I, for whatever reason, enjoy a good typing game. I spent a lot of hours in the flash game of Typer Shark and numerous other games like it being compelled by some unseen force that really gets a kick out of typing. Then out of nowhere came Epistory – Typing Chronicles from Fishing Cactus and it was even more fun than the rest. Could this be then end-all-be-all? I’m not sold on that, but what we do have so far is very promising.
Epistory uses an origami approach to the aesthetics of their game and it’s very cool to watch the world unfold as the story unravels and to watch your character explore and unveil the ever-expanding world unlocked with challenges. (Ok, that’s enough of that.) Either way it’s cool. I think one of the more frustrating things was finding a place you couldn’t get access to due to Epistory being in Early Access. It is understandable since it’s not done yet, but still… I want it! I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, that if wanting more is “the problem” the player is feeling, then the developer us doing something right. (Unless your game ends on a cliffhanger and there is no sequel planned, then it’s just all sorts of wrong.)
I was also thinking that this could be a good tool to help teach my daughters to type when they get older if we’re not all jacked in neurally by then. Alas, the difficulty shows itself numerous times with what’s been given so far. I think that as a tutor, this would only breed frustration. This is more of a get better and finesse your skills than it is a teaching game. That’s not a bad thing, but I think there is an opportunity here to capitalize on if they added a slower learning mode. That way a parent might be swayed into picking this up with two or more people in mind rather than just to enjoy the story so far themselves.
As far as the story goes, there’s not too much to say about it since it’s still not finished and I’m not sure what the end game is here. Epistory is, however, less interesting than it is more compelling. That’s a difficult thought to put into words, but let me try. It’s not going to win any awards at this point from me, but I feel strongly compelled to play more and level up. Also killing bugs is always a good thing since the only good bug is a dead bug. It almost feels like the story is a background to the action on the screen. That certainly shows when text pops up during the middle of a “boss platform” where tons of crap starts to get thrown at you… yeh, I read most of that after the fight. So there could be something to the story, but I think that Epistory has me on the gameplay mechanics alone at this point. That’s kind of cool too in its own way and it also wouldn’t be the first time I’ve enjoyed a game simply by playing it without cause or concern for a story. There might also be an element of disconnect from myself and the protagonist. I don’t know her name or story, I just start playing as her and I’m killing bugs. Like I said, it is fun, but I’m not emotionally invested in her yet. Maybe as the game goes on I will attach a little more to her. I still want to help her though.
One last note, at this time they have two powers to use when typing: fire and ice. Fire will slowly burn up the next word on an enemy’s “life bar/word que” so you won’t have to type the next word in and the ice power should be self-explanatory, but it freezes the bugs in place. You’ll get more time to type if you freeze them, but you’ll have to type less if you burn them. Some enemies will force an option on you while others will give you the choice of what powers to use (for me, it’s usually what I’ve already selected, but I do appreciate the freezing.) With that said, I’m not sure if there is a point system in place for burning a word up or getting more time to type another word in. Do I lose part of my experience bonus if I don’t actually type it in? If I freeze and eventually type that second word in will I get more experience points? I’m not sure, but I like leveling up so on the side of caution I’m just freezing as many as I can so I can level up more. Should they be clearer? Maybe. Am I worrying too much about this detail… probably. Is that how I’m going to continue to play the game since I don’t know… definitely!