At first glance, Epistory by Fishing Cactus looks like your regular artsy RPG adventure–however, it is so much more than that.
As a newcomer to the typing RPG genre, I was slightly wary of what was about to happen. It’s very easy to make the mistake of thinking it might be too educational instead of entertaining. I was very wrong. In Epistory, you embark on a journey through a land made of paper on a gorgeous fox with three tails. When you start out, there’s not much to see, but as you go on, you (literally) unfold more of the story. The aim is to find compasses that will open up more of the world while you explore and while you look for them, there’s typing. A lot of typing. It took me a while to get into the general vibe of the game, but when I did, I was not disappointed.
Looking at just the aesthetics of the game, it is a very colourful and vibrant environment, and each part of the world has different assets which make wherever you are very recognizable. I’m a huge fan of what I call ‘crafty’ design, so walking around in a world made entirely out of paper and origami is very pleasing to me personally. Overall it’s all nicely done and it’s fun to check out how all the different objects are designed. There’s quite a few different places to visit, like a desert, mountains and forests and each of them has its own little quirks and items. Typing the words above most of the items will make them disappear, or will change them in a way that’s beneficial for you or the world around you.
Because Epistory is a typing RPG, the controls are slightly adjusted. Instead of using the regular ‘WSAD’ keys for movement, in this game you use the ‘EF’ and ‘IJ’ keys. This is to ensure that your fingers are placed where they should on your keyboard for immediate typing action when necessary. The different way of using the keys takes some getting used to, but once you do it’s actually quite nice. To defeat enemies, you have to type the words that appear above them. As you progress in the game, you unlock different magic abilities that make the battles a lot easier and give you some sweet perks. For example, if you’re using the Fire ability, the word that comes after the one you type will vanish, which is especially nice for two-word enemies. Every now and then you walk into an open spot where a load of enemies appear consecutively, each one with more difficult words than the other. The idea sounds easy, but when quite a few foes with words like ‘inconsequentially’ and ‘institutionalists’ appear on your screen, your magic sure comes in handy, especially when you keep in mind that only one touch will kill you.
Aside from the typing matches, there are also quite a few of ‘dungeon’ areas you have to go through that have very Ice Path-esque puzzles to solve. These puzzles are fun and not too challenging, and give your fingers a nice break from the speed typing.
Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a story based RPG, and as you progress and unfold the world around you, more of the story gets told to you by subtitles and a narration. The story takes some time to build up, but in the end finishing the game and finding out what’s actually happening around you while you play is definitely worth it.
Overall, Epistory may take some time to get into, but when you do it’s a very beautiful, laid-back RPG that will keep you entertained until the end with a mixture of storytelling, battles and collecting. Oh, and you may learn how to type ‘irreproducibility’ really fast!