This title is exclusive to PC and was reviewed as such.

E3.14CENTER is an indie typing game developed by Half-Face Games and published by Xitilon. This is a game where you interact with the environment by typing words to perform actions, ‘recover’ to regain health, ‘death’ to defeat enemies, and so on.

Gameplay

Gameplay is quite simple, but is unfortunately, in some instances, not very well thought out. In my experience movement and action in typing games are both done through the keyboard. This keeps everything accessible and relatively easy to pick up.

E3.14CENTER on the other hand has chosen to have in-game movement bound to the mouse rather than the keyboard. Unless you rope a friend in to play alongside you, you need to use one hand to type and one to move. There is no option (that I could find) to rebind keys to fix this issue. This may have been a deliberate design choice or might just be something that has been overlooked by the devs. Regardless, it leaves the player ever so slightly hindered by the sheer base mechanics of the game. Instead of worrying about enemy viruses and actually progressing through the levels, you’re more worried about trying to type one handed (more difficult than I would have first thought!) and keeping your little turtle-like avatar from harm (your life bar found at the top left of the screen in white).

As the levels progress the difficulty increases. You will start to interact with the level itself (fixing fissures and the like), and deal with more and more cunningly designed enemies.

Graphics / Visuals

Visually E3.14CENTER is simplistic but clean, which means there is no cause for confusion. The aim of the game is immediately clear with boldly coloured geometric designs used for enemies you must avoid and destroy. The level design is again, very simplistic. The level is a ring around a circle (the next level) which you run around inside to avoid and defeat your foes. As you continue through the game there are more areas of interest that you can interact with. The general base design of the levels stays pretty much the same though.


Sound / Music

The music in E3.14CENTER is fun, electronic with a hint of 8-bit inspiration. The sound effects are crisp with the same old-school electronic feel. However, these effects can also quickly become repetitive simply due to the nature of the game. You’ll find yourself either sinking into a zen zone where you’ve tuned everything but the game out, or grinding your teeth just to hear something else. It’ll depend entirely on what you find irritating and what you find calming. Personally, the sounds helped me concentrate more on the game. However, my friend asked me to turn the sound off as they found it grating.

Verdict

E3.14CENTER is a typing game that needs a bit of consideration. It has a simple but solid foundation in the aesthetic and even to an extent the sound design. Unfortunately the game mechanics aren’t well thought out. In other typing games you get lots of new words, E3.14CENTER spends a lot of time on the same words with only a few added as you go.

The fact you have to type one handed takes away a decent amount of fluidity and enjoyment from the game. I feel like E3.14CENTER could really benefit from the ability to rebind keys to make it more accessible and enjoyable.

Overall this is an alright typing game (there are better, and worse, examples of the genre out there). If you don’t mind some odd game mechanics, or are looking for a different kind of typing challenge, this could be the game for you.

4

Pros

  • Bold colours and clean geometric design
  • Fun music and sound effects

Cons

  • Movement is bound to the mouse, so you type with one hand and move with the other
  • Unable to rebind keys
  • No pause button
  • Not a huge variety to the words you type (you get more as you go but compared to other typing games it’s very limited)

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