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Many of us were introduced to the educational Mavis Beacon typing games back in our school days, but the fictional teacher isn't the only character that wanted to increase your words-per-minute. Take a look below for five quirky titles that wanted to make typing fun.
Mario Teaches Typing (PC)Thanks to the success of the Super Mario Bros. series on NES and the recent release of Super Mario World, Nintendo's plumber was a phenomenon in the early 90s. With his success, who'd be better to teach kids how to type? Early stages featured blocks and Koopa Troopas with single letters on them, and pressing the correct key would cause Mario to take them out. More difficult sections tasked advanced typers with avoiding Big Bertha and Thwomp attacks by typing full words.
Typer Shark (PC)PopCap Games has done plenty more than games about matching gems and defending against lawn-invading zombies. Back in the mid-2000s, the studio released the PC title Typer Shark. Players assume the control of a diver who's slowly descending to the ocean floor while sharks, jellyfish, and other underwater meanies attempt to make him lunch. Each creature has a word on it, and they get zapped with electricity when it's typed correctly. Bonus stages involve typing as many words as possible before air runs out, and boss battles against submarines task players with typing quickly to send torpedoes back to their source.
The Typing of the Dead (Dreamcast)I remember thinking this game sounded like a silly joke when it was first announced, but I wound up being happy that it wasn't. Sega took the core game of The House of the Dead 2, strapped keyboards onto its protagonists instead of guns, and tested players' keyboard skills rather than their trigger fingers. Player models looked absurd with the keyboards around their necks, and seeing zombies fall apart in the face of speedy typing was hilarious. It's a wonder how this game actually got made, but I'm certainly glad it did.
Learn With Pokemon: Typing Adventure (DS)If you thought the Guitar Hero: On Tour attachment was a big peripheral for the DS, you never played this Pokemon title that never came to the US. It came bundled with a full-size wireless keyboard, and aimed to teach typing skills that would reward players with new Pokemon creatures. Older Pokemon fans with a firmer grasp on typing could also enjoy it thanks to its difficult later stages and boss fights.
Battle Type (PC)If you've got a competitive edge and a cheap keyboard that you don't mind putting in danger, Beaver Nuts Games has a new free download for you. Battle Type is a two-player, typing-based PC title that's available right now. After choosing beavers as your avatars, you're tasked with typing words faster than a friend that's sitting right next to you. Check out the trailer below for a demonstration of what to expect, and make sure to hide that expensive gaming keyboard.