In Typoman, you star as someone made up of letters, who is walking, running and climbing their way through an ominous, eerie world. But not to worry, you have a special ability. You can craft words from letters sporadically littered around your desolate surroundings, and in turn these can manipulate the environment to work for you. It’s a head scratching yet beautiful premise that is like nothing else you’ve played on the Switch.
Visually, Typoman is just stunning. Like Old Man’s Journey earlier this week, it’s a testament to the Switch that games can look this good on a handheld again. The almost monochrome-like world on show here encapsulates everything I adore about games. It’s that mixture of beauty mixed with dark undertones that make games like Limbo, Inside and now Typoman special to me. But Typoman‘s biggest coup is the ability to change your world with words. It ensures that Typoman stands out from the crowd, and leads to the weirdest game of Scrabble you’ve ever played. Forming the words is easy, but figuring out the answer? Not so much. Some conundrums will take seconds to figure out, whilst others you’ll be staring at the screen bewildered. At one point I considered holding an actual light bulb above my head to see if that would help. You’ll always get there, but it’s a credit to the developers that something so apparently simple can provide such a challenge.
That being said, the learning curve is a fair one. The game never reaches rage quitting levels and it doesn’t outstay its welcome. The game consists of a Prologue and 3 Chapters which clock in around the 3 hour mark. It sounds short, but I can honestly say there’s not a single thing I would change about Typoman. Every word problem, every enemy and every path had me more impressed than the section before it. And it’s not all darkness either. If you look hard enough for it, there’s some light lovingly placed, peering through the cracks. At one point, I spelled out RAVE and a stream of disco lights appeared! See how many you can find. And if you want to take the scenic route for full completion, look out for quotation marks hovering around. They combine to complete a journal that you can read in the main menu. These are just a modicum of perks in a game that is simply inundated with brilliant ideas.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Typoman may actually be worth more. Seriously, Typoman may just be one of the best games you play on Switch this year. Spread the word.
Punk rating: 9/10