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PAX East 2019: The Textorcist

It’s a good day for bullet hell fusion games, apparently, because I got to spend the afternoon playing MorbidWare’s The Textorcist: the Story of Ray Bibbia. This one combines bullet hell with a typing game of all things. Ray Bibbia is an exorcist, a holy man who removes unholy spirits from innocent people. In order to activate his spells, you have to type them out. Typing the wrong letter will function as a backspace, forcing you to pay attention to make sure you don’t accidentally delete your entire incantation. Of course, all this typing is happening during a bullet hell sequence, where getting hit will force you to drop your magic book, and if you don’t pick it up fast enough you have to start the whole incantation over again.

What remains is similar to TrackHer, where you have to focus on two separate goals but can’t fail at either. There’s a couple of different strategies here, such as using the arrow keys with one hand and trying to type with the other, or abandoning the arrow keys for a second for the sake of faster typing at risk of taking a hit. Most likely, you’ll have to resort to a number of tactics throughout the battles depending on the boss and the bullet patterns. Bosses will also use a variety of other attacks to try and screw you over, such as the second boss obscuring the text on the screen.

Naturally, after one of my friends beat the first boss, we went back in and had her move the character while I typed. It’s quite a lot easier this way, and I wonder if this would be considered a valid speedrunning strategy, but kind of defeats the point of the game. Having to focus on dodging bullets and typing at the same time is a lot of fun, and I’m definitely interested in coming back for more. Fortunately, it’s already available on steam for $14.99.

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