Agent Cosy Bear

The Darkest Tales is a platforming game where you play as a bear come to life tasked with saving his mistress Alicia who is hunted by demons while she sleeps. Right away I find myself in a fully voiced cutscene at the start and witness a conversation with an annoying ball of light and Teddy, this opening cutscene was rather lengthy but excellently voice acted. The graphics are also incredible to look at also and this is exactly the style of game that intrigues me.

The Darkest Tales immerses you in its cute style right away and when the cutscene changes to the sidescrolling gameplay I was in awe at the stylised hand-drawn-looking backgrounds. Honestly, this is one of the most stylish games I have seen and every detail in the first scene is incredible from the trophies on the shelf to how the shadows are depicted behind it as well as how the shadows and light are perfectly done.

So as demons pursue to devour Alicia’s subconscious, the light continues to be a pain forcing you to jump from the toybox and into a gateway of light. And so the journey begins.

Soon after entering Alicia’s dreamworld, you find yourself in a snowstorm where you soon meet a figure hacking at a bloody carcass. You escape unscathed but this shows that this is not the cute stylised game you might think it is. You then come across a shattered door which acts as a doorway between worlds and while you still are in the first world it remains useless to us for now. The game continues to unravel presenting new mechanics as you go along. Mirrors act as save points should you perish and you soon find your first weapon, a pair of scissors much to Teddy’s dismay until the ball of light becomes a part of them with her magic. The game does try to add humour in which I really enjoyed as it never felt forced and never felt over the top either.

Your health which is depicted as half a pair of scissors can be seen in the top left with segments showing how much life you have, you can sew yourself back together using the magic fairy’s power providing you have enough magic to do so but doing this during a fight is suicide as it takes a moment and in the heat of combat which happens often you want to make sure you’re not when you do. You gain more magic for every enemy you kill so killing more enemies means you can keep yourself in top condition. While the game doesn’t start off overly difficult the enemies do charge at you and figuring out their pattern is the best way to take them out, the game is also littered with traps and early examples of this are bramble and sharp spikey enemies that can’t be destroyed. There is also the fun of accidentally walking inside a stationary object which you thought was part of the environment only to find that it is part of the game, there is no map here and the only way to see everything is to explore, I’m fine with this personally as I think maps in platform games are an overused mechanic. As the levels do go on they do lose their linearity, but the fun of exploring would not be that with a map.

The first boss you encounter is the red-hooded figure that you met previously and while I died a couple of times, it wasn’t too difficult to take her out and was a great first boss fight. After playing for a bit is when I really noticed the style of this game is really something that I love. The graphics already impressed me on a level that most platforms don’t, the trees swaying in the background and foreground while the light shines through the trees impressed me in the first world, but as I arrived in a large kitchen area I was so amazed by the level of detail. Mould can be seen emanating from fruit left out, with Jars and Cups lying around, even the tiny details such as the pitter-patter of Teddy’s feet changing depending on what he is walking on becomes more noticeable here.

Overall I have enjoyed my time with The Darkest Tales, honestly, it didn’t grip me straight away but as I continued to play I realised how much this game opens up after the first couple of worlds. it has a simple structure overall and learning new abilities as you go and the ability to unlock certain traits as you go is a nice touch although it is not on a grand scale, but I like that. The real enjoyment of this game for me is the Journey so far and the one I will continue to take. I’ve become attached to both the world in which The Darkest Tales resides and also Teddy, he really is the self explantory avatar of how I feel while playing the Darkest Tales, Comfortable.

A Nintendo Switch code was provided by 101XP