Developer & Publisher: Creepy Brothers
Released: July 16, 2021
Requirements: OS: 64-bit Windows 7, 8, 10
Processor: 2 GHtz
Memory: 2 MB RAM
Graphics: GeForce 600 Series
Storage: 4 GB available space
Creepy Tale 2
A mixed bag I said on my first look, and while there is a fair bit to like that is probably how it ended up.
Inspired by ancient European fairy tales, Lars is out to rescue his sister from the evil forces that have spirited her away. A third-person cartoon puzzle adventure awaits.
I quite enjoyed the tale, all the way to its end. It’s a Grimm type of creepy, and it comes together rather well. The look and the sound complement each other, and produce a satisfying story book feel. You could quibble with some of the voice work, but to me there is nothing mixed about this part of the bag.
I can’t say the same thing about the interface. You may not have the same experience as me, and I did get used to it as I went, but it never stopped being fiddly. Played exclusively with either the keyboard or a gamepad, it tells you at the start that the best experience is the latter, but having switched back and forth I eventually settled for the keyboard.
The fiddliness might not have mattered except that at times it contributed to my demise. Be it clicking the wrong key or not utilising the right ones quickly enough, more than once my endeavours ended as a result. It may have all been me, and might have proved the gamepad point, but I can’t help thinking there was a better interface experience to be had whichever you chose.
Puzzling is itself a mixed experience, which in certain respects is a plus. The puzzles weren’t all the same, even if there was a sameness to some, and straight out puzzling meshed with environmental conundrums to produce some rather satisfying solutions. Making a poison for instance requires you to find and then interpret the “recipe”, and then work out how to manipulate the environment to produce the ingredients. I liked that one a lot.
You do have to like trying things to see what works and what doesn’t (and failing is part of that) and you will have to hide at the appropriate time and complete actions within a certain amount of time. There is quite a lot of hiding, more frenetic in some areas than others, and it does get harder and somewhat faster as you progress, but at its best I enjoyed it a lot. My favourite would be one in the front half of the game involving wandering ‘owls’ and doors which you can and need to manipulate to determine where you come out, and which gives you time before you exit any door to ponder whether and when you should. I liked it a lot.
I less liked the ones where the activity was more frantic (the spider lair) or the hiding more prevalent (the very last one), and the need to work out what to do by failing is more prominent later on, and all the more frustrating when you fail again quite quickly. Which again might be more about me. And I did access a walkthrough on occasion in order to be able to move on from the sequencing involved.
A puzzle right in the middle is the mixed-ess of bags. I reckon you will either complete it in the first few tries, or still be screaming at it numerous times later. It is incredibly straightforward in how it works, but has the capacity to reduce you to a puddly mess. When you get to a boat in a lake with zombie octopi, be prepared!
Finding and using inventory items is part and parcel of things, and you need to combine items to produce correct outcomes. Some combinations are a bit ornery; there was an occasion for instance where I couldn’t combine two items within the inventory, but having deployed one of them in the game world I could then “use” the other item upon it. It made the puzzle a bit harder, but made no real sense; the items needed to be used together in the way I had intended but only if done in a convoluted way.
By and large though, inventory acquisition and management operates as you would expect. It adds another layer to the puzzling landscape.
I liked as well that the construction of the game is relentlessly onwards; finish in a particular area and you can move on, with backtracking being non-existent.
I didn’t like the exclusively autosave feature. You can’t save at will, and the inability to do so meant I had to replay parts of a current chapter more than once simply because I wanted to quit. Part of that was a product of the nature of the conundrum solve; I had had enough of trying things to move forward and wanted a break. While I knew what to do to get me back to where I was, the fact that I had to do it again irritated me.
The game scrolls sideways and your character will climb up and down within that scrolling. Hotspots will generate icons indicating you can do something, which might be look or take or use. I don’t recall ever choosing what to do; you did what the icon enabled. Hiding is indicated by the same little two-legged icon that means you can go somewhere else so don’t be confused if it pops up in odd places. Indeed, you should embrace it.
You can die, caught by the many things trying to catch you, or simply be caught and escorted back to where you started. There were times where I did die but was then resurrected not to the start of the area but to a later point in my endeavour, and still with the items in my inventory that I had acquired before my demise. So too, manipulations I had made to, for instance, the owl doorways were still where I had placed them. Not having everything reset having worked through the combinations was a big plus.
The autosave points are all available each time you play, so if you want to you can jump back in at any earlier point and play from there. Near as I can tell it makes no difference to the game, but it might enable you to achieve another Steam achievement. Regardless, its way better than having a single save point that is overwritten each time it autosaves.
Whatever I thought about certain aspects, I had about 6 hours of fun with this Creepy Tale.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-9700K 3.7GHz
RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 32GB
Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB