The gaming landscape after Limbo has been very interesting because many copycats and homages have paid tribute to the game’s distinct style. It was apparently so moody and so easy to copy or emulate that more just as cool—or just as ripped off—games were bound to emerge. You had Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet going for the same lights and darks and Outland applying the logic to a “fighter” style. Ori and the Blind Forest seemed to perfect the concept while Badland made it go mainstream by creating for iPhone.
So why make a game in the style of Limbo after all these years? You have to have a good reason. That’s why Typoman is interesting. It’s a game in this old-new style that has you run around as a man made of words spelling things to solve problems. It’s puzzle action at it’s potential finest—but it’s aesthetically worst. Why? Because it’s just so fucking serious. You know that cliché that writers are brooding and wordy people, that they are a little too ridiculously involved with language to be present? That’s what this game seems to be running away with.
“You slip into the role of the HERO struggling to make your way through a dark, surreal world,” the game describes itself. “Despite your small stature you have a powerful gift: You can craft words to alter your environment. Dive into a dark tale of heroes and monsters, where words can either be a blessing …or a curse!” Oy. This sounds like some kid obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe had a field day making this and then resumed writing dark poems in the mall cafeteria next to the Hot Topic. Just look at the trailer below! It’s spliced with quotes and moods that make me cringe that “writer” is in my byline. It’s too self-serious.
…but it kind of looks cool! I don’t entirely hate it’s severe reverence to words nor do I hate the concept of an action word scramble done in Limbo style. Yet, it feels so embarrassing because it’s so full of itself. But maybe it’s a good game: I don’t know. Maybe it’s good terrible or terrible good: I’ll have to try it out.