<span class="bold">Epistory - Typing Chronicles</span>
I played this game's demo
some time ago and fell in love with its beautiful origami/papercraft art style and its original gameplay. I bought it the minute it became available here on GOG
, and I've been playing it every night for the last few days until I've 100%'ed it.
Now, typing games are hardly a new thing, but contrary to the Typing of the Dead
series and their like, Epistory
blends the typing mechanic into its world in a very elegant fashion, both narratively and mechanically. Regarding the former, it tells the story of a Muse trying to cure her artist from suffering writer's block. To that end, and by typing one word after another, she will unfold new narrative landscapes available to her artist (and by extension to you, the player) while at the same time getting them rid of nasty (mental?) bugs.
As per the game mechanics, each correctly typed word will grant you some XP, and more so if you chain them in rapid succession so you can keep the combo running and increasing. After a certain XP milestone is reached, you'll be awarded two skill points which can be used to unlock some of the Muse's (as well as her mount's, a giant three-tailed fox) abilities. XP also will enable you to unfold new explorable terrain, in which up to eight dungeons and several combat arenas will be gradually revealed. In some of these dungeons the Muse will be able to obtain additional typing powers
: Fire, Ice, Spark, and Wind. These powers are required to access many blocked parts of the world map, but they also introduce a further strategic element to the typing battles
against bugs (e.g. Ice freezes the baddies in place, or Wind pushes them further back). In fact, they become indispensable in the later part of the game, as some battles do really seem unwinnable only by typing alone, even to the standing World Champion of Fast Typing (if such a thing does exist :P).
All the locations are beautiful and varied, especially the dungeons: no two of them feel the same, as each one has its own visual style and puzzles. It really shows the devs took great care when designing the game, but I've got nonetheless a couple of minor complaints about certain design decisions. Most of them are certainly nitpickings (like e.g. not being able to leave a dungeon once you enter it unless you beat it, or the inability to pan over the map), but there's one particular thing I didn't like: there's a conflict between narrative and mechanics in that sometimes the game delivers some voice-acted exposition when you are being attacked by bugs or you've got a combo going on so you need to keep typing in order not to lose it. I missed a good deal of narrations that way, and I wish they were better timed so you could calmly listen to them unmolested (yeah, I know that everything that's voice acted also appears written in the ground so you can still read it later, but it's not the same).
Apart from that flaw, I think the rest of the game is nearly perfect and a great entertainment for anyone who likes to type. Plus, it can be a good tool to improve your typing abilities in a wide range of keyboard configurations and, thanks to its modding capabilities
, also in many different languages. My list of finished games in 2016