Tux Typing Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • several different types of gameplay
  • (4 more, see all...)

Games are a very big industry that's evolving very fast into something colossal, because gaming hardware is evolving faster than ever and large communities are created around different games. What I'm talking here is about 3D games which are a very rare thing in Linux, considering a gaming in Linux is madness. I rarely play games, perhaps because I grew up or perhaps because I feel that something was lost when they evolved this much. Some games are excellent for children because they can be a fun way to help them develop different abilities.

This review will be about the second excellent application from Tux4Kids, Tux Typing 2. It is an educational game that tries to develop children's typing skills. This game integrates two kinds of gameplay and a practice feature. The first one is "Fish Cascade" and the second one is "Comet Zap". In both of them you'll have to use the letters on the keyboard to play the game.

In "Fish Cascade", fish comes out of the sky and Tux has to eat it to satisfy his hunger. The problem is that the fish has letters on it and eating the fish with letters gives Tux a tummy ache. Typing the letter that is on the fish makes it disappear and this makes Tux go under the "clean fish" and eat it. In "Fish Cascade" we have three difficulty levels and they tell the game how fast the letters come out of the sky. When you play it using words, Tux can only eat an entire word, not individual letters. If you misspell a word you'll not be able to eat that fish. After clearing all the fish you'll be able to go to a next stage where the theme is different and the speed is higher.

In "Comet Zap", comets come from space and can hit buildings form the city where Tux is guarding. Pressing the letters that appear on the comets tells Tux which one he should obliterate with it's laser beam. Once you finish destroying a wave, another one appears. With each new wave the speed is increased and the theme is changed. Once a comet hits a building it destroys its shield and now it can be destroyed by another comet. When all the buildings are destroyed you loose the game. To prevent cheating by protecting only one building to win the game, once a comet hits the ground the visibility is lowered. Pressing random keys in the hope of accidentally hitting something is also not helpful because the game will start making an annoying sound to prevent you to do that. The best way is to play fair. In "Comet Zap" you have four difficulty levels.

For each level of difficulty you can use either letters, short, medium or long words and finger exercises. The program supports several languages so the words used can be in the language of your country or in another language if you want to learn a foreign one.

In practice mode, a letter and two hands appear on the screen. Once the letter is printed on the screen, the finger that should be used for typing is highlighted. The practice mode is very good for teaching a correct and efficient typing at the computer. It made me realize that, even if I've been using a PC for a very long time, I'm not using my fingers as I should.

When it comes to options, there is not much to say because most features are in their early development stages and others are not present. Anyways, if you want to change the language you should visit the options.

One of the things that I think this game needs is a high score table and a statistics option. High scores will really drive kids to break their own record or the record of their friends. Statistics are an excellent way to help them achieving a better performance. I hope they will be available in Tux Typing 3 because this will be a big step forward.

I don't think I'm overreacting when I say a child is in any of us. I definitely like Tux Typing more than those other typing tutors that are no fun.

The Good

The two types of gameplay are good for teaching the children how to type. The practice mode is good for teaching efficient typing. Support for several languages is great for making this game usable by the kids in the whole world.

The Bad

A lot of typing tutors have a built in statistics feature that is excellent for knowing your performance. Unfortunately this one doesn't. Usually games have high scores but this is another thing this software lacks.

The Truth

Tux Typing 2 is the key to allow your kids to learn typing fast and efficiently. I think it can also be a good way for adults who want to better their typing skills and who have some time to kill.

Check out some screenshots below:

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user interface 4
features 3
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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