“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!