Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure

I'm old enough to (at least vaguely) remember two very distinct typing-related products. One of them was for DOS way back in the day. I forget the name, but essentially it was a very dry edu-tainment title that aimed to teach you how to touch-type.

The other was The Typing of the Dead, the House of the Dead spin-off that attempted to jam zombie-shooting together with keyboard mastery.

Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure is more similar to the latter title, in that it doesn't necessarily develop new QWERTY-related skills as much as hone those you already have.


Transposing the map structure of a traditional Pokemon game overworld onto an onscreen keyboard, the game tasks you with visiting each key in turn and taking on level after level of typing fun.

And that's not an ironic use of the word "fun", either. This is a genuinely entertaining release in comparison with most other games that take it upon themselves to educate you.

You trundle through a preset path in each level, with various Pokemon approaching you. As they do, you input their names using the keyboard that comes with the package, capturing them to earn points.

Points are deducted for spelling mistakes or for taking too long, and occasional hazards pop up to ruin your chances of obtaining a bronze, silver, or gold medal.

These come in the form of large waves in water stages or meteors in space levels, but they're quickly dispatched by typing the letter that adorns them. Keeping an eye out for them while quickly and accurately entering the names of Pokemon is the aim of the game.

Candy space bar

It's a basic premise, though one that encourages you to return to areas to capture new Pokemon and earn new medals. It really helps if you've a good grasp on the entire Pokedex catalogue, as you'll be able to enter the pocket monsters' names much faster.

The hardware is solidly built, if a little plasticy. The keys are responsive and large, everything's wireless and takes minimal setup, and it all works with both the DS and 3DS range. You can play without the keyboard, but you're relegated to using a visual representation of it on the touchscreen, which makes inputting letters far more onerous.

Sadly, the presentation is flat-out rubbish. There's very little animation in the Pokemon you face, the backdrops to the action are bland, and the music is largely forgettable. The game boots quickly and the frame-rate stays high at all times, but you'll often wish the developer had made a few sacrifices in these areas to make a game that looked as good as it plays.

While the "learn" in the title is a little misleading (it rarely teaches you anything about typing), it's a solid aid to improving your speed on a keyboard. What's perhaps most impressive, though, is that the time that you spend practising this fairly mundane ability never feels dull.

Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure

It may look cheaply made, but the included hardware and core game underneath its basic visuals is impressive, if only because it manages to make improving your typing skills an enjoyable experience
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.