Wednesday, April 24

Review: Type:Rider [Nintendo Switch eShop]


It’s hard not to have mixed feelings with transplants from the mobile space sometimes. While there are great games that play well on a tablet or phone that also then translate wonderfully to the Switch and justify their presence there are others who don’t. Whether it’s a function of them playing poorly with a physical controller (some not at all) or that there’s just not enough meat on their bones to feel like they belong on a dedicated game system it just doesn’t always work out.


Type:Rider is an oddity, as I’m not entirely sure which foot it intended to lead with. On the one hand it’s a platformer, and while it shows sparks of interest in some sections the majority of “play” feels bland and highly generic. On the other hand it serves as a sort of educational piece, walking you through the history and evolution of fonts through play. It’s where some clever ideas for conveying this come through for some fonts that the game shines, but too often stages are over too quickly and without much of interest happening along the way to inspire.


I’m a bit torn on how to feel about the game as I’ve worked with print and fonts for a fair chunk of my life. The typography nerd in me appreciates the theme and some of the historic tidbits that put these fonts into a sort of context. However, the gamer in me also ended up pretty quickly indifferent with the platforming and if I wasn’t into fonts I don’t think the promise of seeing what the next font is or how it will be represented would be a sufficient hook to keep me going.


I suppose for people looking for a casual platformer who are hoping more to be entertained than challenged this may be a good match. Consider, this is on a console that Mario helped build. The bar for even more generic platformers is pretty high as the system has a ton of them. That’s what hurts a game like Type:Rider quite a bit, with platforming that’s comparatively loose and lacking in excitement. Still, if you have a passing interest in fonts and are more interested in the creativity that the game is able to show with its presentation it may not be a bad match.

Score: 6

Pros:
  • If you’re a closet font nerd this game should appeal to you
  • While the quality of the game’s hook varies from font to font there are some levels that show variety and creativity

Cons:
  • Considering the competition on the system the majority of the platforming in the game is pretty generic at best
  • Mechanically the control isn’t very tight and can be mildly frustrating