Type:Rider is a puzzle platform game as well as an interactive learning experience created by Cosmografik. Taking some visual cues from games like LIMBO, it casts you in the role of two twin orbs traveling through a shadowy world. With Type:Rider, though, those aren't just random shapes you're rolling over and collecting. They're typefaces, each taken from some of the most recognizable fonts throughout history. As you head through each level, you'll relive that journey one unlockable manuscript at a time. And you might actually learn something cool along the way!
Type:Rider's controls are pretty simple for a mobile game. You have three options: tilt, virtual buttons, and the more intuitive default option. With default, tap the left side of the screen to move left, the right side to move right, and both sides simultaneously to jump. You'll use these basic abilities to traverse long and varied landscapes, most of which are basic black shapes hovering in front of gorgeous pieces of contextual artwork. Grab letters, move blocks around, and bring the glowing orb to the goal so you can take off for some more font fact finding.
Type:Rider's main gimmick, the inclusion of typeface history, is strangely divorced from the game itself. You collect letters and look at fonts while you play, but the real learning aspect takes place via paragraphs of text you unlock and read, stopping the gameplay entirely while you squint at the words. That lack of integration prevents Type:Rider from becoming a truly innovative experience, but the game itself is still surprisingly atmospheric and entertaining. There's no denying it's a gorgeous game, and it'll definitely bring some awareness to the worlds of typography and the history of written communication.
Type:Rider is available as a mobile game for iOS and Android, as well as a social experience via Facebook, a browser release, and a physical art installation. See the official website for more information on the latter.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the Nexus 4. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.