Having set the tone for some “Alternate Realities” with We Happy Few, I thought I’d use Saturdays to talk about other games. I’ve mentioned upon occasion that I am a gamer. I play games on a PC though, so there will be some games I talk about that are not available to console gamers. My apologies. It’s not my fault that I like the superior quality that comes with a PC.
Last week I started playing something that will take a lot more time to get through but I am dying to talk about it. I’ll only say this so far: it started over 20 years ago for me. But that’s all I’ll say on that. Until I complete this one, I’ll cover a few shorter games.
While I was between games one day, I was browsing Steam – my platform of choice for buying computer games – and spotted something that looked graphically stunning. Reluctant to ever buy into something that looks good and has no soul, I did some research. It was a role-playing game where the player took on the role of a mouse. I watched gameplay footage and was impressed enough that I grabbed Ghost of a Tale.
In Ghost of a Tale, you play Tilo, a mouse bard. (Say hello!) Being a Bard is important to the game and you are asked to play songs from time to time; some of which you really have to think about or you might offend someone. I’ve never played a game as a bard before either! Anyway, Tilo has been thrown in prison and has to find his way out, and if all goes well, back to the mouse he loves. Nothing beats a good love story, eh? This leads to an adventure not unlike most RPGs. He has to find this key, or that outfit, or these bugs… or some combination thereof. But that was alright because it wasn’t meant to be the most unique experience ever. It was meant to be a fun role playing game with some insanely beautiful graphics. Frankly, they are magnificent. Tilo is adorable no matter which outfit he wears, and you will change suits for different purposes. If you stop moving, he’ll stand up, look around, and twitch his whiskers.
Although I discovered it after playing for a while, most of the in-game art is done by one person which really impressed me. And the music is also striking; it is particularly soothing. The action sequences are appropriately ramped up but the bulk of the game lends itself to a soothing experience. The map is not huge; there are a handful of very distinct areas to explore but this is a smaller game for a very small character. The outdoor areas are incredible looking though.
Tilo interacts with other mice upon occasion. Guards are none too happy to see him but he can wear a guard’s outfit once he’s found all the components. Oh yeah, and there are spiders too; a fact I am never happy about when the graphics are this good! Choices you make have an impact, but having only played it once, I could not say the impact is significant. I have a hard time playing as an evil character anyway but the game doesn’t really lend itself to that much choice. There are some smaller moral choices like do you admit to stealing something or tell a lie but overall this isn’t a game as vast as the Elder Scrolls series. I did encounter one glitch that I could not complete a side-mission and apparently it was a known bug. Still, it did not take away from the overall experience. And since I played it in May, they’ve had just about 5 months to patch it. I’m sure they’ve resolved any known bugs. Tilo would be happy. It is an absolutely enjoyable game.
So, for a visual treat, a light-hearted adventure, and an unusual choice in role playing, Ghost of a Tale should not be missed. I clocked in about 22 hours for the $25 price tag – that’s a shade over $1 an hour. Considering how many games I’ve played that are a fraction of the time for the same price, I’d call this a win. And just look at those graphics… ML