Typoman Review: Fleeting Wordplay

Typoman is a beautiful game. Like a lover, it lures you in with its seductive charm and intriguing features. You’ll find yourself enamored with the promise of engagement, finding it hard to pull away. Sadly, the passion fades quickly, and you’ll find the promises to be hollow, leaving you with nothing but a cheap one night stand.

The striking aesthetic really does sell this game.

Typoman is a story-driven puzzle platformer, drawing inspiration from Limbo and Braid. You play as the Hero, who is literally the word “HERO” spelled out in letters. You are dropped into a world made up almost entirely of letters, and it is your job to make your way through this world forming them into words. For example, Hero can find the letters “ARSIE” scattered across an area and sort them into the word “RAISE”. Doing so will create a bubble around the word, causing any platforms around it to elevate upward if able. The opening presentation and ways in which the game teaches you these mechanics are top tier, truly one of the best tutorials I’ve seen in a long time.

When I first came across this mechanic, my mind raced at the possibilities of what could possibly come next. I immediately thought of Scribblenauts, and how many crazy ways I may be able to solve really creative puzzles! Sadly, for the most part, this never comes to fruition. By the game’s design you are never really given the freedom to go crazy with this mechanic, as you are limited to whatever letters they give you for every specific puzzle. Usually the letters given are enough to spell only the words they are looking for. Sometimes you can make other words, but they will either be ignored by the game, or will give you a one-off joke that doesn’t help you proceed.

Typoman is a very linear game, baring small secret nooks for “quote” collectibles. You are going to find nearly all of your time spent walking to the right, while jumping occasionally and maybe climbing a ladder or swinging on a vine. This is not really a bad thing though, as through its linearity, the game does tell a story, utilizing its beautiful environments, as well as some clever, dialogless cutscenes. The story the game tells is pretty standard, but the way in which it’s presented is what keeps you going. Sadly, I found that the story completely falls apart in the 3rd act, taking everything it worked towards and turning it on its head. What felt as though it should have been a story of overcoming major adversity instead devolved into an annoying and poorly designed boss battle at the end.

The solution is obvious, but getting to it is the trick.

Puzzles in the game are limited to cordoned off sections of the map. The Hero is almost always trapped with a few letters scattered around. They need to find the letters, bring them together and spell out a specific word to move on. There are some exceptions to this formula, and when those exceptions come up you get a glimmer of hope again that the game may be moving in a new, fun direction. Sadly, those glimmers don’t last long, as at its core the game will always be about finding one specific word to moving on to the next one.

Outside of the puzzles, the game occasionally throws challenging platforming sections at you. Some of these are “chases” in which you need to avoid falling too far behind or be forced to do it all again. I found these chases in particular to really drag the game down, as before these points the game is a slow, methodical puzzler. Sure, you have infinite lives, but the chases are meant to blend into the story, forcing a sense of urgency on the player. If the player is having trouble with these sections, then they find themselves replaying them over and over, completely destroying that initial sense of urgency.

Things aren’t always as safe as they look…

Typoman seems like a game with an identity crisis. It’s not quite a platformer, but it’s not quite a puzzler. It’s not quite a narrative game, but it’s not quite an action game. It’s not quite a bad game, but it’s not quite a good game. It has it’s moments, and at times those moments can really shine through, but they are gone in a flash leaving you mourning what could have been. The game can be completed in about 2-3 hours, with a couple of minigames available after the fact. For $12.99 on Steam, the price is right, even if the adventure leaves something to be desired. In retrospect, I think Typoman would have made a great movie. Instead, we have a game that wears out its welcome, if only slightly.

Read More

GM48-17 SUPER STREAM!!!

Show Begins In...

days
0
-63
-4
hours
0
-8
minutes
-1
-7
seconds
-5
-5

Tweet: Join @Highsight as he checks out a ton of games from the #gm48 game jam!  Tonight at 8PM ET! #gamedev http://highsight.tv/gm48-17/

Here we go again folks! We’ve got a ton of very awesome looking games submitted to us from this GM48 game jam! I’m really amazed by the amount of effort put into the games submitted to this game jam, and I’m stoked to see both returning developers and newcomers alike stepping up their game (no pun intended).

The show will begin at 8PM ET on my Twitch channel, so come on out and show your support!

Tonight’s gamelist!

