Early access title Nanotale: Typing Chronicles developed by Fishing Cactus and published by Fishing Cactus, Plug In Digital and 2P Games. Currently available on steam, Nanotale is the new adventure from the Typing Chronicles franchise and spiritual successor to Epistory.
In a nutshell, it’s a dungeon crawl style RPG game that you can play purely with the keyboard. Replace frantically clicking your mouse button with desperately trying to accurately and quickly type words from fox, to flammable to cynicism. Think Mavis Beacon teaches typing, whilst casting spells to ward off hoards of enemies, it’s frustratingly fun!
Nanotale: Typing Chronicles is an Early Access title, so expect the usual teething issues and bugs. However, the developers are constantly releasing fixes and updates to the game from feedback given by players and community members.
You play as Rosalind a Novice Archivist, tasked with collecting and recording samples of the rock and plant life of the planet. The main mechanic of the game is typing. You open your spellbook with the spacebar then cast the spell by typing the words that appear. Whilst exploring you encounter plants that you can use to aid your exploring. Clearing paths and providing cover and hiding space from the forests hostile creatures.
Fire plants can be used to damage enemies or clear the way. Water plants can be used to grow grass to provide cover to pass tricky enemies. This really makes you pay more attention to your environment, your next path isn’t always clear which depending on the player may be frustrating or encouraging.
The combat is where some players may be divided. Whilst exploring you encounter few enemies, which for the most part are easily dispatched through a combination of offense and stealth.
However, whilst exploring you come across what I would describe as a “Boss fight”. This can get very frustrating for some as you’re attacked by waves of enemies of varying toughness. Some also attack with fire or water, which can also be used to your advantage.
Defeating a fire enemy results in an explosive fireball that burns surrounding enemies and also sets fire to any plant life. Defeating a water enemy ends with a splash, regrowing any burnt plantlife. It really takes some strategy, deciding which enemy to tackle first and sometimes directing enemies together to get an area damage effect.
The RPG element of the game comes from leveling up Rosalind. Once you’ve earned enough experience you’re given the choice of which abilities you’d like to unlock to aid your journey. These range from adding strength and abilities to spells, or increasing the speed of your fox mount.
It’s perhaps a little too early in development to say. But, a difficulty setting which would alter the size of waves of enemies or alter the difficulty of the words you need to type. Would make the game a little more accessible to players who may wish to play for the story. There’s no doubting this game will increase your typing speed and accuracy though.
During my playthrough, I only encountered one bug. Where I found myself stuck after a dialogue prompt. The game was still responsive, so I just needed a restart before continuing from the last save.
The graphics look great and the art style really lends itself to the environment of the ancestral forest. I loved the character and creature design, The Jaspers were a particular favorite of mine.
There were a couple of moments where the camera placement would cause some of the forest to disappear. But at this point, I’m unsure if it is a bug or if it’s intentional to give an unobstructed view. Overall the game looks great and paints a wonderful fantasy setting.
As you’ve come to know from my reviews/previews, Game Audio plays a huge factor in my enjoyment of a game. Nanotale delivers audio you expect from a fantasy RPG, The soundtrack is fantastic. The string instruments really set the fantasy scene and are beautifully relaxing. The sound effects from the spell casting sound great.
At the moment depending on your ability and playstyle there are around 4 hours of gameplay. Allowing you to explore the first biome/level of the game.
Fishing Cactus is looking at a release of between February and May next year bringing with it the remaining story, more Biomes, Spells, and Battles!
I’ve never played a game like this before. However, I have been tempted with The Typing of the Dead in the past, but have yet to get around to purchasing it.
Since playing this preview of Nanotale, I’ve purchased Epistory. So that I can experience this series from the start and I can’t wait to see how Nanotale develops.
If you’re a fan of Epistory or Love your fantasy RPG’s and are looking for something different. If you don’t mind a few early bugs get on board and support the development of this game, you won’t be disappointed.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this preview.
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