Switch version tested
Review code provided
This game is more of a let down than raisin cookies.
Before I am branded as being unfair to Warsaw Games for the above, I would like to point out that both myself and my partner attempted a complete playthrough of this but it was so difficult to get through that both of us [avid, experienced gamers] were unable to complete it. This is a damn shame as the story and setting are laid out beautifully at the start. The music and setting are typically ‘dark fairy tale’ in style but once you get to the actual gameplay it becomes somewhat shambolic.
The story goes that a small village is plagued by a horrible disease that pretty much puts all it’s residents, bar one child, into a coma. In order to help he decides to embark on a mission to find ‘Lady Death’ – A sorceress who has the powers to stop this from spreading/cure it. Cool, right?
However, even in the tutorial stage, I struggled to understand how anyone would be able to complete the game. I can see that it’s attempting to pay homage to Limbo with its black and white setting and small boy protagonist setting out on a heroic adventure but it doesn’t quite have the same magic. The game mechanics are messy but what’s worse is the visuals are just… pretentious? You’re playing as if something is watching you so every few seconds a ‘blinking’ effect comes up on the screen. The game is already difficult with your character blending in with his surroundings but this makes it near impossible to play in handheld. The ‘traps’ that mercilessly insta-kill you blend in with the background as a ‘slightly lighter patch of ground’ and when you are caught by one, you die gruesomely. Death equals a messy but predictable jump scare as blood spatters across your screen and you’re sent back to some point in your level with no clear checkpoints. You could end up anywhere!
One of the game’s saving graces is that you can travel to an alternate dimension which adds an extra spooky layer to the game (and also makes it playable as it brightens up the atmosphere) but this is extremely time-limited and can only be used in specific situations. Using this incorrectly leads to, you guessed it, more death as your character can’t complete what they need to do to progress. Apparently, later in the game, you get the ability to clone yourself but I couldn’t continue to play it lest I give myself stress headaches.
I know that indie developers work ludicrously hard on their games but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. In this case, it didn’t work out. They have a lot of ironing out to do in order to make it playable for the more widespread market and currently I am not the only reviewer giving it a low score. The premise and setting are a lovely concept but due to the gameplay, it is impossible to get through this and have fun while doing so.
TBG Score: 2/10
Genre: Platformer, Horror, Adventure
Publisher: Fat Dog Games
Format: Steam, Nintendo Switch