Games of the Year

Ghost of a Tale

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You are Tilo, a courageous minstrel mouse on a perilous quest to find his family. Using stealth and cunning you'll explore the towers and dungeons of Dwindling Heights Keep, navigating its dangers and discovering its secrets.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Such a lovely little game, and pretty unusual - a stealth based rpg with no fighting. Gorgeous graphics, memorable characters and a lovely storyline (the mice are so cute). The game also has a nice photo mode. I hope this game gets a sequel as I really want to know what happens next! Highly recommended, so glad I stumbled across this little gem.

Review from Steam

Do you remember when you were young, with not a care in the world, watching classic animated movies like The Secret of NIMH or The Last Unicorn? Do you remember the sense of wonder they instilled in you? This peculiar mix of optimistic adventure and melancholy? The way in which they weaved together thrills and humour, but also mystery, sadness and some genuinely scary bits?
Well, the truth is: You and I, we will never get those days back. But Ghost of a Tale might just remind you a bit of the stories we grew up with, when children’s entertainment was still willing to examine all the facets and complexities of life.
With his tragic backstory and desperate quest to find his kidnapped wife Merra, our main character Tilo is a great example of this, though he’s far from the only one. As you explore the stunningly beautiful environments of Dwindling Keep, you’ll come to know a number of unique characters, all with hidden depths that you may not have expected at first sight. Allegiances will be questioned and your opinions about these characters will shift – in some cases perhaps quite dramatically, as their (very believable) motivations become clear. The lore of the world is likewise deep and full of mystery. You may never even find out which of the many songs sung about the past are true, which ones are embellished and which ones are straight-up propaganda.
A word of warning: Ghost of a Tale does tell a self-contained narrative of the occurrences at Dwindling Keep, but it doesn’t conclude the wider narrative. I can’t tell you more than that without going into heavy spoilers, I just wanted you to be aware of this before you try the game. But I also want you to understand that this story has resonated so deeply with me that I’ve found myself scouring the web for information about a possible sequel every single year since I first played the game in 2018. As of late 2022, it looks like that sequel may be coming, though it’s probably years off still. But I’m gonna be honest: Even if the sequel never materialises, I’ll still be glad to have experienced this story, incomplete or not. I’ll just occasionally be reminded of this wonderful little game, look to the sky and wonder what has become of Tilo, Merra and the others…

Review from Steam

if you read the redwall books when you were a kid then youre going to love this game

Review from Steam

Super cute and very creative. the missions are fun and the story is heart warming. the map is not super huge but the space is used so well that it appears much larger. can only recommend it!

Review from Steam

This is truly a hidden gem, albeit a rather unpolished one. Ghost of a Tale is a narrative driven adventure game set in a quirky castle populated with talking anthropomorphic rodents sprung from a grim yet heroic fairytale, visualizing a clan of Skavens in a Redwall setting gets you pretty much spot on. In this fabulous fable you play as Tilo, a minstrel mouse of the highest order with a sneaky nature and an uncanny ability to hide in cupboards. After a rather unsuccessful performance due to his Wife Merra refusing to perform for a local Rat-baron, Tilo is knocked unconscious and thrown into the dungeons of a nearby keep. It is up to Tilo to find out what happened to his wife and save the day!
Overall I truly enjoyed this game, the atmosphere is spot on, the setting and storytelling sublime and overall the gameplay is decent enough. At its core this is a stealthy adventure game with a bunch of side quests tied on mostly circling around fetching this or that for the local retainers at the castle. Overall the gameplay and inventory management is fine even though the stealth parts might feel a bit unintuitive to followers of the Thief-style of stealth action. The fetching of items for quests is slightly obtuse at times but that's not the biggest problem. Sometimes quests that you think about completing might be softlocked until you progress far enough in the main storyline, a bit of a nitpick but quite annoying after you searched every nook and cranny the 5th time looking for the last piece of a puzzle you can't complete.
Considering this is a project with a few dedicated souls behind it I can see past a few of the more glaring design decisions and overall I really enjoyed this cute and charming tale of a mouse desperately searching for his loved one. The story is by far the most endearing part and for that alone it gets a stamp of approval. Ghost of a Tale is just the kind of fairytale this bleak regressive society needs, hope burns bright in the smallest of things.

Review from Steam

This was one of the cutest and most beautiful games i´ve ever played. I missed some things the first playthrough and couldn´t finish all side quests. But I had so much fun that I played it again to see what I´ve missed. I´ve really grown fond of the charakters =). I hope there´s gonna be a part 2 and that they´ll put as much love in that game, as they did in this one. Thanks so much for making this game!

Review from Steam

A charming little game with a wonderfully fleshed out world and characters. However, the gameplay itself teeters on the line between tedious and fun.
- There are some fantastic sections that I wish there were more of. The platforming I absolutely adored, Tilo controls wonderfully, very snappy and fast. The open outdoor areas are beautiful and fun to just run and climb around in. I enjoyed the stealth quite a bit but felt it was a little primitive. Not terrible, just could use some AI improvements. Sadly as the game goes on you experience less and less of Tilo's mousy agility and sneakiness.
- The stealth aspect of the game is all but discarded after assembling a costume that is required to complete the game. While wearing this costume you are 100% safe from any guards in the keep. To balance this you are also EXTREMELY slow, leaving you to hobble around the map at a snail's pace lest you risk being killed. You can still play around stealth to an extent but it's much easier, and ironically probably faster, to just be slow.
- I personally don't despise fetch quests, but good lord this game is filled to the brim with them. Combined with the slow chunky outfit it can become an absolute SLOG to figure out where to go, especially if you aren't already familiar with the map. There is a helpful NPC that can help you find certain items by marking them on your map and give quest hints (all for a modest fee!!) but he can't help with everything.
Overall I found myself much more invested with each of the characters and the lore rather than the gameplay as time went on. Despite this I do think the game is worth a try. It's a lovely project from a small team that I'd love to see more from!

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