Epistory - The Typing Chronicles Review
When you are first dropped into Epistory – The Typing Chronicles you can’t help but be impressed with the paper-look of the game. A path of pages opens up around you as you walk along it, opening up a rich environment of trees, grass, rocks, and flowers while holding on to the look and feel of paper. Before you know it, the soothing soundtrack mixed with crashing waves and the beautiful narration has fully immersed you into the story.
While discovering everything the land has to offer, you are of course met with obstacles. To get through these obstacles or defeat enemies you must press the spacebar and type the corresponding words. Whenever you revive the earth, destroy an enemy, or get through an obstacle you receive Inspiration Points. Inspiration points are used to buy upgrades and to unlock certain parts of the game. Gating certain parts of the game may sound annoying to some users, but Epistory does a great job keeping you moving, never making you feel like you have to grind out extra words just to advance. There is also a combo meter that allows you to receive more Inspiration Points the longer you string words together.
The upgrades for the game make a huge difference. You can upgrade your movement speed, combo time, knockback, but more importantly you can upgrade your unlockable skills. For example, your fire attack has a great feature that will add a unique twist on damage over time on an enemy letting you destroy them faster. You can upgrade the speed of this damage over time and get yourself out of some serious jams.
As I mentioned before, you have to press the spacebar to hunker down and then type your words. In fact everything in Epistory can be controlled with the keyboard. You move with W, A, S, D and you can just type in whatever commands you want in the menu. Not being a primary PC gamer, this took me a little bit to get used to, but any seasoned PC gamer should have no trouble at all.
One downside that I frequently ran into was when I unlocked the Fire and Ice skills. The further you get into Epistory you must switch your skills to kill enemies who are only vulnerable to that element. The problem arises when you’re using the Ice skill and you need to kill something that has an “F” as it’s first letter. Once you type that “F” Epistory will prioritize your skill selection and expect you to complete word “fire” rather than prioritize the enemy which is coming to kill you. Luckily, Epistory does two things to alleviate some of this pain. First off, when you die, it’s not the end of the world. You can easily pick up where you left off in a matter of minutes. Secondly, if you reach a point that you just can’t pass, Epistory will adjust and give you a little bit of an easier time. At times, I felt like this was necessary.
I type pretty fast and Epistory did a great job pumping up the difficulty with long difficult words (some I had never even heard of before) and increasing the speed and frequency of enemies. As great as this is, I still ran into the problem that my character and her fox weren’t able to shoot at enemies fast enough. There are times when these little flying enemies come out and they only require one letter to kill them. Well, when you queue say five at one time, the attacks don’t come fast enough, resulting in your death. Do this enough times, the game will make it easier for you and bada bing bada boom you’ve advanced.
Epistory also has a lot of puzzle elements. To receive your skills you must retrieve them from a dungeon. The most frequent puzzle is where you must light up blue tiles by stepping on them without stepping on the same one twice in a row or stepping on a red tile. It’s really not a terrible thing when you step on the same tile twice, but stepping on a red tile will result in the puzzle being completely reset. This makes it much more stressful when you have to do these tasks on ice. With the nature of the game being a story, the puzzles don’t feel like they are to frustrate you. With a little trial and error and some critical thinking, you can get the puzzles fairly quick.
One element that I definitely feel needs improvement is the map. It sort of looks like a zoomed out Minecraft map. While the map does have some handy icons on it that will help you find treasures and gates, a little more interactivity would go a long way.
I don’t want to end on a sour note. Epistory – The Typing Chronicles is a solid game that is absolutely worth trying if you’re looking for something new to try. Combine this with a great story, beautiful music, phenomenal world building and an outstanding narration, you have yourself an adventure you won’t regret taking.
Final Score: 4.5/5
Thank you to Fishing Cactus for providing the code.