Home Reviews 4/5 Review Tales From Candleforth Review

Tales From Candleforth Review

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Horror used to be pretty straightforward. For the most part you’d just have someone wearing a mask, equipped with a huge knife, hunting you in a maze-like haunted house. Or there would be zombies, loads of zombies, each one ready to tear you apart as you wade through, lopping off heads. 

But in the last decade or so games have explored the world of folk horror. mixing old stories and themes to create new games in which the horror is more creepy than straight-in-your-face gore.

Tales From Candleforth has all those elements, putting it into a puzzle point-and-click narrative adventure that will get goosebumps rising all over your body. 

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Tales From Candleforth – anything but straightforward horror

You start the game in a strange library, with a being with a pumpkin head relaxing on a chair, chatting away. You are told about a book that holds a collection of fairy tales that are so powerful they need to be contained. But the text and tales are bleeding out, mixing up the narrative and twisting the stories. So in you go, in hope of sorting it all out. 

Firstly you play Sarah, a young 16-year old girl who is left to manage the family apothecary alone. She is looking for her grandmother who went missing a while ago. She has powers that all the women in her family have and what she discovers leads her on a journey into the strange and magical work of this story. 

I very much enjoyed the darkness of the fairy stories of Tales From Candleforth, especially in regards the unusual and twisted imagery and an engrossing fairy tale that has strong hints of the amazing author Angela Carter about it. For some, the lack of a straight narrative might be a hindrance. For me, it works perfectly. 

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Click your way around

But this game is actually all about the puzzles, and trying to escape a series of locations. You walk around, pointing and clicking on everything you see. You can collect a number of items in your inventory and you can use these with things you find throughout the game. The puzzles themselves are ingenious, quite tricky to work out, but all the clues are there should you find them. You will be sort of stuck in a chapter with several locations you can move across, back and forth, sometimes inside places and out. But you might look at one puzzle and think that you can’t do anything with it, until you find the clues or answers in another place. 

Tales From Candleforth is like a huge escape room where you might spend some time looking for answers, scratching your head. That means that if you’re not into puzzle solving, or the slow pace of achieving that goal, then you won’t get much else out of this game. I was very into the puzzles, as well as the variety of them on offer. I also enjoyed how complex they were, and I do admit to having to go hunting for the solution a few times. But it still didn’t spoil my enjoyment. 

The game has a Grimm fairy tale German Expressionist feel to it, and it all looks beautifully handmade. Think of a Tim Burton film mixed a little with something from Wes Anderson. It looks great, with some amazing set pieces – like a dark pulley theatrical section and a beautiful way of activating a cuckoo clock. The soundtrack is very good as well with a dark atmosphere in sound, created to be aligned with the mood of the gameplay. 

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Beautifully created

For the amount of puzzle solving included, and the low asking price, Tales From Candleforth will appeal. Those with a taste for dark fairy tales will be well catered for, but on top of that is a game that provides some great puzzles mixed perfectly with point and click elements and escape room mechanics.

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I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
tales-from-candleforth-review<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Great puzzles</li> <li>Dark atmosphere</li> <li>Fairy tale story</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Complicated at times</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Feardemic</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC, PS4, PS5 <li>Release date and price - 30 April 2024 | £9.99</li> </ul>
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