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Holiday time-waster: Type:Rider the typographic platform game

It may be, at its core, a basic platformer, but Type:Rider is so unique in concept, so stylish in execution that it belies banality.

Steeped in fonts and letterforms, this charming exploration of the history of typography is a genuine pleasure. It may be, at its core, a basic platformer, but Type:Rider is wonderfully unique in concept, and so stylish in execution.

You control two dots – period marks or a colon, depending on how you want to look at them – that move in concert with each other. Touching the left or right sides of the screen moves the dots, and tapping on the opposite side makes them hop. Getting over a gap on the right, then, involves holding the right side of the screen and tapping on the left as the pair of dots approach the space.

Each of the game's 10 levels is something of a book. With each font your task is to collect the alphabet. The individual letters are scattered in the environment for you to collect. You can also gather six asterisks, which unlock pages of the virtual book which lays out the history of the font you're currently exploring. Completing the ellipses (...) at the end of each book marks the end of the journey through that font, and unlocks the next font to be explored.

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The levels feature art direction and sound design inspired by the letterform being explored. The early Gothic level, for example, features paintings from the 8th century in the background and music that evokes Gregorian chants. In the foreground, the obstacles that you must navigate are crags and nooks created by the letterforms themselves, expanded to create a landscape.

Garamond is a water level and has the sound of water flowing and wind breezing through. It's history book includes details of its creators and innovators: Jenson, Tory, Estienne and Garamont.

Type:Rider will delight designers and font lovers, but it's also an interesting and challenging platformer that gorgeous to look at and exciting to play.

Developer: Bulkypix, Cosmografik; Platforms: Android, iOS, Linux, OS X, Windows

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