Typoman Revised from Brainseed Factory
Against a dreary, dystopian backdrop, solitary letters rain from the sky into giant refuse heaps. A solitary letter O rolls from a pile, finding and combining with a letter H. It travels on, adding an E and H, and a HERO is born. The quest is on to discover the true power of words – and why they are being destroyed in this war-like setting.
Typoman Revised is a solid side-scrolling platformer that offers up some ingenious word puzzles to solve. By rearranging letters found near various obstacles, the player must create words that have the ability to surpass each challenge. Some completed words beam out their power in an orb, and by moving the word, the area of effect travels with it. Doors will react to words such as OPEN, and positively charged words such as LOVE and FAITH will create a barrier to keep enemies at bay. Other machines will require multiple words to be crafted in order to make them fully operational.
Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away
The bleak and shadowy backdrops instantly conjure up comparisons to Limbo. The hero, letters and adversaries all appear as silhouettes, and any colors are muted and bleary, as if obscured by the haze of industrial effluent. All creatures are comprised of words like HATE and FEAR, each craftily distorted in such a way that the letters making up the word become parts of their bodies.
The scenes that involve flames or poison make good use of visual splash. Given the dour, flat ugliness that makes up the majority of the game world, this contrast is really spectacular.
Mind Your Peas and Queues
Occasionally, the provided letters aren’t going to provide the building blocks of a suitable word. Enter Mr. LIE. Looking not unlike a despondent miniature version of WALL-E, this tiny twister of truths appears when his name is constructed, and he can consume a word and spit out its contrary. This can also be used on the enemies, which – given their word-based shapes – often comes in handy.
When it can be afforded, take the time to play around with other words. Some puzzles can be solved using a number of different solutions.
The game concludes with a confrontation that pits the HERO against FENRIR, who is being fueled by the power of hatred. Wait for moments that the attacker lets his guard down, and quickly fling four-letter words at him. It’s like Open Mic night at a comedy club without the two drink minimum.
Glitch, Flaw, Bug
A couple of times, I had the game freeze on me, which is not a huge deal, due to the frequency of unseen checkpoints. In one instance, I was sucked into the vortex of a LIE as it was consuming a word, and ended up trapped in the ceiling of the tunnel I was in. Though both of these were quickly rectified be restarting, it was still two notable glitches taking place in a relatively short game.
Holding Out For A HERO
Though the puzzles are really clever, there aren’t a lot of them. The game is on the short side, especially considering the USD $15 price tag. Even taking into account the downtime due to puzzling out solutions, the experience only required an investment of three hours of my time. There isn’t much to warrant tacking the narrative a second time, but there are two additional modes of play for players looking to keep things lively.
While the visuals dazzle, and the inventiveness of the trials is laudable, the short playtime and technical problems hobble what could have been a great puzzle adventure game.
Watch the official trailer for Typoman Revised below: