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Type:Rider Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Although a bit short and easy, Type:Rider takes players on an exciting journey through the history of typography. It's a fun little 2D platformer with a wide variety of stages and some genuinely fascinating historical information. It has its share of flaws, but I have a hunch Type:Rider will stick with me for a long time to come. Rating: 71%
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  • B
Video games rarely do enough with history and culture. It's not that developers don't try, but it's usually just a wink and a nod to some dubiously researched historical event. Type:Rider goes a little further, offering players a unique 2D platforming experience where the goal is to learn about the fascinating history of typography.

Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound like the most exciting topic to explore in a video game, but Type:Rider does a good job presenting the history in a fun and engaging way. We play a pair of black dots who are on a 500 year journey looking at the impact fonts have had on our society. This plays out as a straight-forward 2D platformer, sort of like LocoRoco by way of a college library.

Each world is based on a different font, so we go from the fanciness of Gothic to the trippy aftermath of Helvetica to the art deco excess of Futura. The stages are actually constructed out of giant letters, each inspired by the art and culture from different times in history. For example, Clarendon plays out over a Wild West-themed background, complete with a mine cart level and a saloon. And then there's Times, which sends us on a journey through 20th century newspapers.

For as compelling as the stages are, Type:Rider doesn't do much with the theme. The goal of every stage is to roll down a linear path and pick up all 26 letters in the alphabet. Each stage will also have six asterisks to snag, each uncovering a short story about the history of the written word. This is largely optional, but a fascinating read that helped me get invested in these different fonts.

Type:Rider (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Although it's short and a little easy, I was pleased with the amount of variety the developers managed to stuff into this $8 platformer. From racing down a snowy mountain to playing a round of Breakout, there are a lot of unique obstacles in every stage. That said, I do wish these stages were a little less straight-forward. As somebody who has played a lot of 2D platformers, there isn't much here I haven't seen before. It would have been nice to see a little more added to the gameplay.

Speaking of which, I'm not a big fan of the way the two dots control. They are always tethered together, which has a bad habit of complicating some of the platforming puzzles. The handling reminded me of Knuckles' Chaotix, the terrible Sonic spin-off where Sega handcuffed cartoon characters together and forced them to run through poorly designed mazes. Type:Rider is a better game than Knuckles' Chaotix, but I still wanted to ditch one of those dots.

Type:Rider (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

My biggest complaint involves the game's short run time. The story offers only eight levels (nine if you count the hidden bonus stage). While that covers a lot of ground, the stages themselves are painfully short. At most it might take you five or ten minutes to complete the four sections of a stage, and several fall far short of that. Even if you go back to collect absolutely everything, Type:Rider won't take more than a single sitting to complete.

While I was disappointed by the length, I would be lying if I said I wasn't satisfied by the way wraps up. The final stages are appropriately epic, often in ways I wasn't expecting. It's also worth mentioning that the extra bonus stage is pretty great. And even with the flaws, I have a hunch Type:Rider will stick with me for years to come. I doubt I'll ever look at basic fonts the same way again.
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