Publisher: PID Publishing, 2PGames, Fishing Cactus | Developer: Fishing Cactus | Platforms: PC (Steam, Reviewed), Stadia | Code Provided to We Got Comms for Review Purposes
“Typing,” to me, has an unfortunate connection to the working world so when a game like Nanotale – Typing Chronicles is released and is not directly associated with data entry, it’s bound to pique my interest. It’s a game solely controlled by the keyboard — feel free to throw away the mouse even — and doesn’t require a 100 words per minute competence like, say, a Typing of the Dead might. No, it’s a methodical RPG adventure set against a bright, pastoral background where you guide the archivist, Rosalind, on her way to saving a magical world. The lore found on your quest levels up your powers (i.e. fire, ice, push, pull, etc.) and is the main way to upgrade Rosalind and solve environmental puzzles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fully come together. The novelty of being able to completely traverse the landscape, activate your powers, take on waves of enemies and destroy bosses with mechanical keystrokes is executed well but is hampered by some shortcomings. Nanotale suffers from several annoying bugs, convoluted pathways, and an unfriendly checkpoint system. (You get two auto-save files and no manual saves for the latter.) It makes an otherwise enjoyable — and unique — typing adventure a bit of a chore to get through. Kind of like, well…work.
6.5/10 – Solid
On the cutting room floor…
Forget the WASD
Nanotale takes its typing seriously. So much so that it encourages proper keyboard finger placement as it does away with the typical “WASD” character movement and instead opts for an “ESDF” scheme. It works surprisingly well and makes for an adventure that truly requires nothing else but the keys before you.
You open up your spell actions with the space bar and type away to your heart’s content to cast spells with relevant words like “zap” and “fire.” Most of the words make sense considering your target and you don’t get penalized for typing in letters wrong when attacking enemies, for example.
Tell Me It’s Dead…PLEASE.
Reminiscent of scripting glitches with Cyberpunk 2077, Nanotale features a particular bug where it wasn’t showing me I had defeated a certain boss and had me loading the other save file — yes, out of a whopping two available — to try to get past it.
I replayed a couple of hours of the game to see if I could get the credit for beating said boss only to find out it glitched…again. I was still able to progress even without that quest line being “checked off,” but it would’ve been useful to have the option of creating manual saves to have gotten to that realization sooner.
Lore That Keeps on Givin’
Given my proclivity to avoid lore as much as possible in games, I do like the fact that Nanotale rewards you for digging into the extra story threads by making it the primary way to level up Rosalind.
It’s a pretty streamlined XP system where “collecting” fauna, enemy, and pet data builds up your character to have a more formidable skill set at your disposal. It’s not too complicated, but it does a good job of inspiring you to explore the lands.