Fairy tales are by no means actually what they appear. Rising up, we’re all uncovered to those ethical tales – usually primarily based on fable and fantasy – which have been tailored a number of instances and, in lots of instances, softened too, whether or not it’s via a fantastically drawn image e book or a sanitised Disney adaptation. However as you become old and extra curious, you begin to peel again the layers of those cutesy tales and sometimes discover extra sinister origins lurking beneath
Little Goody Two Footwear is the embodiment of this notion. You play as Elise, a younger lady whose grandmother has simply handed away. Elise desires extra in life – she desires to go from rags to riches, however she spends her days being a “little goody two footwear” by serving to out the folks of Kieferberg. However after assembly a brand new buddy and discovering a pair of pink footwear in her again backyard, Elise’s want appears a lot nearer than she ever dreamed. It’s an enchanting story, one which works when it performs to its strengths, although some frustrations are holding it again.
We’ve by no means actually performed something like Little Goody Two Footwear. It blends all kinds of genres seamlessly to create a novel and engaging environment. Half sapphic love story, half fairy story, half nightmare-inducing horror, you’ll go from cute little chats along with your closest associates to animal corpses coated in psychedelic-coloured moths in minutes. The mix of attractive European fairy-tale aesthetic – from the wood-carved menus and cute little bakeries to the plaid aprons and ribbons – alongside the ‘90s shōjo anime character designs actually helps to knit all of those transferring elements collectively effortlessly.
This ‘cottagecore’ vibe together with the beautiful pixel artwork visuals and bloom lighting reminds us of CLAMP’s Magic Knight Rayearth or Sailor Moon, and even of a Sega Saturn sport like Princess Crown. The beautiful mushy tones of the daytime distinction brilliantly with the nighttime darkness and unsettling mix of brilliant colors you’ll encounter within the Woodland, the haunted place that Elise should discover each night time. It runs very well on Change — completely no points in any respect — and the music, which additionally covers the identical vary of creepy and cute, actually ties all the things collectively.
Every day is break up into six totally different durations – daybreak usually sees you heading from your private home to the city of Kieferberg to search out out what’s occurring within the village. The following three time durations are then yours to do work for the villagers, cross time along with your sweetheart, and spend cash on meals and gadgets that you could be simply want. Come nighttime, you head house, just for Witching Hour to kick in and the horrors unwind. Relying on the alternatives you make, akin to who so far or what gadgets you decide up, you’ll get considered one of ten endings. And along with your preliminary playthrough lasting about ten hours, there’s loads of incentive to attempt to get Elise a happier (or extra horrifying) ending.
Through the day, the duties you perform for the villagers vary from chopping wooden to gathering apples, and quite than being little fetch quests, these come within the type of playable arcade-style minigames, full with a wooden-carved arcade unit. These are fast and, relying on how effectively you do, you’ll be able to earn extra money. It’s a enjoyable method to break up the backwards and forwards of exploring city, however there are solely a handful of those minigames on provide, and also you’ll possible see all of them by the top of day two.
Cash is essential, as a result of each time you progress from one interval to a different, Elise’s starvation will deplete. When you let her starvation fall to zero, you’ll get a Sport Over. Relying in your selections, you would possibly deplete multiple bar of starvation, and also you’ll want to purchase meals from the bakery or inn to maintain Elise fed. Throughout Witching Hour, you additionally want to fret about Elise’s well being and sanity, which falls when she will get hit or talks to an unsettling ghost. Once more, gadgets you should purchase from shops are used to recuperate these, however you’ll discover (and be given) some free meals all through the sport, so it is not one thing you should fear about an excessive amount of.
Initially, Little Goody Two Footwear is fairly overwhelming – selecting who to pursue romantically, choosing what jobs to do, and getting ready forward for the day’s occasions is lots. And, on high of that, you’ll generally should feed a sure villager to cease her from being suspicious of you and your new buddy, and even quell the villager’s worries. However ultimately, issues even out, and the additional into the story you get, the simpler you’ll discover balancing all the things. Truthfully, developer AstralShift does a very good job of mixing all the things collectively, even with the preliminary hour or two being a little bit of a deep dive.
Witching Hour is, nonetheless, the place the most effective and worst elements of Little Goody Two Footwear come into play for us. These ranges are fantastically designed explorable nightmares that nail the aesthetic and tone the sport goes for. In every of those, you should remedy a number of puzzles to progress to the subsequent day. Nonetheless, whereas this provides one other wrinkle to the sport’s methods, it’s much more irritating than lots of the different components.
Early on, Little Goody Two Footwear recommends you save usually and use all the 20 save slots accessible to you, and also you’d do effectively to concentrate to that. The puzzles throughout Witching Hour solely offer you very obscure hints, and it’s usually a case of trial and error in attempting to resolve them quite than utilizing your mind to determine them out. The issue is that in these puzzles there are ghostly apparitions, enemies, and thorns mendacity round that may trigger Elise to lose well being in the event that they contact her, and she or he’ll die if she reaches zero.
Fortunately, there’s a save level in each room, however redoing the identical room again and again, whereas listening to the identical dialogue – which might be fast-forwarded in some instances – can get tiresome shortly. There’s a boss in the direction of the top of the sport, specifically, the place you’ll be able to’t skip the textual content, and we died lots to this. It doesn’t actually assist that diving into the sport’s fast menus or inventories to devour meals feels sluggish, both. There’s a delay between scanning via your gadgets to choosing them, and it simply makes issues take that further bit longer.
It’s spectacular simply how AstralShift has managed to weave collectively all of those totally different elements so successfully in Little Goody Two Footwear. The environment is unmatched and the story is genuinely intriguing, with Elise making an incredible protagonist who – regardless of showing egocentric and bratty – simply desires a greater life for herself and whoever she falls in love with. We’re so shut to being in love with this sport, however a number of frustrations simply maintain this sport again from having a fairy-tale ending for us. Nonetheless, for the distinctive concepts alone, we’d suggest checking this out.