Time To Type

Time To Type

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http://www.kongregate.com/games/suttree/time-to-type

Time To Type is a very simplistic game that tests the speed at which a player types. It allows three seconds for a player to type the displayed word on the screen. However, to discourage a player from looking at the keyboard to aid in his or her typing, the letters switch around right as the timer begins. This enforces both speed and accuracy, as the player cannot look away from the screen lest they shed a second from the unrelenting timer. Every word typed correctly results in the increase of score in the top right hand corner. The game ends when the player is unable to type the word displayed in the harsh three second window.

The game’s bleach white background and basic text layout screams anything but gaudy. In order to attract greater attention, the developers could have expanded the colors and graphics. The game was made in 2006 so that is no excuse to be lacking in that department. However, the game is blatantly straightforward and catching on to the instructions happens quickly. People gain a sense of pride in their words per minute (WPM) rate, and that is essentially what this game applies. The faster you type, the higher of a score you are capable of achieving. There are some clear strengths and weakness of this game.

The strengths of this game are the easy rules and understandable gameplay. It can be played by people of all ages. That being said, I think this game can be a great educational tool in our nation’s school systems. In grade school, I had computer classes that always stressed “using the home row” and used keyboard blockers so that we could not peek at the keys. We had all types of typing tests to improve and become efficient with our WPM. This game would allow a fun spin to such a monotonous task. When kids see “work” as a game where there is a score, learning becomes more fun. Therefore, using Time To Type could be an excellent tool for future lesson plans.

There are two noticeable weaknesses to the game. The first is that there is no leaderboard. People are competitive. Friends like to compare scores. This game has no such feature so every game played feels so unimportant and useless. There is no proof or motivation of obtaining a high score. That is a minor flaw, but one of greater magnitude is the fact that often times the game does not allow enough time to possibly type the word. As the game proceeds further, words get longer and the time frame is not extended. The letters begin to scramble and the timer starts and they do not form a word until there is less than a second left. By the time you can actually see the word and type out 6 letters, the time has expired. The timing mechanics of the game could definitely use work because once you reach a certain point, the game feels unbeatable, which is not a good aspect to have in a game.

Maybe adding a leaderboard and fixing the time frame issues would make Time To Type a legitimate tool to be used in our nation’s grade schools in teaching kids how to type and to make a fun game out of it. If kids can be convinced that learning is fun, games like these can have an incredibly valuable impact.

 

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3 comments
  1. Kyle,

    I completely agree that this game has a lot of potential for being a fun educational tool. I remember back in 5th grade when I first began learning how to type in school. To be honest with you, it was probably my favorite class of the day. Back then I got my WPM up to a pretty high number, but now I probably have dropped off a little bit. The game’s simple mechanics and easy game play makes it a game that anybody can play, so I think it would also be a good tool for us college kids to sharpen our typing skills, or even for adults who may not have learned how to type properly in school. If the game really is aiming to be a fun educational tool I think a quick tutorial about the homerow keys at the beginning of the game would be quite useful. If players are not using the proper typing mechanics then it is almost rather pointless. Like you said, the game could use some work with its visuals and timing to make it more effective, but I still enjoyed the fun challenge.

    Nicole

  2. spenway said:

    I definitely agree with what has been said about the game being used as an educational tool. Like everyone else, I took typing lessons in computer class in elementary school. This game would have easily added some excitement to that process. This is definitely a game that should be used in such a context and probably is getting played less now because it is targeting the wrong audience.

    In terms of the visuals, this game definitely needs work. I understand that simplicity it key in the game play, but the basic white background and overly simple text makes it tiresome within minutes. Adding some new graphics and features should spike interest and encourage others to play longer.

    I also agree with the idea of creating a leader board or an interactive aspect to the game. People like competition and playing against their friends. As we continue to move into a more digital world, we are seeing more and more socially integrated games online. Perhaps this game could benefit from something like that?

  3. jrtuc said:

    I have actually heard of this game from family members with young children. This Thanksgiving, my aunt was discussing how great the game has been to help my little cousins learn how to type before they learned in school. Like Spencer, I learned how to type in computer class, but that was only once a week. I didn’t truly learn how to type until I was allowed to spend hours on the computer figuring it out. Educationally, this is a great game for kids to get ahead in their typing skills, which is crucial for success these days.

    After looking at the game, it could definitely be more visually appealing, but I do understand that is not the point of the game. However, more kids may play it if it looked better. However, a downside could also be that kids could get distracted if there were too many graphics.

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