Backspace Bouken is an inventive retro first person dungeon crawler that tests your typing skills as you battle enemies and solve puzzles with words instead of swords.
Previously featured on Alpha Beta Gamer when it was in Alpha, Backspace Bouken is a retro styled Eye of the Beholder-esque dungeon crawler where the keyboard is mightier than the sword. The previous version that we covered was a lot of fun, but extremely hard if your typing skills weren’t up to scratch. Thankfully the game now has an adaptive difficulty level that balances the gameplay to your typing skills.
In the game you take on the role of Kana, a young typist who has to venture into the Tower of F8 in search of medicine for her family. Along with a wisp/fairy guide called Asterisk you make your way through the tower, battling fearsome monsters, saving NPCs and solving puzzles along the way.
The combat in Backspace Bouken is entirely typing-based, with you typing out phrases as they appear on the screen. Each time you press the spacebar after a correctly spelled word you damage your enemy. Take too long or make a mistake and you’re on the receiving end of some damage though. Also, spaces are essentially your ammo, which you need to keep topped up by stealing them from signposts along the way.
There are few circumstances in life where typing is actually fun, but Backspace Bouken is one of the rare exceptions. The type-to-fight gameplay is very enjoyable and you can actually feel your typing skills are improving a little as you play. Also, it’s a great little dungeon crawler in its own right, with witty writing, quirky characters, lots of weird monsters to battle and inventive design. See how you fare in the Tower of F8!