On first glance it’s easy to look at Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure and see nothing other than some cheap edutainment title, however look past the connotations that come with that term and Pokemon Typing Adventure offers a fun way to learn your way around a keyboard. You actually get a real keyboard with the game too, bonus.
In Typing Adventure, you’re recruited as the newest member of the Elite Typists Club. They need your help to research and catalogue Pokemon and you’re going to be doing that by typing. Professor Quentin Werty and his assistant Paige Down are your guides as you work your way through the world route by route catching Pokemon to be researched.
To catch these Pokemon, you gotta type them all. Things start out pretty easy with just the first letter of a Pokemon required to be caught. As the game progresses, you’ll move up in difficulty having to type more letters of a Pokemon’s name faster and faster. As you move through each route, you’ll want to be more and more accurate to get medals and a high score. Each route’s score is calculated by not only how fast you type but also how correct you are in typing in the Pokemon names.
You’ll be on easy street for most of the game if you’re a diehard fan of Pokemon and know all of the latest Pokemon names, bonus points too if you’re a competent typist. For someone like me who grew up on Pokemon Generation 1 and 2, your new Pokemon are weird and unusual to me. I can type Pikachu, Charmander and Voltorb ’til the Miltanks come home but what the kind of foul beast is a Mienshao and why is he so hard to type. The Gold levels will push both typists and Pokemaniacs alike, you’ll be replaying them a couple of times before you get it perfect.
There’s over 400 Pokemon included in Typing Adventure from all of the current generations, this game came out 18 months ago in Japan so don’t go in expecting anything from Pokemon X or Y.
Not all Pokemon though are going to just sit there and be caught, some will even fight back. To battle these Pokemon you’ll type your way through a fight with different key combinations. Not all Pokemon want a fight though, Gengar is up to his cheeky ways hiding keys, blocking your way and Meowth will try to steal coins off the route. One thing that did have me puzzled is just what is the good professor going to do with all these Pokemon you’ve caught?
If there’s one real thing that annoyed me with Typing Adventure however, is that it doesn’t really teach you how to type at all. Sure, the levels start off easy making you learn positions on a keyboard through repetition, then slowly you move up to learning letters in sections and fingers but the game doesn’t teach you at all which hands or fingers to use. Aside from the initial Backslash Basics tutorial you’re left to type any way you wish. Maybe I’m expecting too much from a Pokemon typing game, but if you’re going to teach people to use a keyboard you might as well do it right.
The game’s presentation is pretty simple, however it is staggering to see all of the Pokemon included in the game as newly drawn sprites. It’s still a DS game though so don’t expect much. Nothing except for the cries of the Pokemon have been reused from the original games.
The music is cheerful but repetitive and the British voice over could grind on you as well, however you’ll likely be too busy concentrating on hitting the right keys to be too bothered.
The game’s included keyboard though is what you would come to expect from a Nintendo accessory, it’s solid and well made. Along with the stand included, it’s a neat little package and when pulling it out the box it felt like there was some actual care put in here. The keyboard is Bluetooth as well and be used on other devices if you so wish. The stand can hold anything from an original Nintendo DS to a 3DS XL and has a little slot to put the game card in as well. Just for fun, this review was written on the keyboard included.
Pokemon Typing Adventure is obviously aimed at a younger market, it’s not meant to be a serious typing tutor, it is an adventure after all. The entire package though is solid, the game is fun and will still help people to get around a keyboard and hone basic skills. Plus Nintendo won’t mind if you’re learning all the names of all these Pokemon either.