Review – “Type:Rider” for the Nintendo Switch

Type:Rider is a platforming/puzzle game in which you control a colon (2 dots) through various font themed worlds, collecting letters A-Z and solving puzzles.  The theme of this game is unique and intriguing. Each “world” corresponds to a significant historical moment in typography. Unlocks consist of informational tidbits about inventions, people, or artistic movements that shaped that specific moment in typography.  It was neat to be introduced to the chronological progression of typography in this game, but it’s hard to feel like these moments could have served a better purpose had they been more integral to the gameplay. If you want to learn about this history, this game could be more fun than exploring wikipedia entries.

I didn’t find many of the game’s puzzles challenging or “ah ha” inducing.  The levels feel quite linear except for a few “out of place” letters and ampersands.

Type:Rider’s biggest problems are the physics engine and lack of polish, which go hand-in-hand.  There were plenty of frustrating moments where the momentum of my two dots would be abruptly stopped due to jagged level design or I would get stuck on the edge of a letter and jumping or moving could not rescue me.  I felt that the unique physical traits of the main character could have led to some fun moments of jumping and flipping at high speeds. Instead, moments resembling this felt tampered down and muted or even completely hindered.  The challenge in this game came not from the puzzle solving or level exploration, but from struggling with the awkward physics of your character, the platforms, and the objects within the levels. Luckily, dying is very forgiving since there is no lives count and you respawn just a few seconds behind where you died.  A number of my deaths were from attempting to land on a segment of the level that, given what previously constituted a safe landing space, happened to be just background art. Moments like these break the flow of the game and add an unnecessary caution to any exploration.

There was one notable instance where I saw an ampersand icon (rare collectible) underneath the bottom platform, so I descended down a pit to the left to access the hallway leading to it.  Upon going back out the way I came in, there was what looked like another section even lower and further to the left to explore. I began descending that way only to sink to my death quickly. I’m confused as to why the pit was designed in a way to indicate that there could be something to explore when there was only certain death.

All this to say, the game feels unpolished.  At the very least, the physics and level design need an upgrade especially considering this game was released almost 6 years ago for PC and mobile.  The only redeeming aspect of this game is the theme. If you’re looking for a fun way to learn about the history of typography, pick this game up.

  • Graphics
    • Nothing special but it works.
  • Controls
    • Frustrating.  Interacting with objects in the world just doesn’t work as well as it could.
  • Gameplay
    • Unpolished.
  • Sound
    • Some worlds just consist of very simple ambiance while others have more nuance.  All the sounds relate to that time in history which is necessary.
  • Story
    • The game progresses through the history of typography.  This was the most redeeming part of the game.
  • Replayability
    • Each level tracks your “best time” which could lead to some replaying, but I find it hard to think that anyone would want to go back through with so many frustrating moments.

In short:

Unpolished and frustrating with an interesting theme.  Can only recommend to gamers who are interested in learning about the history of typography.