Edutainment titles are a staple of gaming. Going all the way back the early days of both console and personal computer gaming. The problem edutainment has always faced is that it was OBVIOUSLY edutainment. Much like licensed titles, but worse, edutainment titles not only miss the mark in gameplay but content too. This is why Typing of the Dead is such a revelation for edutainment in general. All of the problems that edutainment titles have faced in the past are almost completely eradicated. How? Zombies.
Well, more than just zombies. Typing of the Dead takes the engine of House of the Dead 2- a quality release- and replaces the guns with keyboards. Then Sega took the zombies and replaced shooting them with words on each that must be typed to register gun shots. This mechanic helps teach players better typing skills in an environment that is not normal. Sure, when taking typing class there was that timer ticking off but that is not nearly as nerve wracking, nor entertaining, as a zombie bearing down on you. Couple that undead monstrosity shambling towards you while you try to remember where the freaking V or Q keys are. This creates an environment that is eye catching for gamers, pulls at them to play one more round and urges them to learn the proper key placement.
While you may not land that cushy secretary position or data entry clerk opening with the local temp agency, Typing of the Dead can’t hurt your typing skills. Sadly, Sega didn’t continue this line of edutainment in North America. In Japan there have been more than a few follow up releases in this line. I just wish Sega had continued the whole “Typing” series, at least with House of the Dead games if not other classic Sega franchises. Imagine if Sega had taken their classic Streets of Rage and added a typing mechanism to it? Have basic attacks hit if you type slow and more powerful stuff if you are a speed demon. Man, a missed opportunity.
Typing of the Dead has hit the Sega Dreamcast and Windows computers in North America. Head over to Ebay if you would like to grab a copy.