Creepy Tale is aptly titled. This Nintendo Switch platform-adventure game from No Gravity Games takes you on a mysterious journey through an eerie forest. With a cryptic puzzle dynamic and spine-tingling atmosphere, is it worth the asking price? The short answer is, yes.
In Creepy Tale, you play the role of a boy walking through the forest with your brother. As you harmlessly collect mushrooms, a light appears, beginning a story involving monsters and puzzles.
This is a gloomy-looking title, which, in this case, is a good thing. There are gradients of greys and browns used throughout. A foggy background helps obscure things even further. It all adds to the tense atmosphere; was that a ghostly figure hiding behind that tree? Probably.
This atmosphere is made even more tangibly scary via the use of sound – or rather, lack of sound. There’s barely any music in this game; most of the time, it’s just you, alone in the woods or inside various cabins and other rooms. The subtle forest sounds coax you into a false sense of security until you’re attacked, and then – bam! A sudden jolt of music hits your auditory senses as you see yourself die. It certainly quickens the pulse and raises those hairs on the back of your neck.
Thankfully, you respawn quickly and in the same area. This is a good decision, since working your way through the same puzzles wouldn’t be as much fun once you know how. It also makes you more likely to keep trying, since it’s right there. This is useful because the puzzles are challenging. In fact, they can border on frustrating.
As you wander through the forest, you can interact with certain elements. For example, you might pick up a mushroom or a stick for use later. There are other objects – buckets, keys, to name a few – and it’s usually a case of trial and error as to what can be taken and how it can be used. There are no signposts here, no arrows, clues or alternate pathways. Without solving the puzzles along the way, you simply won’t be able to progress. Some may relish in this challenge; others will find it tedious.
With only three chapters, you’d be right in thinking that this is a relatively short game. If you know the path to follow, it can be completed in about half an hour. Of course, if you don’t know the answers to those tricky, left-field puzzles, it could take much longer. This is a game that will test your patience; it’s not always obvious how to proceed.
Overall, Creepy Tale should be called Very Creepy Tale; it had no trouble giving me goosebumps. It’s aesthetically pleasing and quite fun to work out the next steps; though some puzzles are a little on the frustrating side – patience and trial and error are key attributes here. It’s not a long game, though it is priced under $10 and would be even more appealing on sale. It will certainly appeal to fans of point-and-click style puzzle games with horror elements.