Epistory - Typing Chronicles (PC) (2016)

Overview: An action typing adventure game.

20190115/20190116 AM Hours:
I came across this title in my library a couple of days ago and made sure to prioritize it on the list of games to play. I ended up finishing it.

Eliminating wave after wave of enemies.

Setup: Graphics: 1920 x 1200 Windowed. Fantastic. (I've been playing a lot of games in Windowed mode over Fullscreen mode lately.)

Gameplay Log:
Initially playing i could use EFJI but it was confusing and eventually I used WASD.
However, eventually I got to these ice puzzles where you have to light all the blue pads and not touch the red. Due to the isometric layout, it was more useful to use the EFJI to solve the puzzle. There might be a way to abuse using WASD, but it seemed that going along the diagonals was most straightforward.
Escaping from these monsters was similar. I had to use EFJI.
Oh, I can kind if visualize why EFJI represent the diagonals:
ISOMETRIC CONTROLS   | TRADITIONAL CONTROLS
DIRTN  KEYS  ACTUAL  | DIRTN  KEYS  ACTUAL 
NW NE  E I           |   N      W     W
             E____I  |  W E    A D   ASD
SW SE  F J   _F__J_  |   S      S

Use WASD or EFJI to moe around the world.

Finished the story and most achievements. 7.0 hours. Still need the following:
A) Kill 10,000 enemies. 2,258/10,000
B) Burn 500 Words with fire magic. 440/500
C) Stop 500 enemies with ice magic. 302/500
D) Repel 500 enemies with wind magic. 223/500
E) Use all 4 magic types on a unique enemy
F) Find the prickly fisherman
G) Type 500 characters without a mistake. Best: 217.
H) Type 1000 characters without a mistake. Best: 217.
I) Surpass the average and reach typewriting speed of 60WPM. Best: 57.
J) 5 Hidden Achievements (e.g., the 1% Muse achievements)
Played a little bit more. Still need the following:
A) 2,821/10,000. F-I). J) 4 Hidden Achievements

There are plenty of puzzles.

Steam Game Time: 7.7 hours (total game time)

20190116 Part 1:
Today I tried to complete the achievements. After completing some of them and having a go at the one with Words Per Minute, I decided to stop playing.

Gameplay Log:
Today I played the arena with a focus on not making any mistakes. Note that I want to do this organically. There are ways to easily get this achievement, such as using a Steam Workshop level that has only A's.
Let's see how many times I die before I reach the achievement H (dying does not reset the counter). As an estimate, 1000 characters is about 200 5-letter words.


Now I go for the WPM achievement.
Run #1 (Labyrinth). Used Ice until the very end when they were really advancing. Ends @ 1374 errors / 36055 letters typed / 59.32 WPM.
Before my words per minute was down at around the 34s when I was playing for no mistakes. With taht being said, I believe the errors are what lower my WPM.
Run #2 (Labyrinth). Ends @ 1427 errors / 38002 letters typed / 54.52 WPM.
I try going into Story Mode.

Upgrade abilities throughout the game.

I finish Achievement F. As such, now I only have the following:
A) 3,683/10,000. I) Best: 60 (which really means 59 point something rounded up). J) 3 Hidden Achievements.
I return to the arena and after two or three tries I decide to put the game aside.

Steam Game Time: 9.9 hours (total game time) / 2.2 hours (session game time)

20190116 Part 2:
However, something about the achievement called me back for a little more.

Gameplay Log:
I had various ideas and tried them out until I eventually got achievement I.


Tip: After movement is initiated, sprinting is toggle by the Shift key (after unlocking the ability). I previously thought the Shift key had to be held down.

Enjoy the story

Steam Game Time: 10.6 hours (total game time) / 0.7 hours (session game time)

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Decent story.
+ Beautiful world and good atmosphere
+ Great visual choices. For example, paper style, narration getting written onto the world
+ The existence of narration is nice in theory
+ Adaptive difficulty.

Neutral:
~ Decent music.
~ The isometric+typing controls are sometimes necessary, not most intuitive.
~ Might be fun to speedrun.

Minor Con:
- Sometimes it can be hard to focus on the narration, because I'm focused on the game.
- Supposedly adaptive difficulty is able to extend beyond "Insane difficulty." Why?


Cons:
- The map doesn't rotate with the player's view.
- The map is not available on the HUD; I would have liked to have it whenever I'm not in typing mode. It must be accessed from the menu.
- Powers cannot be turned off.
- Poor WPM calculation. If there are no enemies, there should be no deduction to the WPM metric.

Summary:
Overall, Epistory is a short and decent typing game. However, while the adventure and story elements of the game are enjoyable, the core of the game, that is, the typing itself, is not as polished as other typing games I've played.

Personally, I type at about 80 words per minute when copying text (via online typing tests) and the top end difficulty of this game is reasonably difficult for me. Players who are newer to typing (but already know all the letters) may find Epistory's range of difficulty to be reasonable as well, because the game gives a choice of adaptive difficult (essentially based on typing speed, adjusted for accuracy) or a range of fixed difficulties.

Finally, while the mood of the game is generally casual, the game can sometimes feel dark and can sometimes be difficult (with respect to the adventure elements of the game).



Epistory - Typing Chronicles (PC) (2016)

Relevant Links:
Epistory - Typing Chronicles Website
Epistory - Typing Chronicles (Wikipedia.org)
Epistory - Typing Chronicles (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Epistory - Typing Chronicles (Steam Store Page)

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