2020-09-07: First thoughts after playing Epistory

Last weekend I played the first chapter of Epistory - Typing Chronicles. It’s light RPG where the primary form of interaction is typing words. For example to open a chest you type several randomly chosen words which appear above it. I started playing to improve my qwerty typing, but I’ll continue playing because I find the premise far more engaging than I expected.

I never payed much attention to typing games. When first learning to type I played some educational games which featured typing mechanics as a way to teach you to type. Epistory is not educational, and instead uses typing mechanics to enhance gameplay and narrative.

In order to survive a combat encounter, you must rapidly type a specified sequence of words for each of the numerous enemies charging toward the player character. The player must accurately and quickly perform a task requiring manual dexterity (ie. typing on a keyboard) in order for their avatar to perform dexterity-based combat maneuvers, thus aligning the experience of player and character.

The “literal” narrative of Epistory (from what I’ve seen so far) is about restoring life to a corrupted woods, which is a fairly standard RPG plot. This is just a medium for the actual plot, told sparingly in tidbits of flavour text and the occasional voice over. The words you type to interact with the world are randomly chosen, and don’t comprise meaningful sentences, but the pool from which the words are chosen varies throughout the game, and depending on the situation, often serving to reinforce the tone of the narrative.