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What if the fairytales that we learned as children became our worst nightmares? That is the reality when playing The Darkest Tales, a side-scrolling Metroidvania-style game that will entertain you with humorous characters, bizarre environments, addictive gameplay, and classic storytelling. I played the game a lot, and during my playthrough, I found some things good about the game and some not so good, and I will give my unbiased impression throughout this review.

The Darkest Tales – Story

When a toy teddy bear comes to life with the help of a fairy to save a young sleeping girl named Alicia from nightmare demons feeding on her subconscious, emotions, and feelings, you embark on a unique quest to save your owner Alicia. Teddy is the protagonist and quickly proves to be a stubborn yet brave bear. Lighty is a battlefield fairy and also acts as the guide with an incredible number of magical abilities and comedic quips. Together Teddy and Lighty travel through fairytale dreams that have become nightmare realities to find the source of Alicia’s deep slumber.

The Darkest Tales
The Darkest Tales

It was trippy to experience the dark side of some of the most famous fairy tales in history. My first encounter with little red riding hood occurred under Alica’s bed, leaving me speechless. Eating a magic bean granted me magic powers that allowed me to climb jack’s beanstalk, only to be captured by a giantess that wanted to cook me for the king. I found the storyline to be the hook that pulled me into this new world of twisted fairytales come to life. Throughout my playthrough, I found myself wondering what fairytale was next. Never Again Land to kill the boy that never grew up or meet a genie that wants three evil wishes. The overall story arc kept me intrigued throughout the game and will draw gamers into the plot and endgame.

Gameplay

The Darkest Tales Is Available On Xbox!

Like most Metroidvania-style games, The Darkest Tales follows the traditional side-scrolling formula. Hack n slash action, platforming, acquiring special abilities, and upgrading a skill tree. Traveling in the game is pretty easy thanks to a checkpoint and fast travel system, allowing players to backtrack for the skipped or missed powerups. Teddy uses the power of Lighty to turn items into weaponized magic, objects, and capabilities. Players can learn to dash, swing, fly, and swim and use scissors, arrows, harpoons, boomerangs, and an axe.

The boss fights felt great, showing variety and originality, but the stage enemies lacked difficulty. The game’s difficulty level is average until the action picks up halfway through the game. One problem I have with the gameplay is the lack of a map. Players can get lost navigating large areas, and it can become frustrating to find your next point of interest without a map. The various stages provide a different style of play depending on the area for a side-scrolling game, which is a plus. Overall, the gameplay is above average while maintaining an excellent level of fun factor.

Visuals

The crisp visuals, vibrant colors, and graphic mechanics give the game a clean look. Explore gorgeous landscapes with environmental effects such as rain, lightning, and cloud physics. When lightning strikes across the sky, the lighting effects shine. The game’s art style gives it a fresh appeal, even though it’s only a 2D game. I appreciated the detail in the water and green foliage. The beauty spans all environments, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, A floating castle in the sky, escaping captivity from a jar in the Giantess kitchen, never again Land, Swallowed by an enormously huge dogfish, and underwater Atlantis city. Please make no mistake about it; this is a beautiful game. The graphical power is above average and adds to the overall polish of the title.

Sound

Kudos to the voice actors for doing a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life. The narration style of telling the story was vital, adding connected immersion elements. The music in 2D side-scrolling games is a significant factor for me, and The Darkest Tales delivered brilliant retro sounds. The musical score fit the different areas of the game, while the effects were realistic from the sound of slicing, explosions, and damage. Overall, the audio was on par with the visuals, complimenting each other well for gaming pleasure.

The Darkest Tales Final Verdict

Overall, the developers at Trinity Team did an excellent job creating a great gaming experience. Great storytelling and modern mechanics with multiple elements of retro gaming. Nowadays, the culture of Metroidvania-style games is booming, which can breed imposters or weak copycats. However, this game is a must-play for fans of the genre. Become lost in Alicia’s dreams turned twisted fairytales as the entertaining Teddy set out to end the torment of her nightmares using magical weapons and abilities. The Darkest Tales, with its beautiful visuals and sounds, smooth gameplay, degree of difficulty, and story pacing, earn an 81 out of 100.

Are you a dedicated fan of Metroidvania games? What is your most recent favorite 2D side-scrolling game? Also, what upcoming game are you looking forward to playing the most? Leave a comment!! Don’t forget to follow the team on Twitter at @Lv1Gaming and on our Facebook page. Check out our YouTube channel and Twitch for more content, and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter @DaStoNerD to engage in unique and unbiased gaming conversations.

The Darkest Tales

CDN$ 22.79
8.1

8.1/10

Pros

  • Excellent Sound
  • Great Controls
  • Engaging Story

Cons

  • No Map
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