Epistory-Typing Chronicles is an action-adventure typing game that is about a girl who rides a fox and fights against insects that have corrupted a once beautiful world. This paper world is all a set up for a character who is struggling to write because she has writer’s block, and the origami world you play in throughout portrays her thoughts and doubts.
For something that can be as simple as a typing game, Epistory does a good job at fleshing out its gameplay and story as well as adding layers to everything to keep things interesting. This game plops you into into a semi-open world with various things to interact with, puzzles to solve, and enemies to fight. As you progress in the game, you get to unlock more to this world and see distinct biomes and dungeons. The dungeons are a lot of fun to do because of how they add in new mechanics to the game and how they offer varied gameplay. One minute, you can be fighting waves of enemies, and the next, you can be solving a puzzle for an extra treasure chest. Speaking of fighting, combat isn’t as simple as ‘type the word above their head.’ While that is what you are doing, Epistory brings in a leveling and upgrading system to make your attacks more powerful and your combo last longer, as well as different elements you can fight with. The different elements include an ability to burn the next word on an enemy’s list, push them back substantially, hit multiple enemies at once, and temporarily freeze them in place. Some enemies can only get hurt by a certain element, which made the later-on gameplay be more strategic as to how you tackle each enemy. I love the combat in this game because it never got dull or too easy, and its various systems added a level of strategy to my time with the game.
Story does play a role in this game, which is something I don’t really see in other typing games. While on the outside, it follows a nameless girl on a fox killing bugs, you can tell that there is something deeper going on here. Throughout, you hear this voice that is going through struggles. She talks about her doubts, saddest moments, and insecurities, making your character’s quest feel all-the-more important. All of this dialogue is played right in front you, literally, as you see the words ingrained into the ground. A mixture of the storytelling and paper aesthetic creates a unique way of telling the story as it unfurls, and I really enjoyed it. Overall, I would say the highs I had with this game are pretty high, and they beat my expectations of a typing game.
There is no such thing as a perfect game, however, and this game is no exception to that. The issues I had with this game are minor, but they are still worth mentioning. The biggest issue I had (and I don’t blame the game for this) is how the typing doesn’t feel natural. Maybe it’s because the game asks me to type specific words instead of the ones I want to type; maybe it’s because of the transition from moving to typing (even though they offer ways to alleviate that like using E,F,J, and I to move). It’s probably just me, but it never felt natural when I typed.
Issues I can put my finger on are smaller issues, but ones I wish weren’t there. By the time you reach the end of the game, the map you inhabit is rather large, which makes not being able to move the map around in the menu or not being able to fast travel annoying. There are some choppy animations at times that don’t look all that pretty, ice-one of the mechanics in the game-is used a bit too much and is a bit too annoying to deal with, pausing isn’t available during a fight, and despite allowing you back into the area after beating the game, they don’t show 100% completion. One last aspect I wanted to talk about before getting into the arena mode is one that is going to make me sound like a prick, but I still felt this way. While the final gameplay moments felt really powerful, I found the ending of “you are just a sick girl in a hospital dreaming this whole time” to be a rather poor ending. If the developers are using a real-life inspiration for this game, then I can totally understand; but other than that, the ending felt like a cheap mix of trying to tug at my heart strings and “it was a dream all along” that didn’t quite resonate with me.
This game also offers an arena mode, which is pretty much what is expected: hordes of enemies thrown at you while you stand in the middle of the map fighting them off until you die. I don’t have any complaints about the gameplay, but I wish it was fleshed out a bit more. There are multiple maps to play on, which is neat, but an issue I had with the mode is that you can’t pause in the middle of it, which is equal parts puzzling and annoying.
The aspect I chose for this segment is the learning aspect. Something I said about Letter Quest is how there isn’t even really a learning aspect to the game. Epistory, on the other hand, does have one. This game was enjoyable for me, but even if it wasn’t I could at least default to saying “at least I am learning how to type faster.” I find learning (or edu-tainment) games to be a drag, which is why I think this game is all the better because it never felt like a drag to me. I had a good time, and I learned how to type faster: win-win.
In conclusion, I think Epistory is solid typing game. It goes above and beyond being a basic typing game by adding elemental abilities, upgrades, a map to explore with dungeons and secrets, and an interesting story. It does falter in places, but I think this is a solid typing game overall. Because of that, I am going to rank this as a game worth picking up. This is a great typing game if you are looking for one, but even if you aren’t (such as myself), then I still think this is a game worth experiencing.