one timed round where I only had 1 second left at the end, I think it was the binary bit :) (Just goes to show I’m not a “real programmer”) but otherwise I felt the balance was just slightly within my typing capabilities, if it was a little bit harder I might have had to repeat some… Also, it fits perfectly into the second half of a lunch hour :)

      Great little game, extremely fun to play – quirky in a Saturday-morning-cartoon (with sweary bits) sort of a way but not laugh-out-loud funny, or wonderfully mad like Frog Fractions. But boy have they nailed the balance of fun/compulsive gameplay with story based reward. If they made this considerably harder and stuck it into an arcade cabinet, I’d be there all day shoving money in, trying to beat it.

      • Premium User Badge

        bglamb says:

        Being a very fast typist actually made it more difficult in some ways. Every typo would lose me half a dozen hearts as my fingers would be a full word down the page before my eyes and ears caught the error!

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          Yeah I had that a couple of times… I actually did best on the Spanish bits because, not knowing Spanish, I had to concentrate on most of the words.

  9. essentialatom says:

    Pressing space doesn’t put in a space for me, it scrolls the screen. So I put it on fullscreen, and I can press space, but then I can’t press anything else. There’s no way I’m switching back and forth between fullscreen and back to play this so I guess I’m going to miss that plot twist. Such life.

    • Premium User Badge

      JamesTheNumberless says:

      To be fair, the plot twist is unoriginal, and the humor is nothing to write home about either. The core mechanic of typing the words isn’t even anything special… But the level of execution and polish turns this into one of those games that’s far greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a fantastic showcase that they really know how to make a game and I know that whatever these guys do next is going to be a lot of fun to play.

    • adam.jutzi says:

      Same thing happened to me. I just made chrome fullscreen then zoomed the page in. worked great and it was mostly fullscreen.

  10. supernorn says:

    No mention of the something awful gamedev challenge that spawned this game, nathan? There’s even a link to it on the main game page…

  11. KDR_11k says:

    Argh, can’t finish that damn binary level, I always run out of time on the last few characters (once even as I was typing the final character).

    • timethor says:

      Binary was the hardest for me too. Failed it the first time by 1 character, won the second time by 2 seconds…

      It also caused me to make loads of mistakes. More than the code level with all the punctuation :/

  12. Premium User Badge

    Toupee says:

    I laughed out loud so many times while playing this. Just perfect. Well — it would be perfect if there was an actual high score list. I am a typing kiiiiiing!

  13. pupsikaso says:

    I have never found anything that comes out of Something Awful to be either interesting, funny, or fun.
    This game doesn’t change that.
    Just random “not-funnies” splattered across a boring game.

    • KirbyEvan says:

      I guess somebody hates fun

    • SavageTech says:

      I agree pupsikaso, your brain is something awful and the words that you’ve splattered across this comment section are neither interesting, funny, nor fun. Don’t lose hope, maybe the group’s next game will be “Icarus Proudbottom Teaches You to Have Some Goddamn Taste, You Fucking Neaderthal.”

      (DISCLAIMER: TASTE IS SUBJECTIVE BLAH BLAH BLAH EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINION BLAH BLAH MY POST IS JUST A JOKE BLAH)