One nice thing about the Epic Games store is that they give away a free game about once a week. As we are approaching Christmas in 2020, they are actually giving away a free game every day for the last part of December. One such game that I received for free is The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibba, hereafter just The Textorcist, a bullet hell action game mashed together with a typing game, developed by MorbidWare and published by HeadUp games in February, 2019.
For anyone unfamiliar with what a bullet hell style of game would be, it is one where the screen gets filled with bullets that you need to dodge, as in the screenshot above. In the game, you take up the role of Ray Bibba, a freelance exorcist living in Rome. You get embroiled in events that have you traveling from battle to battle against a variety of mortal and possessed opponents.
The game doesn’t take itself too seriously, having an old Japanese RPG aesthetic and a plot that is mainly there to string together the various fights. It does take the typing aspect of the game to a silly degree, making you type in “start” or “continue” to play the game. In a similar vein, doing things in the game usually requires you to type in that action, i.e., typing “examine” to look at something.
The combat mechanics of the game are that you need to type in various Latin words, while also using the arrow keys to dodge a barrage of projectiles. If you hit a wrong letter, it goes back to the previous letter in the word requiring that you retype it. If you get hit, you initially drop your Bible. If you get hit before you can pick it back up, you take damage.
If you take three points of damage, you lose the fight and need to start over. Each fight also tends to have its own special mechanic, like temporarily covering the text as seen in the above screenshot. You do get items after most fights. You can equip these items to gain bonuses, though they also decrease your score for beating fights.
You get points added to your score based upon the number of bullets on the screen when you complete typing in a phrase. To win, you just need to type in enough phrases without dying, which is easier said than done. The game is fairly difficult, as trying to type quickly while also dodging quickly doesn’t come naturally for most people.
Unlike most typing games, this one is not going to help you learn how to type properly. You will mostly need to type one-handed, while navigating with the other, which isn’t the “proper” way of typing on a keyboard. The humor in the game also tended to fall flat for me.
However, as a difficult action game is where this title excels. The difficulty goes up fast, with the game just consisting of a series of “boss” fights. I also felt the music was quite well done, with an up tempo beat that felt appropriate for the fast paced combat.
Overall, I would give The Textorcist a “C+/B-“, or a 6.5/10. Due to the delay in when I post these, it is no longer available for free. But, if you like the bullet hell genre, then it would be worth picking up this title during a sale.
If you want to check it out, you can find it on Steam here, where it has a “Very Positive” user rating. You can also find it on the Epic Games store here. As a last note, the game has a fair amount of content that would be inappropriate for younger gamers, so this is more for teens and older.