Want to increase your vocabulary and improve your typing skills? Do you have a son, a daughter, a niece, nephew or someone that needs to learn how to type faster and more vigorously? Typefighters might just be the game for you or someone you know. On paper, this is as plain as it can be. You type…. competitively. Typefighters is a series of game modes that has you competing against the computer or even online multiplayer if you have someone’s IP address.
By day (and night), I’m a programmer. There’s nothing you’d think that I’d want to do with my free time than type more, but Typefighters made it fun. I was surprised by how engaging and fun this became. Its not for everyone and I never thought I would have fun with it either. The game is just a white background with text. The words are in black, yours are in green and your opponents are in yellow. Those are the graphics, simple as a sheet of paper. You can change the background and text color. As a programmer, I recommend a black background.
So how is this game fun? I must be crazy. Well its in the modes. You’ve got quite a variety here complete with a brief explanation of how to play each one. Stream is just a simple line of words that streams across the screen. You type a word and it grows in size. Finish typing a word and you get a point. You and your opponent can type any word from the list, so if you type the same word, you’ll be competing. The game doesn’t let you select a new word, you need to win or lose that word before you can move on. I’ll be honest, this didn’t feel much like a game to me, so I moved on and explored the other modes.
Next is attention, which is more direct competition. There’s only one word to type at a time. Its called attention, because it appears anywhere on the screen. Creative mode lets you type in valid words. The longer the word, the more points. So its a race to see who has the most words by the end. Tug has you in a tug of war. Both participants need to spell the word, but from the time the first person finishes to the time the second person completes the word, this little line of a rope is moving. When you get it to your opponent’s half of the screen, you get points.
Lines mode felt the most unique and different, you’ve got a grid of twenty-five words. The first player to type in five words that make up a line scores. Like a game of tic-tac-toe, but with lines of five. You can even type over a word that’s already been claimed to capture it for yourself. Reflect has both players type the same word as a kickoff, the fastest typer gets the tug of war style line moving toward them. They are forced to type a word, any word and then the line starts moving the other direction, forcing the opponent to type out the same word. It goes back and forth with points scored when the line gets to the loser’s side. Like a football game for typing.
Projectiles has you typing words to shoot at your opponent. If these words cross your opponent’s side of the screen, you get a point. Your opponent is also firing words at you so you need to keep up. The final mode, Guess has you and your opponent alternating, you type a word, then your opponent sees three words including the one you just wrote. These words only stop when the guess word is entered. You score points for every moment the word isn’t guessed.
As a programmer, you’d think that I’d be pretty fast at typing and you’re absolutely correct. That’s why Typefighters has difficulty increments. You set your own difficulty in a number such as 1.0, 1.1, 4.7 all the way up to 10.0. For me, I found the sweet spot was 1.8, but as I got better, I changed it up to 2.5. At 10.0 you’d need to be psychic to compete against the computer. It has the words typed before you’ve seen half the word, but someone out there just knows!
That’s either a strong or a weak point of the game depending on your stance. You make your own challenges. You decide when to step it up, not the game. There’s no sort of arcade-style forever campaign. You can chose your time limit or score limit, which is great, but again you need to do it yourself. I’m happy to report the game keeps track of your settings, but keeping track of your score would have been nice too.
You can enter a tempo the same way that you enter a difficulty and for some game modes you’ll need a higher tempo or else you’ll be sitting there waiting for the next word depending on the mode. Its more than just tempo and difficulty, you can select your time limit and word length. The game starts out with 4 – 8 letter words, but as an adult, I prefer 8 – 20 letter words.
Any time you even enter a word, it will need to be within the character limit. So I am forced to type 8 – 20 letter words. This is where the game can really increase your vocabulary. Not every word is giant, so the game has some crazy prefixes and suffixes. You’ll see things like “phonocardiography,” “consequentalities” and “disenfranchisements.” Are these even real words? They sound like they could be, but according to Firefox they’re misspelled. Forgetting a capitalization or an apostrophe counts as a misspelling.
So you’ll be learning large words, some that may or may not even exist, but more importantly, you’ll be typing and spelling comes into play. The game doesn’t punish you for incorrect spellings, since everything is really just a race, but you’ll memorize words and adapt to their spelling. There are score multipliers and misspelling a word will lose that score multiplier. You can also set the game to have these multipliers and their strength.
If you’re out there saying that Americans have different spellings than the English, there are two different dictionaries for both. There’s even a German dictionary! For anyone else, you can import a dictionary and it feels like the game is brimming with words. There are only so many 20 letter long words, so you might see a few “yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy” and so on. Consider these freebies.
While I did recommend this game for a younger audience, I did see the word “rape.” I’m not sure if you’ll be okay with that, but I didn’t see any other touchy words. Perhaps if I limited it to 3 or 4 letter words I’d see a lot more.
In conclusion, I had some fun with this game. Will I be playing it days from now, probably not, but this was a fun test of skill. Its bare bones, simplistic presentation may scare people away. Perhaps with a flashy look or some frills or a campaign, it might draw people in and keep them here for extended periods of time.