Saturday, August 13, 2011

Type Harder, Not Smarter

Type Hard is a free indie game that's actually pretty interesting, considering its only gameplay mechanic is typing. Words appear on screen and you type them. You earn points for not making mistakes, and for typing more words per minute. That's it. It's an extremely simple concept that shouldn't really be that interesting, but by golly does it get the adrenaline pumping. So here's my brief review of Type Hard. Continue reading to find out why you should play it. 

The premise is that you're working security for "Assembly," which I guess is some kind of indie games convention. The words appear at different stations and you have to type them out in order to calm whatever security problems are happening. It's not really explained and it's not necessary anyway, you're just here to type. 

Basic gameplay involves typing consecutive words without making mistakes. When you mess up, a meter in the bottom right corner slowly fills up. If you take too long to type the words out, and the screen gets cluttered with words, the meter fills up. Once it reaches maximum, that's game over. Typing words in successfully lowers the meter. The rate at which words are presented also accelerates as you go on. After surviving three rounds of typing, you fight a "boss" that tosses words and random combinations of letters at you, while you block them and attack back with more words. 

There are three difficulties to choose from: Easy, Normal, and Hard. They all function the same, except that higher difficulties have more stations to keep track of, longer and more obscure words, and words appearing faster, which all results in the meter filling up a lot faster. An "Endless" mode also exists, where you just type and type until you inevitably fail, kind of like a survival mode.

Satan spawning before the computer stations.

It may sound kind of boring, but the gameplay is actually pretty tense. Fast, thumping techno music plays very prominently, and a bunch of blaring sirens flash all over the screen as words appear. As you make mistakes, the crowd will start to murmur and cause a ruckus, very similar to Guitar Hero, which makes an already tense situation even more so. Once that bar gets high, you have to type faster to get it down which also means you're more likely to make mistakes. Very nerve-wracking. 

Combined with everything else, it makes the game extremely engaging. After playing for about 15 minutes, I could feel my heart beating faster and my hands sort of trembling from the sheer adrenaline this game was able to conjure in me. Not a lot of games can actually do that, and it's even more impressive that such a simple game is able to. 

But with that said, the game can be unnecessarily frustrating. Some of the words are spelled with their British-English versions (e.g. aluminium, colour, speciality, realise, complexion), and this trips me (an American) up a lot because when I read the word, my brain doesn't acknowledge that particular spelling at first. The font doesn't help, either, because when things get frantic a lot of letters start to look alike (FPR, HXMNW, TI, VUY, QOCDG). It becomes especially difficult to read when the bosses throw out random letter combinations like HVQF that bounce around the screen.

Eitherway, I played enough to get onto every leaderboard worth being on. And apparently, I'm the top-ranked player from the United States (of the 257 players at the time of this posting). I'm sure someone will knock me out of that position sooner or later, but it's been fun while it's lasted. Think you can beat me at it? Get Type Hard here.

My position in the leaderboards. Click to enlarge.

1 comment:

  1. You've got the longest combo! Far out :). Gotta play some more Type Hard at some point to try to beat you at it ;).