Do you like type? Did you go see the movie Helvetica and break out in tears of joyful satisfaction at the end credits? Do you have a graphic designer cousin who taught you what sans serif meant, and did you think it was fascinating? You're going love Type:Rider.
This new game for iOS and Android takes the history of typography and transforms it into a beautifully mesmerizing game. The basic concept should be easy to grasp for anybody who's ever playing Super Mario Brothers. You just run across the screen jumping over holes and collecting objects until you reach the end of the level at which point you level up. Except your character is a bouncy little colon instead of an Italian plumber and the sparkly objects are asterisks instead of coins.
Then there's the typography. For each asterisk you collect, you unlock a piece of the history of typography from cave paintings to Comic Sans. Each level represents a different period in human history starting with "Origins" followed by "Gothic" which jumps in around Gutenberg's time. The design of the level itself is modeled after a typeface that originated—Times takes you to the Roaring Twenties, for instance—and the levels incorporate actual architecture from that time.
All this might sound a little bit academic, but it's not. The game, independent of the interesting typography lessons, is actually super fun and intuitive. In many ways, the history of type is the history of civilization. And you know you want to learn about that.