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Type Dreams is a laudanum-fuelled Victorian typing game

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A Victorian typing game was not what I would have predicted as the next game from Cart Life developer Richard Hofmeier. Cart Life, which Hofmeier removed from Steam and made open source, is a minimalist simulation that charts the bleak lives of three street vendors trapped in poverty. It's quietly brutal, juxtaposing the mundane with a constant supply of tiny tragedies. Type Dreams is very much not like this at all. 

Still in development, the current version of Type Dreams is a slightly wonky competitive typing game where you pick your typewriter, from Remington to IBM (perhaps dropped off by a time traveller), legendary typist and then compete with the AI in a test of speed. 

Typing seems like a pretty sedate activity, but not in Type Dreams, which is more like a laudanum dream. Selecting a typist, I'm given a quick, off-the-cuff, very casual history lesson. Picking another, I'm informed that masturbation is the Devil's typing. There are terrible puns, pop art mixed with Victorian portraits and original piano music that is both period appropriate and slightly manic. 

You'll need something to type, obviously, and for that Hofmeier has enlisted the help of poets, comedians, novelists and journalists to create original writing, with more coming in the next release. The reward, then, is not just becoming the greatest typist in the world, but getting lots of original writing to read while you're making the ascent. 

It looks like there's a story mode in the works, too, though you can't select it at the moment. Right now there's just the race, as well as lots of typists and typewriters to unlock by accomplishing specific achievements. 

I've got a pretty loud keyboard, so it's rather satisfying, clacking away. I'm a bit rubbish, though. Precision's what I lack. Make a typo and you have to hit space and start the word again, costing precious time. And when the line is done, you've got to run your fingers across F1 to F12 to move the typebar. It's very tactile. And a bit fiddly. 

You can grab it for $5.00 (or more, if you choose) on Itch.io

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.