This title is exclusive to PC and was reviewed as such.
Successful typing games aren’t overly common in the industry, despite there being a few exceptions of great titles like The Typing of The Dead and Epistory: Typing Chronicles. Indie studio MorbidWare decided that the genre isn’t getting the love it deserves, and wanted to contribute by releasing The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia. Did they make a difference? Let’s find out!
Everything is in order in the city of Rome, the Holy Church has everything under control…or so it appears. You play as Ray Bibbia, a private exorcist who left the Holy Church years ago due to personal reasons and questionable morals. Your job is to deal with possessed humans/objects, but corruption starts to unravel as you work on a case that turns out to go deeper than you thought. I personally loved how dynamic the game is; it starts like a casual, gameplay-driven game but evolves to become story-driven as the plot thickens. However, the narrative of The Textorcist was sloppy: bad dialog and edgy jokes, I think the developers missed the fact that trying too hard at comedy can often ruin it.
The Textorcist is a bullet-hell typing game that takes the genre to a whole other level, but fighting isn’t all what it is about. Ray Bibbia is a professional that knows how to do his job prudently, so he prepares well before every journey, which means you have work to do every time something comes up. Whether it’s using your “Hollyvetti” computer or navigating from the map, everything you interact with is through typing. Your next action is always indicated through dialogs and/or a monolog, so you need to pay close attention to the story.
After you ready up, you grab your holy book, and head on to battle with your fingers crossed. Each fight goes this way: You encounter the possessed being, tease them, and ultimately kick the cursed hell out of them. Your weapon is your “Hollets” (Holy bullets), which you shoot by reciting exorcisms, whereas your opponent’s weapon is actual bullets shot in different types and patterns. Think Enter–The–Gungeon style. Your opponent’s health is struck each time you recite a full curse sentence; the length and difficulty of which depends on how strong the enemy is. That is not the case for you though! Bullets that hit you knock-off your book first, interrupting your curse, and leaving you vulnerable to hits that would actually damage your 3-point health bar.
Fights are very fun, despite the enraging difficulty (that may have led me to smash the keyboard…). It’s so engaging to find yourself multitasking between dodging a stream of fast bullets and typing Latin curses at the same time, not to mention the unique hype soundtrack that comes with every boss. It almost feels like a crisis when your book is thrown away, and you only have a short time-span to recover it before it resets your typing progress.
Overall, The Textorcist is a pixel beauty. It’s appealing, clean -enough-, and clear. The designers managed to pull off non-noisy 16-bit pixel artwork in a bullet-hell title. Impressive, huh? There’s more! Level designs were also one of my favorite elements in the game: varied, and each corresponds to the opponent’s theme and actions. Furthermore, the visuals serve as an important part of gameplay. You’re never clueless; you know when you’re out of range to type, when you hit an incorrect key, when you’re hit, etc. However, I didn’t appreciate the fonts as much. Sometimes text could be hard to read or type (e.g. similar letters, pixely, etc.).
In my opinion, The Textorcist is a must-play for typing enthusiasts. And while it might be cringy or shackling (not complex) at times, it’s still an interesting title with a decent story and great gameplay mechanics. It definitely gives off a Dark Souls vibe due to the crushing difficulty, which I loved at times and hated at others, so I would recommend playing the free demo first to see if it suits your style.