The only thing more powerful than the written word is the muse that stirs those words in the mind of the writer. That's the player's role in Flying Cactus' Epistory.
Released earlier this week on Steam Early Access, Epistory is essentially the tale of an author and her muse -- a young girl riding on a three-tailed fox -- seeking out the inspiration for a new novel via an imaginary paper-textured adventure inside said author's head. We start with a blank page and then slowly build the world, one word at a time.
Typing is everything in Epistory. The default directional keys (E-F-I-J) are laid out to ensure proper typing technique. Obstacles are overcome by typing randomly-chosen words. Chests, filled with precious inspiration, require three words to unlock.
And when enemies appear there is a race to type them out of existence before they get too close.
The name Epistory is a play on "epistolary", a term involving the writing of letters. An epistolary novel is one written in the form of an exchange of letters, newspaper articles and that sort of thing. Epistory's letters unfold as the player walks, spilling out over the countryside.
The video below shows me playing the game prior to knowing the author/muse back story. To me it felt like the story of a lost girl trying to find her way home, each new memory uncovering more of the world, her power and confidence slowly returning.
Same difference, I suppose.
Epistory is available now on Steam Early access in unfinished form, which seems appropriate, all things considered.