If there was one game which blew me away at the recent Develop: Brighton conference it was Touch Type Tale, a fantastic fusion of RTS and typing-game which excels in both genres.
The typing genre is, in my opinion, at its best when it straddles alongside other game types. Words for Evil and Typing of the Dead are two examples of typing games fused with other genres to create wonderful experiences. Touch Type Tale will happily slow alongside those two in all future examples of this, for me at least. It’s a combination of real time strategy and typing, and it is done with such a pure nature and fun style that, for me, it was impossible to put down until I’d passed the demo.
And, it’s not just a typing game. It’s completely mouse free. Everything from the menu to unit formations and directions are handled by typing, through some extremely clever word allocation systems running in the background.
Each battle starts out with you getting the resources rolling. You’ll recruit civilians, start a mining process and begin unit generation before the game shifts into a more combat focused playstyle. Once there you’ll organise, divide and order your troops through holding Ctrl and tapping out on the U I O P buttons (for units), J K L buttons (for formations), or typing the words on paths for orders.
It’s incredibly intuitive and is all held together through the fantastic UI. Somehow Pumpernickel Studio managed to use less than a quarter of the screen to deliver all the RTS elements as well as the troop instructions, day-night clock, and room for the mini-games which represent the interior/effect of the building you’ve selected from the map area.
While most typing games are all about accuracy, even punishing you for mistyping. Touch Type Tale definitely keeps with the ‘strategy’ element of real time strategy. You’ve got a production cycle to maintain and your units can hold areas pretty well on their own. So it very much becomes more about moving smart rather than moving quick, very fast.
All of this is held together with a storybook fashion and an interesting story about an apprentice (that’s you) who becomes master of a magical typewriter. It’s cute, it’s quaint and it’s all held together through lovely clear pop-up book styled art.
Touch Type Tale is releasing on Windows PCs in Early 2020. You can follow the game’s progress on its Twitter, if you are so inclined.