When I first heard about Typoman: Revised, I was pumped. I'm an avid reader, and proud owner of one almost worthless English degree; suffice to say, I like words and I like the English language. Typoman: Revised is a puzzle platformer, where you assume the role of the "H-E-R-O", the letters your character is literally made of. You enter a world where, very clearly, something terrible has happened. Towards the beginning of the game, you pass a bombed-out countryside, with uneven, broken letters spelling out WAR. From here, you must make your way through this desolate land, using your unique wordsmithing gifts to alter the landscape and stay alive.
The Story & Flow
When the game begins, you are just a sad little "O", who has been dumped in the trash. Eventually, you'll find the letters that make up your physical character: H-E-R-O. It's subtle, and you can miss your physical letter make-up easily, since the letters are integrated so well into the character design. This is the first time I realized the game was going to be something different. If you don't like letters, words and puzzles, Typoman: Revised might not be for you, as the title is near-polarizing- many other games can have a few aspects you don't like, but you can still find other things to enjoy. Typoman: Revised has two aspects at its core; word puzzles and platforming. If these things turn you off, that's a shame, because there is a creativity, ambiance and atmosphere here that held me in its thrall for the game's duration. Is the game perfect? No. Is it haunting, mentally challenging, eerie and fun? Yup.
You make your way through the wasted expanse, swinging from ropes, dodging monsters made out of letters and un-jumbling and creating words. The platforming feels tight, and the controls are responsive, making the platforming a joy. There are a good amount of checkpoints, and usually you'll need them; there is a trial and error aspect to this game, especially if you are tired or distracted. During one session, I kept getting lost, making stupid mistakes, etc., until I realized that my mind was elsewhere. You can't play this game on autopilot.
Some of the game's puzzles can seem obvious, but usually only in hindsight. The game wants to engage you, and make you think around corners. If a door is closed, spelling "open" isn't always going to be the right move. Sometimes the answer is somewhat-obvious, like getting rid of a body of water by spelling "drain", but just as often, Typoman: Revised wants you to think deeper. Some puzzles can seem frustrating until you figure them out (often slapping your forehead as soon as you get the answer), while others just take a little trial and error. The game starts simply, with puzzles often comprised of 4-6 letters, but by the end, you'll be solving puzzles with ten or so letters, which can get challenging. The game does a great job of training you to think the way it wants you to, and by the end, while there were still some tough puzzles, I was already "thinking correctly", making everything easier to solve.
The Graphics & Sound
I loved the graphics and feel of this title. The design is thoughtful and strangely beautiful, in a haunted house sort of way. Little touches, like ladders made up of a series of vertical "H's" is just one of the many, many nuances that help make this game shine and feel like something special.
The sound is also great, again, relying on little touches. The soundtrack is fitting and blends perfectly with your actions, and little things like hitting switches and leaping from a precipice have pleasant sound effects that you'll want to hear again and again.