When I was younger, my parents would have me sit down at the computer and play typing games. I found them strangely fun, which resulted in me playing them for hours at a time. Fishing Cactus released a game called Epistory on March 30, 2016 that is much like those old typing games but takes everything to a whole new level. When I saw this game, I was incredibly excited. I was drawn in just from the trailer and, after diving into the gameplay, have found myself lost in its world for hours.
Epistory is a typing based RPG game. You’re a girl riding around on a giant fox, restoring a forest, and vanquishing evil. The way you vanquish evil is what drew me in more than any other aspect of the game. When you touch the space bar the fox you are riding freezes, words appear around you, and you can type away. You can do simple tasks such as bring flowers into the forest with the words “POPPY”, or “MARIGOLD”. You can break logs by typing words like “CYPRESS”. Each of the words the objects have are in the theme of the object itself. As I mentioned before, “POPPY” and “MARIGOLD” create flowers, and “FLAMMABLE” and “HOT” destroy burning barriers. Chests can have the words “WONDER” or “UNPACKAGED” associated with them. The enemies, however, have randomized words such as“FLU”, “HAT”, or “MUD”.
The mechanics were a bit odd but made sense. It advises that you use EFJI to move around, making it easier to switch to a typing position. However, it gives you the option to use WASD, and you can switch back and forth between them seamlessly if there are moments where you feel the other would be more comfortable.
When I say you need to type everything, I mean that you need to type EVERYTHING. Typing in-game gives you inspiration points, and inspiration points can give you upgrades. When you upgrade, you type the word you want to upgrade, wait for the upgrading to finish, then type “RESUME” to go back into the game. However, they take the typing to the next level. Upon starting out, you come across some burning barriers. However, there’s nothing you can type to get rid of them. They show up as symbols until you go through a level and find the “language”.
There’s some strategy involved in this game. You need quick typing skills but, almost more importantly, also need to be able to pick which enemies to focus on. Early in the game, you get the power of fire. When you hit enemies after you have the power, the fire erodes away at each word the enemies hold and most have more than one word you must type to kill them. At areas with large amounts of enemies, I found myself really having to think quickly about who I was going to hit and when.
The graphics are nothing short of incredible. Everything is paper until it forms into an actual colored world. The art reminds me of origami, and the whimsical feel is enchanting. The soundtrack only adds to the atmosphere, with its folky feel. The sound effects are amazing and engaging, and the lighting is wonderful as well.
This is such an incredibly unique game. I would absolutely recommend this game to everyone, whether you’re a good typist or not. It can help you better your typing skills in a very fun and engaging way. Many, many hours will be sunk into this game in my future, and I can’t wait to see where this enchanting game takes me!