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Nanotale:Typing Chronicles Hands-on Preview at Pax East 2020

The keyboard is mightier than the sword!

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Over the course of time, there were quite a few games that took a stab at typing or teaching the players to type. When I was in elementary school, I remember using Mario Teaches Typing to learn how to type or at least try to learn. Another one that people remember is the House of the Dead spinoff, the Typing of the Dead. Fast-forward to Boston, Massachusetts for Pax East where another developer is taking a crack at typing but the difference is they aren’t trying to teach anything. This is a typing adventure game complete with magic and monsters.

The demo got off to a rocky start when nothing was happening when I would type. The developers brought it to my attention that their laptop was French and the keys weren’t situated like a standard keyboard you’d be used to. Once that issue was out of the way, I was able to start my magical journey. Nanotale has an interesting idea that you can maneuver with the keyboard but to do anything not movement-related, you have to type the word. If you saw a plant made of water and you needed to pop it, you would have to type the word to interact with it. Same goes for using magic spells like “fire” or “ice.” You also have the option to change the power of the spell by typing “large” for example for a larger fireball. When you level up, you need to type the name of the attribute you’d like to enhance.

You can’t have an adventure game without monsters and you’ll have to attack these monsters through typing! Different monsters take more words to kill but you’ll have to be on guard because while you’re typing, the monsters will still be coming for you. The bigger monsters will require you to type fast as it will take a few words to vanquish the foes. The smaller monsters can be taken out with relative ease and a few words. You won’t be able to use magic non-stop but it’s as easy as typing a few words to regain your mana. It was tough and challenging when you need to type fast while the monsters are coming towards you.

Typing games are a rare breed but a typing game done right is even rarer. Nanotale does remind me of the Typing of the Dead where you typed words to attack but it does but its own spin on it by having multiple words for multiple attacks. Something is wrong with the heart of magic and we only have our trusty keyboard to get to the bottom of this!

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Contributing Editor

Steve is from the great state of New Jersey.  He went to college for History and has experience working in photography and video work. He’s grown up on Nintendo and loves sports, fighting, and role-playing games. He’s also big into video game soundtracks.

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