Type:Rider is one of those game concepts that doesn’t exactly scream thrill-a-millisecond, but that’s because it’s too busy artfully scrawling, scratching, writing, and typing it out to care. It’s a fairly basic platformer, but the twist is that all levels are themed after various evolutions of the written word. I suppose you could call it edutainment (there are even quick, optional passages about the origins of each script that appears, if you care to read them), but it’s also a very beautiful, well-constructed experience. You take satisfying, just-floaty-enough leaps between letters, dancing on air between centuries of human knowledge. There’s a free demo if you’d like to try it out, or you can find more details below.
Here are the basics:
“Incarnate 2 dots and travel through the ages of typographic styles and techniques. From the rock paintings of prehistoric times to Pixel art of the 2000’s, solve all the riddles by riding the most popular fonts and characters (Garamond, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Pixel, Comic Sans…) in a very captivating musical and visual environment.”
I enjoyed the demo quite a bit, though it’s largely composed of simple tutorial-level challenges. I really liked the way the game’s many areas (each rooted in a certain type of font – for instance Gothic, cave paintings, etc) shifted and morphed, almost dreamlike, to match whatever era of written word I was exploring. Type:Rider strikes a gorgeous balance between simplicity and detail, both visually and aurally – a rare feat when most games swing to one extreme or the other. Each location was also nicely, tangibly physics-based, with platforms and pillars and cauldrons of lava reacting to my presence in the world. That, then, was the backbone of many puzzles in a way that both felt solid and created a fast-paced sense of flow.
I do hope the full game offers more of a challenge, though. It’s currently available on IndieGameStand for $8.99. The purchase is also redeemable on Steam, which seems to suggest that this most brainy of bouncythings will also make the leap to Valve’s service before too much longer. You can give the demo a try right now, though, and I very much recommend that you do.