Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure

Nintendo’s always been a pretty innovative company. They invented a bunch of stuff that’s now considered standard - things like the d-pad, shoulder buttons, and numerous other technologies. So it’s no surprise to see slightly unusual things come out for their hardware. Even so, this is right up there with the best of them...

At its heart, Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure is, believe it or not, a game. Despite all that edutainment stuff in the name, there’s a game in here and it’s pretty decent too. The gist is simple enough; a bunch of Pokemon appear and you get points and acclaim by typing their names as quickly as possible. Typing? Yes, typing - with the included bluetooth keyboard. You can play it without a keyboard, pecking away on the screen, but that’s a bad idea. Don’t do that.

 
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The keyboard’s well-made, without being super flashy, with nice looking keys that feel responsive to the touch. Like most keyboards, there’s a bit of adjustment when you first give it a go (more or less so, depending on what you usually use) but unless you’re super picky, it doesn’t feel like any kind of compromise - even for extended sessions. I like it so much, in fact, i’m going to chuck in my bag next time I head on a trip someplace and use it with my iPad (yep, you can do that.)

Things start off simply enough, in the game, as you’re challenged to simply type the first letter of each Pokemon as they appear on the screen. Why you’re doing this is, well, about as important as it is in any Pokemon game; i.e., not very. Doing so researches them, or something, and someone needs you to do that for reasons that aren’t really important.

What’s more important is that, by typing the names of these Pokemon, you catch ‘em and, well, you know the rest. Each time you play a track, only a few of the possible Pokemon for that area actually appear; replaying, then, is a chance to not only improve your score, but also catch ‘em all. It sounds simple, and it is - but it still works and is as compelling as ever.

As time marches on, you have to type more and more letters, before encountering various legendary Pokemon - complete with much more challenging, staged, and unique mechanics for each. You might, for example, have to type in the letters on a bunch of fireballs before they reach you, or type the letters on a rapidly-growing plant before they grow off the screen.

As much as the gameplay is about typing the words as soon as they appear, it’s also about typing the words before they appear; i.e. recognising the Pokemon. It’s here that the Pokemon fanatic has an advantage over everyone else. The difficulty, believe it or not, ramps up pretty quickly - if you want to perfect all the courses, you need both typing skill and Pokemon-identifying ability. Fortunately, a modicum of each is all that’s required to get the base (bronze) medal in most of the tracks.

As discussed, there’s a lot of game here, and for the most part, it’s pretty good. It’s fun, it’s got good structure, and it’s always nice to do something new - especially when that’s within a rather long-lived franchise, shall we say. However, what you probably thought, when you saw the name of the game (especially the “learning” bit), was that this was a game that was going to teach you how to type. It’s really not going to do that.

At no point does it tell you where to put your fingers, or give you any exercises that help you remember where the home keys are. In fact, it doesn’t tell you anything at all, not in an instructional way, other than how to play (and even then, the instructions are simple and to the point.) It’s good practice, after a fashion, although it’s unlikely you’ll ever type these words in any other context; at best, it’s probably great impetus to practice your typing, as speed really is a big advantage.

Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure, then, is more game than I expected but also less educational. That’s just fine by me, as I can already type well enough, and I quite like playing games. But it’s a good thing to be aware of, depending on how you might be trying to justify buying the game. The keyboard, too, is a quality unit, and the little stand that comes with the game (to support your DS, DSi, or 3DS) is similarly well made and well suited for the purpose.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to learn how to identify Pokemon just by the sound they make, as the little buggers have taken to hiding in the bushes.


Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure
"More fun, and less educational, than you might think"
- Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure
8.0
Great
 
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min


 

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Comments Comments (8)

 
Original_Noob
Posted by Original_Noob
On Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 11:28 AM
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seems like it would be quite addictive for kids :)
 
 
 
FlatPitch
Posted by FlatPitch
On Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 5:55 PM
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Pokemon Typing for 3DS! Nintendo enjoy stretching my wallet
 
 
 
atipuss NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
Posted by atipuss
On Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 7:30 PM
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It about time I learn typing :)
 
 
 
Kegz NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by Kegz
On Saturday 2 Feb 2013 6:40 PM
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It's actually pretty cool but probably too late. I mean the people that loved pokemon when they needed to learn to type kind of already know how to do it.
 
 
 
KiwiSharp NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
Posted by KiwiSharp
On Monday 4 Feb 2013 10:43 AM
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Yea I'm with Kegz bit late. Still there may be a new generation who enjoy Pokemon I don't know about
 
 
 
phantom
Posted by phantom
On Monday 4 Feb 2013 10:53 AM
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4 February 2013, 10:43 AM Reply to KiwiSharp
Yea I'm with Kegz bit late. Still there may be a new generation who enjoy Pokemon I don't know about
There most definitely are - I went to the Pokemon center over Christmas and, aside from one large American girl (whose laugh was just horrible, and all too frequent) the average age of the excited crowd (the place was packed) was probably about 10 or 11. Hundreds of 'em.
 
 
 
KiwiSharp NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
Posted by KiwiSharp
On Tuesday 5 Feb 2013 7:01 PM
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4 February 2013, 10:53 AM Reply to phantom
There most definitely are - I went to the Pokemon center over Christmas and, aside from one large American girl (whose laugh was just horrible, and all too frequent) the average age of the excited crowd (the place was packed) was probably about 10 or 11. Hundreds of 'em.
Oh cool. Glad to hear it, was a fav when I was at school had the books and figurines etc.
 
 
 
AsianFella
Posted by AsianFella
On Friday 15 Feb 2013 8:30 PM
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Mavis Beacon but with Pokemon, interesting.