Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All
Type Attack (Apple II) artwork

Type Attack (Apple II) review


"Space Invaders was the first game I got tired of on my 2600. Even zapping the lowest enemies got easy. I learned the 112 different games were just a few options. Type Attack replaces zapping aliens with letters, then words, as they invade. A curtain comes down if too many escape. I learned to touch type quickly to break the high score list. "



Space Invaders was the first game I got tired of on my 2600. Even zapping the lowest enemies got easy. I learned the 112 different games were just a few options. Type Attack replaces zapping aliens with letters, then words, as they invade. A curtain comes down if too many escape. I learned to touch type quickly to break the high score list.

TA's levels follow a set pattern. First, three letter waves. Push a key, and your ground "guns," alternating orange and blue circles, fire at the leftmost of that key at the bottom of a column. Fail, and you lose an energy point. You start with a hundred, losing thirty-five if enemies reach the ground as they zigzag off the edges and drop. This is easy in the first wave, where unscrambled letters allow you to cycle between keys early on. ASDF times sixteen, or EDUJ, may even temporarily bust the Words Per Minute gauge on the side. The second and third waves scramble things, with some strategy is needed especially with the letters starting lower.

Survive those, and you get a WORD ATTACK. Here twenty words fly across the screen. Type the featured one (backspace is allowed if needed) with a wave and hit space (your thumb) to regain energy. Lose energy if a word makes it across. A near-perfect word wave and winning three letter waves merits a bonus wave. Words start nonsensically but some had me actually cracking a dictionary in my youth--lateral learning was no mean feat then. Sometimes words randomly appear too close together, and since you can't pass and take one hit, one mistake snowballs.

Forty levels of this are structured so many feed into others. For instance, level one has ASDF, two has JKL;, and three combines the home row. Later levels introduce shift-characters, though letter cases are still too futuristic. However, the snazzy menu specifying enemy speed (affecting bonuses) and starting level allows for learning curves, too. Even the sounds work. The ominous introductory scale quicker with each wave, and the more functional "DOMP" as letters move and bell when you mess up all provide more atmosphere than the standard missile noises from so many knock-off arcade games.

And while TA has a high score list, which I abused the level editor feature to conquer ("sixty-four A's, word attack? Yeah, A's a word. 90 words per minute,") my warmest memories are of the dancing letters: A's leaning on one leg, Y's swaying, and T's and I's tilt their tops to a techno-hillbilly tune I still whistle today. All kinds of Pac-Man clones had their own odd rip-off skits, but I never suspected LETTERS could go crazy.

My parents gave me all kinds of wretched educational software for the Apple, and I suspect the cheap games they got me were meant to sucker me into actual learning. Type Attack underhandedly outdid that. I think a TA remake could still teach a Maltron or Dvorak keyboard well. And I'm sure someone could think up some extra cool letter dances. It's simple enough, a fan remake would go pretty quickly--even if they haven't mastered the game.

Rating: 8/10

aschultz's avatar
Community review by aschultz (January 23, 2010)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by aschultz
Jones in the Fast Lane (PC) artwork
Jones in the Fast Lane (PC)

Jones isn't perfect but offers revealing rat-race insights beyond the densely-packed jokes that never get cynical or fluffy. I found myself calculating how to cram in quick cheap education before week's end, or even working way more than I needed to or putting off asking for a raise (yes, it's just a game. Yes, ...
Bikkuriman World: Gekitou Sei Senshi (NES) artwork
Bikkuriman World: Gekitou Sei Senshi (NES)

It showed me that, yes, RPGs can transcend language. Maybe none can as well as your average puzzle game. But BW has lots more fun trying and getting far closer than expected.
Circus Caper (NES) artwork
Circus Caper (NES)

I felt little guilt replaying through it with cheats on, and I recommend anyone who wants to check it out do the same...But fortunately the cheap deaths will fade away much sooner than the bears on unicycles and such instead.

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Type Attack review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
zippdementia posted January 24, 2010:

Why do I have this uneasy feeling like this is going to win ROTW ^_^
board icon
aschultz posted January 24, 2010:

Haha. Actually, it's nice to be able to rewrite stuff without having to overburden the RotWer. Good exercise.

It's an immensely fun game, though. Thanks for noticing it.

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Site Policies & Ethics | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Type Attack is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Type Attack, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.