If you attended elementary or highschool anytime in the past 25 years or so (perhaps even as far back as the late 80s), chances are that you’ve run into a typing game somewhere along the line. Typing games are pretty much what they sound like – the player proceeds through the game by typing words or phrases as prompted. There are plenty of variations on this, with franchises from Mario to Pokemon, and even games such as Typing of the Dead (a game which truly adds a little panic to your experience). They’re often games not just meant to test your typing skills, but often also to help hone them. The goal is becoming a little faster and a little better – which explains why they might show up in your classroom. However, even having seen plenty of typing games before, I’ve never quite seen anything like Touch Type Tale – a real-time strategy game controlled completely by typing.
The first project from Germany’s Pumpernickel Studio, the concept of Touch Type Tale originally took root when Malte, the game’s designer, decided to improve his typing skills with typing games. Among these was Epistory – a lovely indie typing game from 2016 – but otherwise, there wasn’t much out there. And so Malte decided to help fill this gap in the market himself. Already naturally drawn to real-time strategy games, Touch Type Tale combined RTS and typing into a single package.
When I say Touch Type Tale is controlled by typing, I mean everything is typed. Ready to make a move? Need some help? Type it! Looking for the menu? You’ll have to type that too. Before you think this might get stale, the commands switch up to different words. You might enter the barracks by typing B-R-A-I-N or maybe P-R-I-M-E. The inputs are constantly changing, keeping players on their toes (fingers?). As you go look for resources or recruit and train soldiers, you’ll find yourself facing some fast-paced typing challenges.
It’s definitely a pretty and pretty-to-listen-to game as well – the art style is gorgeous, and you’ll find lots of detail in each scene. While you type your way through raising crops and defending the village, you’ll get to listen to a catchy little soundtrack that’s perfectly ready to stand next to any of your favourite medieval-themed games or movies. The whole thing was just fun.
It was the typing aspect that drew me to try this out – it wasn’t on my list or something I had originally planned to try. I just ran into it while wandering the Indie MegaBooth and couldn’t contain my excitement at finding a typing game at PAX West 2019. To tell the truth, I’ve never much enjoyed real-time strategy – it’s just not who I am as a player. However, Touch Type Tale takes a genre I’m not really ever that moved by, and it managed to do the unthinkable for me – it made it fun. The strategic micromanagement that I’ve always shied away from feels completely different when it’s put in a gameplay style that I understand and am skilled at. It wasn’t a struggle get into the game and play (though I definitely need to develop my strategy skills a little bit before touching the full game).
If you enjoy RTS, Touch Type Tale might be a fun new twist for you to try. But I especially think it could be a fun adventure for those who generally don’t like the genre. For anyone good at typing, Touch Type Tale is easy to get into and even easier to have a blast playing.
Interested? Touch Type Tale is coming out in early 2020, but you can wishlist it now!