My penchant for yapping keeps getting me into trouble when the words I type could accidentally kill me

Cryptmaster - a wrinkled alien creature wearing a crown in all black and white
(Image credit: Paul Hart, Lee Williams, Akupara Games)

It's an oddly freeing experience playing Cryptmaster, a game where I can type almost anything (as long as it's one word) and receive some sort of response for my effort. Scream-typing "horny" into the void? The void answers.

The void is, in this case, a necromancer guiding me through a monochrome crypt that looks like it's been pulled straight from an old tabletop handbook. He listens to my every single word no matter how ridiculous, gets annoyed when I spam the same word repeatedly, and refuses to tell me anything about him because "we're not courting," which hurts a little.

Regardless of our relationship status, we're stuck together. As a "typing dungeon crawler," Cryptmaster turns me into a literal keyboard warrior, typing my way through rooms and wordsmithing my way out of trouble. Approaching chests or trunks greet me with an object I have to figure out based on my necromancer friend's riddles—yes, I'm still making him eat everything we find—and using those answers to slowly unfold the abilities and stories behind my four party members. 

The abilities come in handy during combat, with battles—which can be realtime or turn-based—scattered throughout the game. These are all done through the power of the keyboard too, as I have to physically type out each ability to use it. Some abilities are free to use, but others require me to spend souls which I can find through nabbing bugs off the wall or completing riddles. 


(Image credit: Akupara Games)

It generated a surprising amount of resource management for me, especially as someone who is a chronic yapper. One of my party members, Maz, can heal, and I was taking some particularly gnarly damage from an enemy who I had failed to notice was wielding a shield with a giant "B" emblazoned on it, rendering me incapable of throwing out any skills containing that letter. No jab! No boot! I could at least use the healing Soothe though, but turns out it can eat away at your souls pretty dang fast if you're not paying attention, which I wasn't.

Soothe. Maz waggles his fingers, drawling the word I just typed in an endearing goofy manner. Another party member, Joro, gains a bit of health back. Soothe. Another health recovery. Soothe. A horrifying snap sound, and I glance down. One of my party members has perished. How? I just healed them!

Yeah, turns out trying to yap away after running out of souls can cause some dire consequences. Using Soothe was costing me six souls, and it turns out I was all out. Instead of me being able to heal my party or do damage to enemies, I was Uno-reversing myself and causing harm to my party instead. 


(Image credit: Akupara Games)

It's been a great secondary layer to my experience with Cryptmaster so far though, and has caused me to be a little more cautious about when and where I'm engaging in battle. And who I'm endlessly gabbing away with.

Between riddles, puzzles, battles, and even a card game which I've yet to do much dabbling in, it feels as though Cryptmaster should be a bizarre hodge-podge of ideas that don't quite mesh. But they really do, and I've been having a great time so far. I've always been a big words gal—probably makes sense with this career and all—so being able to use my wealth of vocabulary and profanity to solve cool puzzles. Oh, and piss all over save points to activate them. There's that too.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.