Remember the first time you played The Typing of The Dead?
It’s an underrated feeling. That novelty of your first playthrough slowly being overtaken by genuine curiosity and wonder as the original comedic intentions turn into genuine intensity, and once you finish it? You go through it again and pray you don’t get blindsided by the one prick who had “Chrysanthemum” as his set word. Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about Nanotale: Typing Chronicles instead.
This is the latest title from Belgian studio Fishing Cactus, a fairly large team of 25 with 30 years of experience behind them; Fishing Cactus celebrating their tenth anniversary this year. They’re currently working on two titles, both expected to release in Q3 of 2019. Those games are Nanotale and the downright adorable-looking Ary and The Secret of Seasons, both of which should be on your radar, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
Nanotale follows the adventure of Rosalind, a newbie Archivist who is tasked with studying and attempting to catalog the mysteries of her world. However, her world is dying, as “The Final Song” is sung. In all truth, Rosalind is none the wiser, being blissfully unaware about the threat. She continues to research the valleys, with the peace in the lands about to change.
Gameplay in Nanotale is deceptively simple at first. If you’ve played The Typing of The Dead, then you should feel right at home, despite a perspective change and free-flowing movement possibly making you feel a slight amount of alienation. Various items in the world will require you to type in a random word– usually relating to the type of item it is (plants = plant-related words, etc.)– but where Nanotale’s magic lies is within its combat.
Monsters roam the world with a deadly hostility, and any word typed above them will unleash a devastating magic attack against them. With so many words on the screen at one time; from the monster words, to the plant words, to the magic spells you actually have equipped– along with specific spell variations– you’d be forgiven for thinking that realistically, Nanotale might feel a little bit bulky in its gameplay mechanics. Honestly, there’s not a lot about it that feels bulky.
You can move with the WASD keys, but it honestly feels a lot better moving with your left hand and hacking your way through the Magicka Mainframe with your right hand. It keeps you moving, it keeps you actively evading enemies, and it simply feels bloody brilliant to control, especially in high-stakes gameplay like wave defense.
Here is where your skills and mind will expand to the size of Jupiter, once you’re trapped in a space with tons of enemies all roaming towards you. All you’re armed with is a keyboard and an expanded vocabulary, but the amount of power you feel emanating from your fingertips is insane as you suddenly feel like you’re hacking the Statue of Liberty, along with destroying monsters effortlessly.
All in all, Nanotale shows some incredible promise thus far, with a keyboard typing mechanic that’s surprisingly smooth within gameplay proceedings. Hell, Nanotale’s presence alone should make you excited for Fishing Cactus’ other title Ary and The Secret of Seasons as well. With both games arriving this year, it won’t take too long to find out.
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