Alicia has grown up and has not slept with a little “guard” for a long time, but suddenly a disaster happens to the girl. Demons penetrated her mind and the fairy Sparkle, who guarded the dream, decides to call an assistant – clubfoot Teddy. The abandoned and offended bear cub does not immediately agree, but, having penetrated into the head of his beloved mistress, he discovers the brutalized characters of fairy tales familiar to every child. Thus begins an adventure platformer with elements of metroidvania from the Italian indie dreamers from the studio Trinity Team — The Darkest Tales.
Visual and locations
The visual style envelops a fabulous atmosphere. The game is like a book come to life with colorful watercolor pictures, and each level is a specific piece of work with the characters turned into dark versions of themselves. Here Little Red Riding Hood torments the torn body of a wolf with knives; a heartless Little Mermaid with legs and flippers instead of arms; the deranged Sleeping Beauty, who suffers from insomnia; Peter Pan killing children to create the elixir of youth.
The game is off to a good start. Teddy, who initially does not know how to do anything except jumping, will receive the first weapon – two scissor blades, and according to the laws of the genre, he will acquire mandatory abilities – a dash, sliding along walls, a double jump, a hook, learn to swim and much more. They are required to complete the levels.
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In locations, the bear looks for skills that are installed in open cells: the ability to gain more experience, hover in the air, and heal more efficiently. Something similar happened in Hollow Knight. Some of the skill areas will be inaccessible or hidden, so after a while you can return to the level and pick it up. This is optional, but fans of collections and achievements will love it.
Killing enemies over time adds up to conditional levels and develops a separate “skill tree”, with the properties of new types of weapons and other abilities. The bear will find a sword, a spear, a bow, a boomerang, and will use mana to heal.
It is a sin to complain about the variety of enemies – representatives of fantastic flora and fauna, awakened objects, statues and other evil spirits abound. It is not difficult to fight with a trifle, but it crushes with quantity and is dangerous at the moments when the bear cub is closed with an army of adversaries in two walls. A controversial and archaic solution.
In addition to a system of checkpoints with mirrors, where skills are changed and weapons are selected, there are broken windows that allow you to return to certain locations at any time. Savings are convenient and in the event of the death of a bear, you can quickly return and take revenge.
Platformers are a genre in which control and a sense of “alter ego” play a major role. And in The Darkest Tales there are problems with this. They occur after getting the hook and double jump, which are commonly used abilities. In the first case, the moment when Teddy will have time to reach the next capture point is not always obvious, and in the second case, you need to reach the top point of the first jump. Both abilities are non-intuitive and will become frequent culprits in deaths.
It is better to use a controller, since it is possible that after passing through the keyboard, you will have to buy another one. The one that is now will be broken in outbursts of anger into the absurdities that arise when performing acrobatic stunts.
Problems with complexity in The Darkest Tales
Another unfortunate solution is complexity. The first two levels do not raise any complaints: the levels and bosses are surprisingly simple. But, having reached Peter Pan, there is a feeling that the developers made fun of and immediately abandoned the main reptile of the game. A strange feeling does not leave during the next level, where you have to wander in the pitch darkness of the inner world of a sea monster and run into sharp spikes.
You experience special pleasure from the voice acting of the characters, and the best immersion adds bright dubbing into Russian. In the English version, Teddy is generally voiced by the famous game blogger Yong Yea. With music, everything seems to be fine, but the melodies are not remembered – there are not enough expressive compositions.
The passage will take from 7 to 10 hours. It seems not enough, but I assure you that during this time a sophisticated player will most likely get tired.
The Darkest Tales evokes strange feelings. A great start, when the heart beats joyfully in the hope of something unique, is gradually smoothed out by hackneyed elements. There comes an understanding of the conditionality of most skills and the futility of enhanced pumping.
The Darkest Tales will appeal to fans of complex platformers with metroidvania elements, but you should not expect originality from the gameplay. At the same time, the price of 400 rubles can be called honest.
But! The game will surprise you with a well-designed plot, and the final twist will give a new charge. Ah, that’s how it is here! This is a truly impressive moment, for which we can say that the game was not in vain.
- Great storyline
- Nice graphics
- Dubbing into Russian
- Management could be better
- Soundtrack without emotions
- No card
- At the end, frankly annoying (but the ending is worth the end!)
Questions about this game:
The Darkest Tales release date – Oct 13, 2022.