Gotta type 'em all!
Pokémon: Typing Adventure Got Right
- + Decent keyboard
- + Surprisingly challenging
- + Over 400 Pokémon
- + Semi-educational
Pokémon: Typing Adventure Got Wrong
- - No real instructions on technique
- - You're spelling ridiculous words
- - Bland visuals
Do you know how to spell Feraligatr?
Even staring at it, I'm still not sure. But given time, you'll eventually know how to type the name of over 400 Pokemon with Nintendo's latest semi-educational spin-off.
Learn With Pokémon: Typing Adventure is fairly self-explanatory. It comes bundled with a wireless keyboard that connects to your Nintendo DS or 3DS handheld and teaches players how to type.
The keyboard itself can connect to any bluetooth device, including tablets, and remains portable without compacting the keys too much. It’s only slightly smaller than Apple’s wireless keyboard.
Typing has become just as important to school age-children as handwriting, telling time and pretending to know long division (does anyone actually remember any of that?).
The young generation can’t afford to be slow-pokes when it comes to knowing their way around a keyboard – intently staring at the keys and prodding at them one at a time is a cringe-worthy technique reserved for grandparents.
Typing Adventure has a rather dubious story to explain all this typing, but it proves to be surprisingly addictive, even for more accomplished typists who want to test their skills. You’ll be surprised at how automated typing has become, and how little you know about the precise locations of each letter when asked.
With the 3DS or DS console propped up in the included stand, the game starts off easily enough by asking the player to hit a letter on the keyboard when it appears on-screen.
As you progress, you’ll need to type the first letter of a Pokémon and then gradually more letters until you’re writing the whole name. It steadily becomes faster and even keeps some of the Pokémon hidden in the shadows, making just its signature sound, before jumping out and increasing the pressure to type fast.
That’s problematic if you’re not familiar with each Pokémon's sound. Against the clock in the harder stages some of the challenging spellings also pose a counterproductive problem. "Pikachu" is simple enough to spell, but I still trip-over "Feraligatr" when trying to type fast.
As you progress there’s a greater focus on improving your scores to catch rare Pokémon. Typing fast and minimising mistakes will increase your score.
If Typing Adventure has one major weakness it's that there’s very little guidance on how to actually type correctly. If you already have a make-shift technique, Learn With Pokemon: Typing Adventure isn’t going to improve your touch-typing qualifications.
However, for kids who are still coming to grips with writing on a computer, it will help them learn the QWERTY keyboard and improve their speed and accuracy at hitting letters, even if they don’t adopt a professional style.
The visuals are disappointing, which comes with being compatible with the older DS. But even so, the backgrounds look cheap and the focus is clearly only on the letters blasting onto the screen.
The Final Verdict
Learn With Pokémon: Typing Adventure isn't going to teach you have to professionally touch-type, but it will help kids get better acquainted with a keyboard and improve their speed and accuracy. As an added bonus, Pokéfans will improve their ability to distinguish the 500-odd Pokémon, which could be an invaluable skill ahead of the release of Pokémon X & Y later this year.
By Ben Salter
Aspects of this review first appeared on MMGN partner site GamesFIX