  1. Day of the Zs | By: ckau
  2. Esc-Ape | By: Problematicar
  3. Space Oddity | By: MestreRothRI
  4. space blocks | By: Jeroen
  5. Prison Flight | By: Chinafreak
  6. Wandered Soul | By: enigma9q
  7. Citadel | By: Baku
  8. Path of Dismay | By: IsmoLaitela
  9. The Big Top | By: jujuadams
  10. Weekend | By: Brimstoner and InjuredBovine
  11. Where Am I? | By: Telefrag Entertainment
  12. IDOL | By: Rinth3
  13. Catch That Kid! | By: Vinnie_V, BaconBoy123, & Buttons
  14. Popup | By: GammaGames
  15. ripesc | By: Blokatt
  16. Science Mishap | By: Fwiller
  17. Dino Escape | By: madsbangh
  18. Cloud Climber | By: 6Leinad6
  19. Musician’s Mind | By: Bee Tracks
  20. Colour Tower | By: Josh Yaxley
  21. Glowsword | By: chaomoon

Read More

Indie Insights: Episode 49

Show Begins In...

days
0
-64
-2
hours
0
-7
minutes
-1
-7
seconds
-5
-5

Indie Insights #49

A Quest of Life


Our first game of the night is A Quest of Life! This game is currently made using RPG Maker, however, the developer is planning on porting it over to Unity under the new name “Fidem”. With that in mind, we will be disregarding the current state of the graphics and gameplay but instead be focusing on the story the game is attempting to tell. This game has an ambitious feature list including sidequests and non-linear exploration, which is something not frequently found in RPG Maker. We’ll be discussing the difficulties of porting a game from RPG Maker to Unity, so I’ll be calling on Unity viewers to help out with any knowledge they may have on the subject!

Dungeons and Damsels


Our next game will be a special one. This game is being created by Dave, also known as 2DGamedev on Twitch. He’s been working on this game with his community for quite a while now, and while it still has a long way to go I’m happy to help him and his community along with it! Currently the game is more or less in a prototype stage and has gone through a number of iterations. Right now it is a roguelite platformer with procedual generated levels and items. I have enjoyed watching this game progress over time and am excited to see where it is right now. Let’s all give our input into the current state of the game.

Skyling: Garden Defense


Finally we’ll be checking out Skyling: Garden Defense, a huge mashup of classic popular games such as Pacman, Q*Bert and Crystal Castles. It can be tricky to find a good balance between old vs new, and while the mechanics are still very similar to the listed games, they’re made more interesting through visual effects and hopefully sound. We’ll be drawing comparisons to what made those games great and whether or not this one holds up to their legacy. After all, if games aren’t evolving, then what’s the point in playing them compared to the originals?

Where/When?


The stream will take place on all the following channels at 8PM EST.
Twitch (Primary Chat Takes Place Here)
YouTube
Hitbox

Read More

Indie Insights: Episode 45

Show Begins In...

days
0
-68
-4
hours
0
-7
minutes
-1
-7
seconds
-5
-5

Indie Insights #45

Oh My Godheads!



Would you just LOOK at that trailer!? This game already explodes with a special level of professionalism and charm that few games even attempt. We’ll be checking out Oh My Godheads first tonight, a game that I had the pleasure of discovering through /r/gamedev. This is a local multiplayer 2-4 player game with a new twist on single flag CTF, the flag hates you. You have to fight not only your opponents, but also your own godhead to reach your team’s base without dying along the way. Since this is local multiplayer, I will only be able to play against the bots for now, but much more is in the works for this game, and I’m sure online multiplayer is top of that list.

The Underground


This one’s a bit of new territory for the show. The Underground appears to be a sort of 2D Fantasy Second Life game. The game is free with the option to have a premium pay-for account, and touts the ability for you to be anyone and do anything in this great 2D land. From the looks of the trailer, you can even go as far as killing off NPCs and other players at any time. We’ll be taking a close look at the mechanics and potential consequences of having such a large open world system.

Skyhook


For our last glimpse into game design of the night, we’ll be checking out Skyhook. This 2D brawler heavily features the use of a hookshot style weapon to both move around and thwack your opponents into submission. In addition there are a few powerups and vehicles to play with along the way. The aesthetic is very charming and everything from the setting to music appears to have a vague pirate theme. The concept looks simple, but has the potential for tons of depth in its mobility. We’ll be taking an extra hard look at how well the game feels in action, and if the controls could use some tightening or changing to stay competitive in the niche 2D platformer fighter genre!

Where/When?


The stream will take place on all the following channels at 8PM EST.
Twitch (Primary Chat Takes Place Here)
YouTube
Hitbox

Read More

Steredenn Review – Heavy Metal Shoot ’em Up!


DISCLAIMER: This Review Was Made Using a Key Given To Me By The Developer
Buy Steredenn ► http://store.steampowered.com/app/347160/


Background Music In This Review:
0:00 – “Steredenn” by: Zander Noriega
2:50 – “Enjoy The Silence” by: Zander Noriega


Discussed in this Review:
– Description
– Style
– Premise
– Mechanics
– Bosses
– Passives
– Formula
– Death
– Scoring
– Completion
– PRAISE BE TO RNGESUS!!!
– Randomness
– Lack of Ships
– Daily Run Mode
– Arena Mode
– HEAVY METAL BABY!
– Pros and Cons

Read More