Do you have what it takes to be a master typist?

Typing has become fundamental to humanity’s existence. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s a skill that almost all of us possess and rely on day-to-day.

The wonderful thing is, though, everyone has their own unique style. Some of us plod at the keys from a great height, dropping our index fingers like atom bombs as the keyboard groans under the impact of each hefty, downward press. Others use a hybrid of fingers to get the job done: a rouge thumb, a couple of pinkies – they may even dabble with the third finger.

The clickety clack of the keyboard becomes an intoxicating sound as every finger contributes to the symphony of speed, precision… and lots and lots of words.

But nothing compares to the elite typists of this world. You know the kind. Their fingers waltz over the keyboard like Beethoven performing Ode to Joy on a grand piano, majestically striking letters which soon transform into words, written in perfect form. The clickety clack of the keyboard becomes an intoxicating sound as every finger contributes to the symphony of speed, precision… and lots and lots of words.

Yes, the elite typist is a rare, admirable beast. And for years I’ve always envied them, rueing my hybrid style that has filled countless documents with text, albeit at a slower, more error prone pace. I’ve always dreamt that one day, maybe I could focus on nothing but the monitor in front of me, as my fingers scurry along the keyboard with uncompromising accuracy.

But alas, I’ve tried to learn the “correct and proper” way to type before; it was only a matter of time before I wound up frustrated, dejected and falling back on the shortcuts I had unwittingly mastered with my haphazard, erratic style.

But that would soon change.

In 2012, Nintendo published a game specifically aimed at my debilitating problem: Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure. Perhaps this rag-tag assortment of fantastical names and cooky creatures could cure my apathy at achieving typing greatness? There was only one way to find out. I had to embark on a perilous adventure to become the best there ever was… at typing.

learn with pokemon typing adventure demo

“Bluetooth keyboard! I choose you!”

The Yellow Pikachu Jumped Over The Lazy Snorlax

Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure is one of two games produced in recent memory that can help you become a more proficient typist; the other being Sega’s The Typing of the Dead. Both games task you with firing out a bevy of words as quickly and accurately as possible; however, the one advantage Learn with Pokémon has over Sega’s zombie-fest is that it will exponentially increase your ability to recognise and name Pokémon. And who doesn’t want that? It also comes with a surprisingly well-made Bluetooth keyboard that comes bundled with the game. (I’m actually using it to write this retro reflection – huzzah!)

The key reason why Learn with Pokémon is so undoubtedly awesome and super effective is down to an increasingly widespread term known as gamification.

The key reason why Learn with Pokémon is so undoubtedly awesome and super effective is down to an increasingly widespread term known as gamification. Gamification is, from my relatively basic understanding, the process of using the way we think about games in non-game contexts, i.e. transforming activities we wouldn’t usually associate with games into a game-like activity. Wii Fit U’s a good example; it records your weight each day while giving you fun activities to help you burn calories. Ergo, it turns exercise into a game.

But gamification is only effective if it makes the activity fun and in turn, addictive. Thankfully, Learn with Pokémon presents enough of a challenge and plenty of charm to not only improve your typing, but encourage you to return for another round of keybashing pandemonium.

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Learn with Pokémon features a story, believe it or not. You’re assigned with helping Professor Quentin Werty and his assistant, Paige Down, research over 400 Pokémon using your typing talent as you travel across every key on the keyboard. Cringe-worthy names aside, the story prevents the game from becoming an empty list of typing tests. And yes, you will be tested.

Speaking of cringe-worthy names, Learn with Pokémon’s greatest strength is the bonkers creatures whose popularity shows no signs of stopping. Naturally, Nintendo’s plethora of pocket monsters take centre stage as you progress through each level using the keyboard to punch in all-sorts of Pokémon names as quickly as physically possible if you’re to obtain the best scores.

And it really is a hearty challenge if you’re going for gold – doubly so if your expertise on Pokémon fizzled out after Pokémon Red and Blue, like me. Because not only do you have to correctly input the name of each Pokémon – easier said than done when you’re asked to type in Axew, Roggenrola, Patrat and Misdreavus in quick succession – you also have to identify the Pokémon beforehand if you wish to maximise the number you can catch during the limited time-frame granted to you in each stage. Argh!

2BA Master (Typist)

Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure is exactly the sort of gaming experience that I find myself craving more and more these days. It’s fresh, fairly unique and incredibly useful. The Bluetooth keyboard is responsive and reliable, and registered my inputs without a moments delay. It also works on other devices too, which is great.

Crucially, Learn with Pokémon will help you become a better typist. And if this was a fitness, health or beauty product claiming to give you rock hard abs or a perfect complexion, that’s all you could ever ask for. I still haven’t become the elite typist that I desire, but I feel closer than ever to reaching that goal.

You could say… it’s my destiny.

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