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Video Game: Type:Rider

Type:Rider is a platform/"adventure puzzle" game developed by the European TV channel ARTE and French graphic designer Cosmografik (aka Theo Le Du Fuentes) and published by BulkyPix. You play as a sideways colon/diaresis traversing a land of letterforms in a way reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog as you explore the history of typography from prehistoric times to the digital age while learning about some of the better known typefaces such as Bodoni, Garamond, Helvetica and so on.

It's as absurd as it sounds, but it works. The game is available for Android and iOS as well as on Steam.


Tropes present in Type:Rider:

  • Advancing Wall of Doom: In the Comic Sans level, where you're being pursued by a pixelated photograph of a cat with lasers shooting out of its eyes. Ironically, touching the lasers doesn't do anything; you have to touch the cat itself to die.
  • Breaking Out: The Pixel level includes a "puzzle" which is just a game of Breakout.
  • Collection Sidequest: Each level has the letters of the alphabet in the level's font scattered across the level, which can usually be gathered just by going through the level normally. There's also a hidden ampersand in each level which is trickier to get.
  • Cyberspace: The Pixel level.
  • Gimmick Level: The Comic Sans level, which eschews the puzzles of the normal game for a short, bizarre platforming sequence where you're pursued by a giant cat for most of the level.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Pages that explain the history of the typefaces are strewn all across the game. Collecting all of them and beating the game lets you read them at your leisure.
  • Edutainment Game: Very loosely. The content covered by this game goes beyond what a normal Edutainment Game would cover. In addition, Word of God notes that it's the history of type that's important, not how many individual typefaces or type features can be identified.
    Theo Le Du Fuentes: Weíre not trying to teach people to be experts in type in Type:Rider, but I think itís important to know that itís a complex art with a long history.
  • Eternal Engine: Portions of the Times New Roman level.
  • Fonts: This game celebrates the rich history of typography, and it shows.
  • Hub Level: Which also doubles as the title screen and the credits.
  • Interface Screw: During a section of the Futura level, you fall into a trippy "pool" where your controls are briefly reversed (the left arrow makes you go right, and the right arrow makes you go left).
  • Joke Level: Comic Sans MS. It's exactly as ridiculous as you'd expect a level based on Comic Sans to be.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context
  • Minecart Madness: One section of the Clarendon level has you riding a cart across some rails while avoiding a sniper crosshair.
  • Mood Whiplash: Most of the game is highly atmospheric, intricately designed and overall quite lovely to look at. The secret level is none of these things.
  • Puzzle Platformer: With more emphasis on the "puzzle" than the "platformer". Except the secret level, which is pure platforming.
  • Secret Level: Comic Sans MS, accessed by entering an underwater cavern after viewing the end credits.
    • Brutal Bonus Level: Completing this level requires you to move right constantly or die, with a physics system that slows you down or traps you (both of which kill you) if you make a minor misstep, culminating with a jump onto an angled platform that starts moving before you land on it, and unlike every other level in the game there are no checkpoints.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: While neither slippery nor slidey, the Helvetica level is full of snow and ice, alluding to the font's Swiss origins.
  • Stylistic Suck: Appropriately, the secret Comic Sans level. Even the letters of the alphabet are out of order.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Twice in the Pixel level—first you end up having to play a Breakout clone in order to get a key, and then you have to complete somewhat of a "pop quiz" for the last key, where you have to match the fonts from the previous levels.
  • Video Game Settings: Based on when the typeface and/or writing style was first developed.
  • Wackyland: Comic Sans. Epitomized in the section where you jump from a cat wearing a large pair of eyeglasses onto a giant "WTF", which actually says "What the fuck?" when you jump across each letter.
  • Weird European Thing: Not many people think of typography as the subject of a video game.
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