Can This Be My H-E-R-O, Baby?
When Limbo came out in 2010, it was a defining moment in the generation for me. It was so different compared to not only Triple-A games of the time, but even other indie games. The re-realization of its impact and greatness floods back to me every time a similar feeling game comes out. Typoman: Revised is one such game that really appears to take inspiration from Limbo, a game that couldn’t be harder to follow up.
Typoman, who is made of letters – the letters that form the word hero, to be exact – is a solitary character who must traverse a bleak and desolate setting, filled with environmental hazards and ravenous monsters. The biggest and ‘baddest’ of these monsters is also in possession of Typoman’s final missing piece, his second arm.
Platforms: XB1, PS4, Wii U, PC
Price I’d Pay: $12.99
The coolest and most unique thing about the game is its use of letters. In addition to letters cleverly being a part of the environment, every puzzle involves letter/word management. If a turret is shooting at you, not letting you progress, form the word Shield out of the available letters. If a platform needs to move up – form the word ‘raise’.
Organizing words would be frustrating if the interface wasn’t as good as it is. Letters can be physically pushed, dragged and thrown, but a group of letters can also be quickly rearranged in a well-designed pop-up box. All other movement based controls feel great as well, and when you do mess up, you return almost right back to where it is you failed.
Much of the story is revealed through action, rather than dialogue, but the game clearly is going for a good vs. evil motif. This theme is nothing unique, especially is the world of video games, but Typoman’s scattered use of its theme makes it feel like a fundamental part of the game.
It was a continuous joy to see how the developers not only incorporated letters and words into the environment, but how they also managed to create a lot of puzzles that incorporated its ‘good vs evil’ theme. There were just so many times that I thought to myself, “ha, that’s clever”.
The game is short, but ends just in time to not overstay its welcome. Towards the end, the puzzles slowed down on adding new flavors and thus felt more and more routine. The final boss, also, was a low point of the game for me, which is unfortunate. It was also disappointing to come up with a logical solution to a puzzle, but it not be one that the developers had taken into account.
Typoman: Revised creates a unique and clever experience that ends just in time to salvage a positive experience. The game may not be perfect, like Limbo, but it still looks and plays great, has a message that resonates, and is a genuine surprise in its own right.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.