Video Game Type:Rider (PC) (2013)

Type:Rider (PC) (2013)


Relevant Links:
Type:Rider (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Type:Rider (Steam Store Page)

Overview: [20151202 Edit]
Type:Rider is a platformer which reminded me of NightSky (2011) - but instead of controlling a ball, the player controls a colon. Along the way, the game also details the history surrounding writing and typography.

Level Format:
The game begins with a simple tutorial and brief overview of ancient writing (contained in pages which the player may collect).

Part of the tutorial.
Afterwards, each level (composed of four chapters) is presented as a book and represents a font. Like the tutorial, the player may collect six pages of history pertaining to the font and/or closely related history.

In addition to the pages, the player may also collect the letters A through Z (written in the corresponding level's font) or look for a hidden ampersand.

20141110: [20151202 Edit]
Today I played the tutorial and the subsequent two levels. Not only did I enjoy the simple platforming experience, but I also enjoyed learning about the history - possibly because I once picked up a little bit of calligraphy.

Unlock and read about the history!
Note that reading the history is optional, and the player can choose to go through the game without reading any history at all (but that would be a shame).

Comparison:
As I mentioned above, I found the game similar to NightSky. In particular, both games feature a black foreground.

However, the background art of Type:Rider was more intricate and complex than that of NightSky. This appropriately shifted the atmosphere of the game from a feeling of relaxation (NightSky) to one of complication and discovery (Type:Rider).

Steam: 0.8 hours (total game time)

Gothic - Don't get squished by the letterpress!
20151203:
Today I decided to finish the game (100% completion). This began with finishing the main story.
Steam Achievement: End. Steam 1.9 hours (2.7 hours total game time)

I began playing the secret level which was hard compared to the rest of the game.
Steam Achievements: Letters; Legendary; LOL. Steam 2.2 hours (3.0 hours total game time)

Next I began looking for the hidden ampersands. I read about the location for a hidden ampersand in the level Times. Upon collecting it, I discovered that a level with no more secrets will be marked with an 'Aa'.

Gothic - One of the trickier jumps.
Though by now, the only levels without the 'Aa' mark were Didot and Futura.
Steam Achievement: Ampersands. Steam 2.8 hours (3.6 hours total game time)

Then I went for the Desperado achievement: "Finish the Clarendon level without dying." Fortunately I only had to replay the level three times. Part of my success was due to the following:
The gunman shows up when I jump on the 'O' and he/she normally continued until I get about halfway into the saloon. However, once during the second run and during the third run, I jumped off from the 'O' to the platform on the far right and the gunman ceased to follow me.
Clarendon
Finally there was the "Share knowledge" achievement which I learned must be done from the end of a level (so I quickly played the last chapter of Gothic). Fortunately, the achievement is triggered simply by clicking one of the social media buttons (at the end of a level). In other words, nothing actually has to be posted.

Steam Achievements: Desperado; Share knowledge.
Steam: 3.3 hours (4.1 hours total game time)

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Cool background art.

Times
+ Great soundtrack. Wide variety of music to accompany a wide variety of history.
+ Educational (optional)
+ Solid level design

Neutral:
~ Relatively casual game:
a) plentiful number of checkpoints
b) collection of objects (letters/asterisks) are saved, even if the player dies

Cons:
- Unintuitive pause menu*

Helvetica
- The character is not the easiest to control and its odd physics can feel random without taking the time to master; can feel frustrating or buggy

Unknown:
? Some elements in the game appear to have random timings.

*Exit a level by navigating to the far left of the pause menu

Recommendation:
The level design is nicely laid out and reflects the developer's attention to detail. Unfortunately, the game's character physics occasionally hampered the experience making Type:Rider a solid, but not excellent platformer.

Comic Sans MS

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