Typoman Review – Gloomy, Smart Platforming Puzzle Adventure

Typoman, by Brainseed Factory, is a horror-ish puzzle platformer originally on Steam and recently released for the Switch. It’s won a ton of indie awards and a lot of praise from critics. I picked it up  because I like anything with a challenge.

Getting the hang of the game took longer than I’d like to admit. There’s a small tutorial in the beginning, but the most of it is left up to you and your ability to figure out words. I thought I could figure out words…I’m not as good as I thought I was.

The main thing to remember while playing Typoman is not what you want to do, but the word that describes what you want to do. The puzzles tend to come off as a healthy mix between word scramble then just actual scrambling. Those timed challenges are no joke.

Story

There’s clearly some sort of theme revolving around the fight between good and evil. The little Typoman obviously being good. What I wasn’t able to figure out is how the bird people were involved in the brainseed factorywhole thing. I’m not sure if they recruited him or created him, but there is at least one bird person and he dies. Spoiler alert.

There’s a big bad boss and some little demon things. They’re obsessed with your other arm – something that you never get to actually play the game with because the monsters ate it? I don’t know if there’s a connection or a symbolism that I’m missing, but there’s something about your other arm that the bad guys want. It’s a recurring instance in the entire game and it drove me crazy not understanding it.

While the overall feeling of haste and problem solving was natural, I never sensed the emotional and heroic story that was promised. The lines between good and evil were present, but the reason behind what is currently happening and what caused it to happen left me feeling unsatisfied at the end.

Gameplay

Typoman plays as your normal platformer with puzzle aspects. The platformer part doesn’t offer much of a challenge, but the puzzles make up for that. There are some timed challenges that make me wish the controls were more responsive, but you just have to learn the weakness of the controls.

Don’t expect a long game. Typoman took me only a few hours to complete.

These puzzles were hard. You can find all the Typoman solutions and walkthroughs here in both video and text format.

If I were to judge Typoman solely on puzzles, it would be at the top of the top. Brainseed Factory has managed to take two older and well established genres – platform and word games – and create the combination that is Typoman. Even moments where I was looking the solution in the face still felt like victories when I finally figured it out.

The timed puzzles are very tight. There’s barely a second for error. With that being said, the respawn points are convenient and make a lot of sense. If they were any different, it would have been annoying because I died a lot just from trial and error.

Visuals

Visually, Typoman is well put together and beautiful. You’re navigating a world of desolation and despair and you can really feel it in the background and audio.

brainseed factory

While I never got to the point where I felt nervous because I’m scared of scary games, there are a few almost jumpscare moments that keep things interesting. I can still hear the menacing scream of a Doom demon as it chased after me.

I really liked how they incorporated words into the background to stay with the theme. Even the ladders are tiny H’s that are on top of each other. There are also a few instances where a word would mean something related to the theme but also could be broken apart to create a word you needed to advance. These were really ingenious little details that impressed the heck out of me.

Conclusion

You’re not looking at a long game with Typoman. I think I finished it in about 3 hours and 75% of that was just figuring out the puzzles. At $12.99 on Steam, I would say it’s a little overpriced, but not a lot of games make me scratch my head in confusion as Typoman did, so I guess it depends on what you think is worth paying for.

Overall, Typoman is a well crafted and intricately thought out game. It’s not necessarily one of my favorites, but anyone who enjoys this genre would appreciate what Typoman is offering.

Typoman on Steam

Typoman on Switch

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