GHOST OF A TALE
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on March 19, 2019
Sometimes you come across something so cute, that you simply can't ignore it. And to be honest, when I saw the trailer for Ghost of a Tale, I couldn't ignore it, even if I wanted to... which I most certainly didn't in this case! My husband and DumeeGamer collaborator Ferry told me about this game and, after seeing it in action, I can only say that it is truly one of a kind. So, sit back and let me tell you why.
A very, very, very long time ago, all species of animals lived together peacefully in a tranquil world. Then, out of nowhere, a huge ball of mystical green flames force started ravaging the peaceful lands of the world. There were many animals who tried to stand up against this mysterious force and were subsequently vanquished by it. One day, out of blind panic, the mice sent one of their own to bargain with the flame for their very lives. To save their own skin, the mice offered to expose the weaknesses of the other animals, making it easier for the Flame to conquer them. Thoroughly unimpressed by this act of treason, the flame destroyed the lands and homes of the mice...
Eventually, the rat army saved the day by successfully defeating the Green Flame and were heralded as the savior of the world. When the rats learned of the treason, committed by the mice, their surviving number were driven from the lands forever and forbidden to return, on penalty of death. Now, years and years later, peace has returned and these horrid events have drifted into the realm of legend... But for one little mouse minstrel named Tilo, the adventure has just begun!
In Ghost of a Tale you take the role of said mouse. Being a minstrel, Tilo wears the traditional minstrel hat and, of course, a tiny lute on his back. But alas, when we meet Tilo for the first time, he's not having the best of days. On the contrary, actually; Little Tilo has been thrown into the dungeon because on trumped up charges of acts of sedition. Plus, his dear wife Merra is taken from him, so surely you can understand why he wants to break free, right? The ones responsible for Tilo's incarceration are the now ruling class of the land: the rats. So, let's break this little mouse out of jail. Shall we?
Luckily, we get some help in this department; a strange note, accompanied by a n iron key are surreptitiously hidden under a loaf of bread which an unsuspecting guard brings to Tilo's cell. The key fits the lock on the cell door, so Tilo can start his quest for freedom... but is still in the dungeon, which is patrolled by a company of mean rat guards. Now, being a tiny mouse means that you're not ready or even equipped to fight your way through the guards patrolling the prison. Instead, you should use your tiny size and ability to move silently to your advantage. Plus, you can hide yourself in chests, cupboards, large buckets and even underneath desks. So prepare yourself for a lot of Hide and Seek with rat guards. (By the way, try hiding in a bucket at least once and see for yourself how cute Tilo looks!)
A lot of different keys are needed to make your way through the game and the fun part about this is that they can be anywhere. Rat guards can have them about their person, but they could also be hanging from a nail high up on a wall, or even be hidden in furniture like chests or cupboards. So, it might not come as a surprise that searching is another thing you will do pretty often while playing Ghost of a Tale. And not only for keys, mind you; you'll need lots and lots of different items on your quest, like: candles, sticks, bottles, clothes and food.
Because Tilo is only a tiny mouse, he isn't that strong, so he'll need to be smart! Some objects can be used to distract guards and make them leave their post for a short time or even knock them out, while food can be used to replenish your health when a guard manages to hit you. Clothes are a whole different story altogether; you'll need these to disguise yourself, so you'll blend in when traveling through certain areas. And, of course, these disguises come in more than one parts, which are never found together, so more searching is required!
You can't actually your rat captors, so the best way to get past them is to hide from them and don't let them see you. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, you can also use bottles to knock them unconscious for a while. This unconscious state doesn't last very long however, so be sure to get out of there fairly quickly. Also, you might want to keep an eye out for other objects in the environment, which you can use to knock out the rat guards. At some point Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams joined me during this stealthy adventure, and I saw him sneaking by a guard, walk up a flight of stairs and walk over to some barrels that were, most conveniently, placed right above a rat guard. You probably know where this is going, right?
Luckily for Ferry and myself (and Tilo, of course), we were smart enough to make it out of the dungeons, but our troubles didn't end there. There is still more to learn, to see and to discover for Tilo, on his journey to save his wife. Who knows what other heroic stuff he might do before this tale is at an end? Visually, the game looks absolutely stunning, with awesome characters and beautiful environments. The first time I actually saw one of the rat guards, the animation movie Secret of Nimh immediately sprang to mind. And what do you know? I learned that this game is developed by game designer and DreamWorks and Universal Pictures veteran Lionel "Seith" Gallat. Plus, it turns out that he was heavily inspired by that very same movie and other brilliant stuff like Legend of Zelda, Disney's Robin Hood and Dark Souls.
Ghost of a Tale was funded by a successful Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign which ran from April to May of 2013. I don't know about you, but I always love to see a game that is funded successfully and makes it to an actual launch date. And, after seeing and playing the game, I can totally understand why it was funded successfully. Tilo looks darn cute and the game itself is exciting to play and it looks awesome!
GHOST OF A TALE
March 13, 2018 (PC)
March 12, 2019 (PS4 / Xbox One)