When a nightmare creeps into reality, the only ones that can help are those whose magical powers we’ve believed in since childhood. A brave teddy bear heads to the far side of “happily ever after” to rescue his owner, Alicia. Now The Darkes Tales is a action-adventure platformer with some Metroidvania elements. I really dig the style and vibe of the game as well as the writing which is supported by some very good voice acting, especially for an Indie game. The levels are basically children fairy tales but with a dark twist on them. Let me make this clear: THIS GAME IS NOT FOR SMALL CHILDREN. In the first 2-3 minutes of the game, you’re almost led to believe that this is some Disney-Pixar like fairy tail game where the teddy bear come to live teams up with the night light to save the girl in her dreams. This is true, to a point, however it gets pretty dark and even gory, when you see Little Red Riding Hood slaughtering the wolves in the first level. This actually caught me by suprise and I liked it – I hope it will have some more darker turn on fairy tales in store. The gameplay is fairly simple to explain: You run and jump and platform your way through these fairy tale themed levels. You got a pair of scissors as two swords, slashing away at enemies. You gain EXP which you can use to improve your HP, mana, strength of attacks etc. You also get new skills, like a Dash or the ability to swing from buttons. All in all, the platforming is good, and often even a bit challenging, although never too hard since you have frequent checkpoints and can heal very often (with mana which regenerates when hitting enemies). Combat is not that hard (on normal difficulty), actually rather easy. It’s also pretty one-dimensional, however, it gets a few more layers with new skills.
Here are some gripes I have with the game, though, which after all this positive stuff seem to be pretty minor but they got on my nerves quite some bit, and maybe will on yours, too: NO MAP – for the love of god, please dear devs, games like these need a map. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not necessary to progress here. The way is pretty much straightforward. However, there are secret areas you can’t access until you unlocked a skill. There are portals back to previous areas, however, you most likely do not remember where that secret area you couldn’t access was a level ago. Level design – so all in all, the level design works well. However, it’s often slighty misaligned to your abilities, I’d say. There’s a gap you need to dash over to the next platform but the dash is too long and you miss the platform or dash into the spikes. This normally doesn’t mean instant death or something, but lost HP and nerves. Enemy design – there are some annoying ones. Not in the sense that they are hard to overcome and challenge you, but just annoying. There are these hedgehogs, for example, which turn invincible after they see you or after your first hit. You need two to defeat them. So you need to hit them, then run away, wait until they are not invincible any longer and then get back to hit them a second time to defeat. Whole process involves a lot of waiting, which isn’t fun. So you avoid them, even though they are worth XP. Second example are the bugs in the second level, you don’t really see what they are doing at first. They drop small bombs, though, and sometimes they dive at you without warning and with almost no possible way for you dodge them. BUGs – in my short play time, I already encountered some bugs that were not game breaking but neverthless I noticed them. I’d fall in a little gap between two platforms and got stuck there, for example. At one point it said I could dash between to ropes but my character would just dash through it. Also some minor visual things. I expect the game to last maybe 6 to 8 hours, probably a bit longer if you try to find everything. Take the negatives I listed here more as suggestions to the devs, to make this game better – especiallly a MAP would be really, really welcome. All in all, I think it’s a good game if you’re into platform action-adventuring, so give this a try if you’d like this.
Join a stuffed bear named Teddy on this gloomy and sinister adventure to rescue his owner, Alicia, from the realm of dreams and distorted childhood fantasies. Who else will fight for the life of the girl, now grown-up, if not her long-forgotten and dusty toy? The Darkest Tales is a complex and compelling adventure, full of familiar characters and fairytale landscapes. Over the course of the journey, you’ll have to come face-to-face with the difficult questions of life more than once. Happily Never After You’ll meet familiar characters from your childhood, but the reunion isn’t likely to be a happy one. The gingerbread men are out for blood, Sleeping Beauty seems to be a couple centuries behind on sleep, and the Little Mermaid looks more like a sea witch than an innocent child of the waves. Teddy Scissorpaws As it turns out, our hero is a jack-of-all-trades. He crafted a bow and melee weapons from a pair of scissors and uses needles as powerful arrows and grappling hooks. All’s fair in a fight against the forces of evil. Ahead lies only darkness Each level takes place in a recognizable, but distorted fairytale world rife with combat, obstacles, and secrets. On this journey you will gain experience, master and branch out your skills, and overcome a multitude of challenges — from fighting blood-thirsty rubber duckies to exploring the giants’ castle in the clouds. The Darkest Tales is a game with deep and mysterious lore. As you progress and defeat monsters, you’ll unveil the mysteries of this nightmarish world. How will this tale end? It’s up to you to decide.
|The Darkest Tales – Extended Edition|
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