This marks the first time I look at a video game on this blog! Such a momentous occasion can only be marked with such a classic title. One whose name is recognized wide and far. Alright I can’t take myself seriously when I talk like that. I hope to start up my video game playing again this summer, or at the very least attempting to play games more regularly. Ever since I talked about my favourite Kirby bosses back at the inception of this blog, I have always desired to do more video game posts. Either to recognize some classics, hidden gems, or just anything I think should be talked about in one form or another. So why not start it off with an indie title I just recently finished known only as Type:Rider.
Created by Ex Nihilo, Type:Rider is a platformer centered around travelling through the history of fonts and characters. Starting from the Origins of the written word all the way to the digital age, it will take the player on an interactive history lesson through thematic levels to their respective periods. You travel through each stage as two connected balls, or a colon, as you avoid the increasingly difficult obstacles to complete the books of each era of font and watch the credits in the end. That is the gist of the game in a nutshell. There isn’t really a story to be told, but history to be imparted upon the player if they so desire. I have to say, even though it isn’t the most extensive read it can be quite interesting to discover the history of the fonts we use today. Games like these are a special passion of mine because rather than a grand scope of an epic fantasy game like Final Fantasy or the narrative stylings of an interactive point and click adventure, they merely want to impart information on something they are passionate about.
There is detail and effort put into the layout of this game. Each level has a specific theme that is just absolutely great to look at for their individuality in expressing the certain type of font. Whether it be Gothic or Pixel, each stage has this charm to it that allows them to stand out unlike a lot of other platformers whose inability to stand out from the crowd can make them too bland a playthrough. The minimalist style of going across letters of the specific font you are travelling through, learning about its history, is effective. It allows the pop of colour or the uniqueness of some transitions to just happen seamlessly into the gameplay. They create a great blend of knowledge and visual storytelling through the game that is endearing to say the least.
Now what about the gameplay? As creative as the game could be, it lacked consistency with its control scheme and difficulty. Controlling those two balls at times while going through unique obstacles specific to their stages can be a challenge. This is a momentum based game from time to time, knowing when to leap, when to backtrack, when to swing the balls around for extra reach. The problem comes in the sense of response time for the most part. It can take a while to get the balls spinning fast enough to avoid dangerous obstacles especially in the later levels like Pixel and Comic Sans. You may be reacting, but the balls themselves could have a mind of their own. Whether that be the wall jump mechanic which is hard to control where you want to go at times especially in scenarios that force you to react quickly without any mess ups. Speedrunning this game can be quite the pain in some respects due to the amount of times where the controls or some mechanics will freak out. I have had the white ball, I need to complete a stage, disappear through a surface after a long time of getting it through an obstacle. These little hiccups can cause this fun little game to become an aggravated test of your patience especially if you are going for 100% completion.
Some mechanics leave too much up to fate in some stages where the reaction time of the balls and the contraption you need to work through can easily work against you. Especially in the bonus level of Comic Sans where in order to grab all the collectibles you need to be near perfect in order to avoid death, and there is no check points. This is a game that at times feels unforgiving because the response time, physics or wonky controls can make unexpected reactions happen. This can force you to play a stage to ad nauseum, much like the Clarendon level for a trophy/achievement where you have to survive the entire thing without dying once. I liked the stage and its gimmicks prior to that trophy, and only after falling short so many times did I realize how finicky the controls can be in the most inopportune moments.
That doesn’t mean that the levels themselves are anything game breaking, besides the steep difficulty curve in Pixel for some sections. Each have specific obstacles and puzzles built around their era making it a creative platformer that I look forward to seeing what this company does in the future. If it wasn’t for the unresponsive controls in moments, this game would have been a delight to play. Instead it becomes a game that will test your patience if you dedicate your time towards it. The repetition of playing some stages will drain you especially if you go for 100% completion. Comic Sans will make sure of that with its precise level layout actively trying to troll you in moments.
If you decide to take Type:Rider out for a spin I wouldn’t blame you. It is a fun game that playing casually may at times test you, but never push you to the point of getting upset. It can be tough and challenging, but only until you try to complete the game or speedrun it will you see how unforgiving it can be in moments and the faults of the game will show themselves more and more. I would recommend just leisurely playing through this game as a unique experience if anything. It is fun, insightful, creative, but still has a hard edge to its difficulty for a single playthrough. It has the building blocks for something fun and unique yet because of its technical inconsistencies and at times terrible reaction times it holds it back from getting a high score from me.
Well that was the first time I looked at a game on this blog (as I repeat like a broken record). I’m hoping to do more of these of more games from both my childhood or just from me lounging about and playing games with friends or family. I’m thinking though that I should start limiting myself to a set amount of things that I should be doing, so until I know what type of series I want to continue or let fall to the wayside it might be a while before I do another one.
So what is your feeling towards indie platformers? What is some of your favourites? Please feel free to leave a comment down below and don’t forget to have a stellar day!