You don’t see a lot of typing games around these days, but I have a soft spot for this particular subgenre. I recently played the “bullet-hell meets typing game” The Textorcist, and who can forget the classic Typing of the Dead. But Nanotale is a bit different.

Developer Fishing Cactus describes Nanotale as an “Atmospheric Typing Adventure RPG,” which it really is. Unlike other typing games, it doesn’t rely on a single gimmick and offers robust story and gameplay mechanics.

You are the young archivist Rosalind, who ventures into a dying planet to catalog every plant and animal before they’re all gone. On your journey, you might discover what’s causing the magic that holds everything together to fail, and maybe also even save the world.

When exploring Nanotale’s vibrant fantasy world, you control everything using your keyboard: talking to characters, solving puzzles, engaging in combat, and using magic.

Combat is pretty straightforward. Every enemy has a word above associated with it, and typing that word deals them damage. Magic and using the environment to your advantage is where things start to get interesting.

You can target crystals and plants in your immediate surroundings to create different environmental effects. Some plants burst into a puddle of water when attacked, while others explode in a dangerous fireball. You can use those to your advantage during combat, or to solve puzzles.

For example, you can use water to grow patches of tall grass that allow you to sneak through them. Then, you can set the grass on fire and hurt any enemy that walks through it. Later in the game, you’ll be able to freeze water to create bridges or blockages that can help you funnel enemies towards fire traps. Of course, everything is done by typing.

Magic works in a similar fashion. Rosalind can cast spells of fire and ice using a series of typed commands. You can type the word “Hot” to initiate a fire spell, and then add the word “Large” to indicate you want to use it as an AoE spell. Then, all you need to do is choose which enemy or object you wish to cast the spell on. It’s pretty intuitive but requires some fast typing skills, as enemies won’t sit still and wait till you decide what to do.

I thoroughly enjoyed my short time playing Nanotale. The visuals are charming, and the gameplay is surprisingly varied for a typing game. You can feel the action-adventure and RPG elements that make the game more than previous games I played in this subgenre.

You should also know it is the spiritual successor of Epistory, a cute typing game with papercraft visuals also developed by Fishing Cactus. You don’t have to play Epistory to enjoy this new game, but if you’re into typing game – give it a go.

Nanotale will support multiple languages and keyboard layouts when it launches on PC later in 2019.

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