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  • Review: ‘Little Goody Two Shoes’ is a cute horror role-playing game

Review: ‘Little Goody Two Shoes’ is a cute horror role-playing game

‘Little Goody Two Shoes’ is described as a phantasmagorical horror narrative role-playing game. (Supplied)
‘Little Goody Two Shoes’ is described as a phantasmagorical horror narrative role-playing game. (Supplied)
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06 Jan 2024 06:01:43 GMT9
06 Jan 2024 06:01:43 GMT9

LONDON: Last year was described by some as the best in the history of gaming with the vast range of blockbuster titles on offer. In the shadows of the most famous franchises are hidden gems whose niche categorization will mean that they never get the attention of their shinier peers.

The game “Little Goody Two Shoes” is described as a phantasmagorical horror-narrative role-playing offering, a description which may confuse many.

Its appearance is very deceptive. The game is available across all formats and, at first, it seems as if you are playing a cartoon, albeit a Japanese manga one complete with the large-eye character anime that you would expect. However, soon the storyline and gameplayer mechanics reveal an altogether darker and more complex affair.

Based on an 18th century children’s story, you take the role of Elise, very much a “Little Red Riding Hood” character who lives alone in the forest not far from an idyllic German village. However, the fairytale setting hides mysterious goings-on as rumors of a witch and strange misfortunes start to blight the seemingly perfect world.

In terms of game mechanics, there is a satisfying rhythm to a day dividing into sections, and the resource-management component of how you invest in relationships, work and crucially ensuring that you do not starve to death. Despite the game’s cartoon graphics, it creatively reveals sometimes bizarre but strangely addictive mini games within it.

A pair of magic shoes and a few dream sequences later reveal Elise’s quest to escape the confines of village life and live the destiny that she has always imagined. Yet to do this she must complete quests and manage the suspicion of the villagers about her hosting a stranger in her house along with a fluffy goat companion called Floke.

A clever soundtrack and excellent use of dialogue underpins the adventure. The narrative is engaging and the only major frustration with the game is that navigation can sometimes be a bit clumsy as the beautiful arenas prove less practical to move around in. What is more, key items can often only be discovered by repeatedly checking what seem like non-interactive parts of the landscape. This takes away from the momentum of the game’s balance of discovery, genuinely disturbing horror, and the need to continue managing resources.

In classic role-playing game fashion, your choices of narrative and action can lead to an array of endings. Despite the childlike surface to both story and characters, there is a surprising level of depth to the game that is a reminder that in the modern gaming universe there is room for the weird and the wonderful alongside the more conventional titles.

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