Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux
It doesn’t surprise me that typing games are few and far between. I mean, how interesting can a game be that’s based around typing words with speed and a minimum of errors? Epistory: Typing Chronicles definitely steps it up a notch from your basic online typing tutor games, but at least so far, it falls a little bit short for me.
Visually, it’s pretty damn delightful. The idea of everything being made from paper is fantastic, and it does what I believe it’s supposed to do – remind the player that everything is the story. However, I’m struggling to get invested in the story, which is a little problematic. I’ve played plenty of games where the story was too heavy handed, and plenty where it really didn’t exist, but this thin wash over everything just isn’t working particularly well for me. I do love how the words appear on the ground as you explore the world, I just wish there was a little more focus on the story they are telling.
The entire game is played solely with the keyboard. Movement keys are not rebindable that I could find, but there are three options (arrow keys, classic WASD, and the game’s recommended scheme of EFJI). I found the arrow keys most comfortable as far as movement was concerned, but it did make it somewhat more challenging to drop your fingers on the home row in a hurry when enemies show up. Anything you want to do in game other than move, however, is done via typing out random words the game gives you. Once you unlock different types of magic, you also switch between those by typing. Clearing obstacles, opening chests, and fighting enemies are all typing-based.
The story mode offers about five hours of game play, and the game also offers and online arena mode. There are no difficulty sliders since the challenge is adaptive – the game notices how you type, and increases or decreases the difficulty accordingly. I consider my keyboarding skills to be above average, and I’m still finding it a challenge to clear waves of enemies before they reach me (and it’s important to note that as soon as one reaches you, that’s game over, and you’re sent back just a little bit to try again).
Overall, I’m finding that although I’m enjoying Epistory: Typing Chronicles, I’m also not feeling an overwhelming tug to keep playing. I’m still not entirely clear on the scoring system, and some of the potential upgrades feel much more compelling or necessary than others. Still, I applaud the effort and the unusual mechanics of the game; I just don’t know that I feel like it’s a $15 game.