Developed By: Deqaf Studio Published By: No Gravity Games Categories: Horror, puzzle platformer Release Date: 07.10.2020
You know those goth kids that would always fill highschool halls? The Hot Topic shopping crowd that would always fawn over quirky edgy, but cute kind of things? Creepy Tale almost seems tailored to that crowd. This also happens to be the most noteworthy things I can say about the game.
Creepy Tale is one of those puzzle platformer games that forgoes having a story in a traditional sense and instead, without any dialogue or text. Throughout the hour it took my to go from start to end, the following occurs, you and your brother are in the woods, your brother gets kidnapped by these grotesque creatures, on your way to save him, you learn a bit about the monsters, find who’s controlling them, and then as soon as you rescue your brother, the game ends abruptly. When the story finally gets somewhere and opens up to what was planned, it ends, leaving my incredibly disappointed and as if I wasted my time. I have no issue with games that show and not tell, but Creepy Tale doesn’t show much or even give much context in the very short runtime. I feel if given an extra half an hour or so, there could be enough time to fully explain things instead of things just coming and going with the big twist at the end to not be explained.
While in a narrative sense, the game is disappointing, the gameplay isn’t much better, but is more of a mixed bag than an outright poor show. Controlling the game is simple enough, you walk, have a jump button, and have a button to interact with items. Troubles arise with this due to the movement feeling too slippery, and most investigating feeling unresponsive. There are multiple occasions where I’d be in a hurry to do something, only to not have the character interact with what I needed him too. There’s ultimately no penalty for dying outside of redoing a very small room, but it’s quite annoying to redo certain puzzles again and again. Puzzles themselves range from insultingly easy to obtusely vague. It all ends up being trial error with quite a few. An early puzzle for instance has a pit covered in leaves, a log is not too far away, one could think they’re unrelated and just set dressing, but jumping into the leaves will lead you to a spiked pit, ultimately leading to your death. You need to push that log into the pit before you to make your jump down as to have safe landing. The puzzle immediately after has you in the pit, which houses a sleeping monster and these mushrooms that explode with noise to wake it up. You can examine the monster, a treasure chest, and this large vine to climb up the leaves of. I wasn’t sure what to do and ended up stuck on this puzzle for a minute, with the monster continuously capturing me. It wasn’t until I placed the mushrooms by the vine and jumped around until the burst from them woke vine and allowed me to jump on the leaves. Even with hits, there wasn’t really a good way to tell the player to do that, since the immediate reaction to the mushrooms is a monster chasing you.
The game has very little music, instead using atmospheric sounds. They do set the mood especially when the small about of music does come by, but it all repeats far too often for how short the game is. Repeating another point from earlier, the artstyle from head to toe gives off a very Hot Topic-esqe feel. It’s creepy, but in a cute or quirky kind of way to seem more approaching for younger audiences. At first I thought the animation for movement was smooth, but I noticed from everything else it’s rather stilted, almost like paper puppets. None of this is to say the game looks bad, but budget and limitations to rear their head. This raises the big question however, is the game actually creepy? Not really. At a single point in the game did get to that point, it was in a Witch’s house and you need to sneak around it to get items, when you hide in a closet as not to be seen, everything outside of a small area around it is darkened out so you can’t see where the Witch is. Nothing else in the game really hit that peak for me. The game gives off the feel that it would be creepy for younger players, but the small amount of rather bloody deaths in the game make me think otherwise, it’s hard to pinpoint a target audience.
At the end of the day, I’m left wishing that the game was maybe just a bit longer. The game really is far too short and I’m hoping the upcoming sequel fixes that issue. Or at least properly continues after the interesting final act of the first game which felt cut off from how short the game was.
Buy Now: $9.99
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes