This is a very good adventure game although it has flaws. Still, it was worth it and I enjoyed my time with the game. It reminds me of a mix of The Thief Games, Skyrim and Dark Souls. At its core, the game is a stealth one - at least at first. Eventually there are methods of hiding in plain sight with disguises. I usually am not very good at stealth but it all worked out fine for how it works with this game, it's rather forgiving and if you blow your cover, can probably just run for it. There is no direct combat against the rats, but there are methods to stun them or distract them.The game is also somewhat like a small scale Skyrim since it has loads of quests, many which intertwine together. If the story/world progresses too far, may lock self out of quests, so best to take the game slow, tackle as many side quests as possible before moving on in the story. Then when side quests seem stuck, probably need to progress the main questline.Dark Souls feel comes from the presentation and the world mechanics. There are tons of passages and shortcuts to the point that there is multiple ways to get to each area. However, the design for some reason isn't always memorable and I still had a hard time remembering how to get to some places even at the end game. There is no fast travel. But the world is small so it's not that big of a deal. The game is also very hands-off and doesn't explain much on how to do things and doesn't spell things out. This can sometimes get frustrating, but it does help add to the mystery and adventure feel.I've heard reports of glitches although I didn't encounter any game breaking ones. Saving is easy so as long as keep multiple save slots, will be alright. The sort of bugs I did run into were fixed from reloading easy enough. The game seems a little claustrophobic at first - after all you start in a prison. But once the game opens up with more areas and the ability to roam around in disguises instead of having to sneak past everything, the game improved significantly and transformed from an alright game to one I really loved.Overall, really liked the game. While a little buggy, it was very charming and enjoyable enough to look past its flaws.
»All good Micefolk know to neverPut their saves in one slot–ever.«- Old Mouse ProverbTL;DRGhost of a Tale is an Adventure game with (Action-)RPG and Stealth elements, a highly immersive medieval fantasy world, cute and endearing characters and a solid and engaging story. The stealth aspects of the game are relatively forgiving but very effective and the enemies can at times feel absolutely terrifying. The game also has a great sense of humor and a lot of attention to little details, as well as many optional unlockables, including costume sets. I can wholeheartedly recommend this game, especially in 2020, the Year of the Rat.❕ Informational ❕Ghost of a Tale has been developed and published by SeithCG, a French one-man studio with a focus on providing industry standard animation tools helmed by game designer and DreamWorks and Universal Pictures veteran Lionel "Seith" Gallat.🎮 GameplayMuch like in any The Elder Scrolls game, you start your adventure as a prisoner, so your first task is to escape your cell and subsequently the whole prison. There are quite a few pickups littered around your cell tutorializing effectively how to interact with the world and how to use your inventory. The game manages in general to very effectively tutorialize most of its systems within the first few minutes without excessively holding your hand which is very much appreciated.The core aspects of gameplay are exploration, minor puzzle solving, dialogue and of course stealth but there are some side activities that mix up the formula effectively.What really surprised me is that the game even features dynamic day/night cycles, when the game could've easily gotten away with scripted transitions or none at all.Another great thing is that you can actually see items that can be stolen on the enemies, meaning you have a realistic way of telling which guard might have the key you're looking for. Little details like that elevate the game in my eyes.🔥 DifficultyFor a game with part of its focus on Stealth Mechanics, evading the enemies is fairly easy most of the time, once you learned how to handle them, and even if you do get spotted the game is pretty forgiving in letting you escape. The main difficulty here comes from spotting the gaps in the guards' patrol paths, especially when more than one is present. At some point in the story the sneaking effectively becomes an absolute non-issue, though.📖 Story / PresentationGhost of a Tale, on a surface level, tells a story about the mouse minstrel Tilo, who is trying to escape a terrible prison and find and free his wife Merra. However, if you pay attention to character interactions, footnotes and the bits and pieces of lore, as well as the more subtle aspects of the game, it becomes apparent that the game also tells a story about oppression and prejudice - in more ways than you'd suspect.SeithCG succeeds in crafting a compelling story and believable characters each with their own flaws, strengths and motivations. It also manages to create drama but it knows how to effectively use humor.💻 Graphics / Art-styleThe game features anthropomorphic animals in an otherwise realistic world. You can easily see SeithCG's expertise as I've rarely seen a game more realistically adorable~♥ than this. The game perfectly pulls off soft fur, shiny little eyes, pointy noses and curious round ears, as well as it does slippery stone, warm candlelight and cold, pitch-black shadows. Even more so it shows off the developer's skills when it comes to the animations, which all look very fluid and realistic but also extremely befitting of mice, rats, frogs and other animals. It may need some polish here or there, as climbing ladders for example would look even better if the little hands and feet actually attached to the rungs and guards would be more convincing if they didn't just repeat the same animation three times before moving on, but overall it's pretty amazing.Another thing I very much appreciate is the Photo Mode, although it can be exploited to scout ahead. Perhaps the developer should've limited that function in some way.🎼 Soundtrack / SoundThe game offers both a beautiful soundtrack and a lack thereof, as it doesn't shy away from supporting its atmosphere with absolute silence at times, leaving you in a dank, cold, dark and dirty dungeon with just the sound of bare mouse feet on the hard, cold floor. Only very few games dare to leave the music off where it fits and it works extremely well here to make you feel isolated and lost. The sound design in general is amazingly believable in Ghost of a Tale, with the Rat Guards sounding especially menacing, giving the game just a hint of a horror game.Additionally, you can occasionally sing one of the songs in your ever-growing book of songs and, while Tilo isn't voiced, the melody that accompanies the lines on screen, makes it easy enough to hear the song being sung in your head. It's quite neatly done and I have no idea how they pulled it off that well.👨👩👧👦 Target audienceBoth friends of Stealth games (Outlast, Thief, etc.) and epic Action-RPGs (Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Oblivion, etc.) can sink some time into this gorgeous game. Of course, being a mouse aficionado also helps and friends of An American Tale have something to look forward to in this game, too.💰 Business ModelClassic:Buy the game, play the game.No paid DLCs, items, lootboxes.📋 ConclusionYou'd never guess that the developer behind Ghost of a Tale wasn't a veteran in the business and the level of polish, wit and subtlety on display make this an easy recommendation. Couple all that with the gorgeous art-style, the more than decent graphics and the stellar animations and you've got yourself a winner. Ghost of a Tale is one of the better games I've played in recent years and I can't wait to see more from SeithCG - perhaps even a sequel and/or prequel to this beautiful piece.At the time of writing this, I haven't fully completed the game yet but I feel confident to judge what I've seen so far. As I progress further, I will adjust this review if needed.If you're looking for more quality reviews like this, follow our curator page, Devils in the Detail.
Ghost of a taleGhost of a tale is perhaps the most adorable game I have ever played, bought it back when it was released (I think it was early access back then) and decided to play it now, and I'm glad I gave it a shot. I thought it was a dark souls clone at first, but then I realized it's not the case.Pros:- It is a stealth focused game, so you have to sneak your way into areas to avoid the guards until a certain point- The mice in this game are so freaking cute with their puppy eyes and all :D- The graphics look absolutely stunning, the way the grass and plants behave in this world is just incredible- The OST is beautiful- The animation in this game from guards patrolling the courtyard to you being idle and playing with your tail is so fluid and amazing to look at.- The story is very well done with plot twists that I did not expect- Lovely side characters, some of them are just hilarious- The sound design is amazing, from swaying trees in the wind to birds chirping in the morning- This game has a freaking day and night cycle- Multiple costumes to wear and they have an effect on how you play the gameCons:- The maps are basic and do not really help you, would have been better if notes can be written in them, silent hill-style (since a lot of quills are pretty much everywhere)- A few bugs and glitches here and there- The stamina regeneration in this game is super slow, I am a mouse dammit I should not worry about staminaNotes- Don't let that cuteness fool you, this game is hard; it doesn't hold your hand and pinpoint you the exact location of your objective in your map, you have to depend on clues and directions from what other characters in the game say and books/notes/charts. I had to use guides to help me finish some of the quests in the game.- The game ends with a cliffhanger, a sequel is definitely coming.- Since this is a stealth focused game you can't use a sword or fight. you throw empty bottles and sticks most of the time so you can progress or distract a guard or enemyFinal ThoughtsThis game took me 14 hours to complete and I loved every minute of it, it is a really good indie game and worth the asking priceVerdict: 9/10If you're looking for more quality reviews like this then check out my curator page.
It's a wonderful game, with a few caveats.Good things:- Visuals are gorgeous, with mostly-compact, detailed environments (in contrast to nowhere-lands of many games).- Audio is very fell fit, I don't think there was a single sound that'd get repetitive by the time I completed the game. Music is also great, though used sparingly (perhaps for same reason) - when nothing important is happening, you are mostly in company of footsteps and various environmental ambience.- Writing is wonderful, with plenty of little jokes, lore side notes, and a couple impressive plot twists.- Average length (~10h to complete), longer than that if going for quest completion or getting lost (more on that in a bit)Not-so-good things:- The game has this tendency of giving you quests that you can't complete until you progress more in the main quest line, so you might just spend good 20 minutes wandering around an area before you look up hints and find that the last item is going to be given out to you as an aside on another quest.- Some quests are kind of just "wander around this area until you find all the items" . Combined with above, the game left me lightly upset at the situation a few times.- The ending is slightly abrupt/cliffhanger-y, although was managed much better than in other games I've seen - a good job at summing up and giving you a farewell. Still, I would have preferred full-er closure of the story, as it rendered a few of the quests/lore notes/items ultimately meaningless.- Lack of conversation log for hints/important notes resulted in me doing 3 playthroughs total (~20%, ~70%, 100%), as I'd get back to the game after a few weeks and have no clue as to where I was supposed to look next / whether I missed something very important (ties to aforementioned #1/#2).All in all, it is a worthwhile game to play, though I would recommend either not being too completionist around quests or looking up discussions about progression as soon as you start suspecting that something might not be doable at the time.
Follow our curator page Alexander's Club Curations, if you like and want to see more reviews like this one.OVERVIEWGhost of a Tale is a 3rd-person stealth adventure game released in 2018. Play as a mouse named Tilo as he embarks in an adventure set in a well-crafted open world full of secrets and inhabited by many interesting characters. Some minor lack of polish does not hamper the fun and sense of discovery this game has to offer.The Good Superbly made, small, but dense open world to discover and explore. Strong art direction with excellent animation bringing the world and characters alive. Surprisingly deep and interesting world full of lore to be learned. Likeable cast of characters filling the world Excellent soundtrackThe Bad Can be unpolished especially the terrain hit detection, where in some areas you are prone to fall off the world. Over-reliant on collectibles/fetch quests. Enemy's AI is too forgiving and too easy to exploit. No voice acting The story ended in a cliffhanger and the main plot doesn’t get resolved.GameplayThere aren’t any complex mechanics in the game. The gameplay mostly involves finding a way to certain locations in the world or finding items. There are several tools given to you to navigate the world, and I will elaborate on them in detail.StealthThe stealth element is simple. Enemies have a basic vision cone and hearing range. When Tilo is inside their vision cone, or walk inside their hearing range the awareness meter rises and they will chase him if it fills up. Guards will chase you until you find a hiding place or run outside their search perimeter.Stealth is also affected by other mechanics like what armor you wear. Some armor is quiet and raise your sneak stat, while heavier armor will attract guards easier as they make a lot of noise. You can also throw items to distract guards and slip while they are searching. Some items give you the ability to knock them out temporarily.Overall the stealth system isn’t really that deep or engaging. The enemy AI are far too dumb and they are slow that you can mostly outrun them making it trivial.Navigation and LevelIn Ghost of a Tale the players are thrown into an open world where you unlock more areas as you progress. The level design is reminiscent of Dark Souls where shortcuts and secret routes are unlocked as you explore. The world itself is really well-designed. It’s memorable that players can navigate without maps and there are tons of worthwhile secrets they can find. Every time a new area is unlocked, you are basically blind as the game doesn't immediately provide the map. You have to find a map hidden in that area, or buy them from a merchant in the central area that Tilo will often visit. The game also doesn't give marker for quest objectives. it gives a general direction of the objectives, but if you get stuck you also can buy hints from the merchant who will put objective markers on your map.Armor and Disguise SystemThe biggest reward in the game for exploration are the armor and clothing sets. Each armor set provides Tilo with stat bonuses that makes him tougher or less detectable. A complete set give special effects, like being undetectable or giving Tilo immunity to poisonous gas. This can open up previously inaccessible areas.The disguise system is one of the biggest mechanics in the game. In the story, the player are given a guard’s armor set. When you wear it, every turns guards into talkable NPCs. They can give quests, minigames or give hints instead of automatically being hostile.The drawback of the armor is it is heavy and restricts your movement. Tilo can’t run or jump with the armor on. Later, he can obtain upgrades to his guard’s armor by completing quests until finally it gives him full options of mobility. Most of these quests are optional, but being able to jump or run in full armor set is worth it.QuestsMost of the quests are actually fetch quests, but due the hand-crafted level and item locations, most of them feel more like a puzzle or treasure hunt. they are usually placed in locations where it makes sense, that fetch quests feels like organic process of discovery. In my opinion it is fundamentally different than typical RPG fetch quests like “bring 10 of certain random items” and similar lazy design.There are also quests with interesting storyline like exposing a smuggler organization or solving a murder. The rewards of quests are usually very useful items like armor sets and new skills Tilo can use in his adventure. ProgressionThe progression is simple. When an objective is achieved, you get experience to level up. Each level up gives you increased stamina and HP, which allow you to run longer and survive longer. Obtaining skills however is separate mechanics as skills are rewards from NPC for completing their quest. In my opinion the levelling system is kinda redundant because of how shallow it is.Technical Issues and PerformanceSpecs: Ryzen 3700x, GTX 1080, 16 GB RAM, 1440p 60HzThe game mostly runs at full 60 FPS, but it would dip into mid 40's when there are big particle effects on the screen.The biggest problem in the game is its lack of polish, especially in terrain detection and general enemy hitboxes. There are 2 areas where you are really prone to fall off the world. The game provides a brute-force solution that it detects if you are falling off the world, then a prompt appears if you want to teleport above. It sometimes works, however one time it just teleports me to a blank ground that it makes me fall over again.The other issue is the enemy hitbox. Throwing is a big mechanic in the game. Tilo can throw various items to distract enemies or make them unconscious. In narrow hallways, it often happens that the items he throws don’t hit the target even when the auto-lock is on.StoryHaving been imprisoned and separated with his wife, Tilo must find a way out of prison and find information about his wife's whereabouts. As he makes his way out of the prison, he learns secrets and forgotten truth about the history of the world he lives in. In my opinion the story is pretty good, and there are good amount of interesting lore that ties directly to the plot. The characters have believable motivations and goals and their dialogues are generally well written. The only problem with the story is it ended in a cliffhanger with the main plot point goes unresolved. Graphics and VisualsLionel Gallat, the mind behind the game is an animator worked on famous titles like Despicable Me. His skills resulted in a radiant world that makes the locations look like sceneries. The characters are also well animated, from Tilo’s tail waves as he runs, to the intricate details of the guard patrol routines. Visually, it is one of the best looking indie games I have ever played.Music and SoundThe sound effects are well designed. you can hear armors clinking, or ambient sounds in the various areas of the game. With headphones, you can hear guards slowly approaching and that information can be used to evade them. Soundtrack rarely plays, but when it plays it’s usually powerful and sucks you into the mood they are trying to convey. Overall the game has an excellent sound design but none of the lines in the game are voice-acted. This can be a turn off for some people, but it’s an understandable compromise for a team this size.ConclusionGhost of a Tale is a flawed, yet still a highly charming and captivating game. Its strengths simply trump over the dents and scratches left by the limited resources the developer had.
This is such a top notch game. Great world building, dynamic (and adorable) characters, and fun game play. I really hope there are continuations in the works because all the backstory snippets you find along the way really give the sense of a larger world outside the walls of the castle your character is stuck in. I especially love the fact that the developers refrained from taking the art in a cartoon-like direction, choosing stylized realism instead. If you have read the Redwall book series by Brian Jauques, you will definitely want to play this game.
The only game I've ever bought twice. First for PS4 then PC, didn't need to but any contribution I can give to the developer for this absolute art of a game I'll gladly give. The setting and environment in which this game takes place is absolutely beautiful, feels like an art piece. I caught myself often enough putting my current quest on hold just to gaze at my surroundings and playing with the in game photo mode. The story is nothing short of amazing either, after completing the game it was like putting down the book you've been reading for a while, you really don't know what to do anymore other than pick it back up and start all over again.