13th Jul2021

‘Epistory – Typing Chronicles’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Alain Elliott

Released five years ago on PC, Epistory – Typing Chronicles brings its unusual game and style of gameplay to Nintendo Switch. Reading up on Epistory before I played it, I was instantly drawn to it because it seemed like something I had never played before. Recently I have really been enjoying trying new genres and new types of games to play, so Epistory fitted in nicely.

The main ‘hook’ I guess Epistory has, is in the full title and that ‘Typing Chronicles’ part. The game involves a lot of typing. The only game I personally remember hearing about before that might be some what similar was The Typing of the Dead for the Sega Dreamcast, a game I have never actually played. Don’t panic though, this isn’t a game in which you have to constantly type away sentence after sentence.

But lets go back to the start.

You can play the game using the normal Switch controls but I chose not to play it that way. It doesn’t seem like it would be easy at all and it’s not how the game was intended to be played. Instead I hooked up a keyboard via the USB port and I was ready to go. I actually didn’t realise that you could do this with the Switch. It’s not something that has been widely publicised.

The keyboard feels like a perfect way to play Epistory though. Firstly you move your character, that is sat upon their fox, simply with the letters E, F, I & J for forward, backwards, left and right. Pressing two of them together will move you in a diagonal direction. The quick fire typing starts in the ‘battle’ scenes where eventually, hoards of creatures come crawling or flying towards you and the only way to destroy them is by typing the letters and words that are hovering over their heads. Seems simple enough, right?

And it kind of is, but there is much more to Epistory. Part action adventure, part puzzle game, part role playing game, it’s an intriguing mix that remains entertaining for both experienced and inexperienced gamers alike. The game also evolves with how quick you are at typing to match your skill set, a simple but nice addition. The makers of the game have created a really great-looking origami World that literally has the paper unfolding as you progress. The colours pop out of the screen nicely and each tree, flower and rock has been carefully thought out and designed. It’s a truly beautiful game to look at. Even the scary creatures that you overcome are fantastic-looking. Paper Mario will be where most peoples mind will go as a comparison to Epistory – Typing Chronicles but this has its very own style.

For someone like me, who has had very little PC gaming, and therefore keyboard gaming experience, it’s easy to get slightly annoyed at times when trying to move your character. I often got mixed up with which letter took me which direction but it was rarely so frustrating that it made the gameplay unenjoyable. The combat parts of the game are as simple as it sounds. You just have to keep your eyes on the screen and type away the words you see as quickly as possible. It takes more than one word to kill most of them off and when nearly ten enemies are on screen, it does get a bit panicky! These moments are no doubt a highlight of the game for me, the music is great and the tension is of the fun-type that even if you lose, you’ll be ready to go again with a smile on your face.

This isn’t a short game either. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anybody playing this for thirty or forty hours but there’s a good six plus hours of gameplay here and that’s without repeating things over. The gameplay isn’t as repetitive as you might expect and I enjoyed it as much in the first minute as I did the five hundredth minute.

Nintendo Switch users looking for something a bit different could do much much worse than Epistory. This is an original, entertaining and fun game for all levels of gamer. It looks great, plays smoothly and will challenge even the most experienced. There’s no reason at all not to give Epistory – Typing Chronicles a try.

**** 4/5

Epistory – Typing Chronicles is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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