Have you ever stumbled across an apparent gem of a game, thoroughly enjoyed it, became determined to see it through to the end, only to have it ruined by a final boss that’s beyond insane? Welcome to Typoman.
I’ve got this on the Nintendo Switch, it was only a few quid and it provided me with something new and different to play one day. It is a beautiful game, very atmospheric, with intriguing and clever mechanics that offer up a challenge, without being so ridiculously hard as to put you off. The titular Typoman is capable of finding and using various letters to switch machines on and off and even (in some very clever moments) convert words into previously unavailable letters, using lies. Sounds weird right? Well, that’s because it is.
There’s some humour here too, despite the bleak landscape. Form the word ‘RIP’ and you’ll be killed by a falling gravestone. Form ‘RAVE’ and you’re treated to a dancing Typoman. Certain words can be used to form protective barriers against lurking enemies (LOVE, LIFE, KIND, etc). Spell out other words and you might end up creating enemies by mistake!
As you play through the game you’ll stumble across commas, which unlock new parts of the story for you. It gives you backstory in a unique way, rather than simply dumping a load of information on your lap.
For the vast majority of this game, you’ll encounter puzzles that tax you and force you to think, perhaps requiring several attempts, but you’ll feel like there’s always a good chance you’ll solve it through perseverance. That feeling will evaporate with the finale.
I can’t describe this in a way that can do it justice. Death traps await your little hero every step of the way, be it under the platform or above it. You are given a finite amount of time to think of and spell words that will hurt the final boss (not shown above, but it’s a giant manifestation of bad words). Then the whole cycle repeats itself. I was aghast at how the makers of this game could craft something so wonderful and fun, only to destroy it at the end. It is a staggering disconnect, as though someone new stepped in at the very end and said ‘let’s torture the player’. I want to rate Typoman highly, but for the abomination of the ending, I can’t. 5/10.