April 27th, 2022
Challenging puzzles, riddles and mini-games
Strange new characters that expands the world of Forgotten Hill
Twisted plot that unveil new strange events happened in Forgotten Hill
Our innovative hint system: if you are stuck get help with a simple click
All text translated into 8 languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Russian and Chinese
Forgotten Hill Tales includes five short stories, all of which are free to download from the developer’s website and feature familiar and new characters from the franchise. Otherwise, you’ll miss a lot of allusions if you play First Steps, Mementoes, Disillusion, then this Forgotten Hill Tales.
In the first story of Forgotten Hill Tales, you must flee a cabin where you sought refuge from a monster, and the only way out is through Grandpa’s stomach (as in, make him some soup, not chop him open, though it’s worth a shot). There’s one about a painting, another about a lovely grandmother, and so forth. We can’t pick a favorite because each has reasons to enjoy (and despise) them.
The stories in Tales are bite-sized, lasting around a half-hour, and there’s a context-sensitive suggestion system if you get stuck. Although puzzles can be bypassed, it does not always identify accessible steps, making them only moderately useful. A single menu click can also open the video tour in your browser, which is never an elegant approach. You can die in a few spots, but you’ll be returned to the same location and can try again.
The controls are easy, and the game saves automatically when you depart, so your progress is never lost. You can play the stories in any sequence you want and are not forced to finish one before beginning another. Most milestones are story-related or require you to do something that comes easily in Forgotten Hill’s universe.
Some puzzles in Tales are more unpleasant or obscure than others, as is customary. We don’t like rotary ones, for example, especially if they can only be rotated in one way, nor, as Simon points out if they have to be done a billion times. or anything physics-related under any circumstances. Overdoing the same puzzle is a reoccurring issue in the series, and we’ll never understand the point of the ‘do something to expose a bunch of stuff in quick succession, then repeat until you memorize or write them down’ thing. We found out what to do, maybe add a note in our inventory with the symbols.
After completing the game, there are additional puzzles that travel over Tales. We felt this was creative for the development team, and we always appreciate finding new things to do after a game has ‘ended.’ There are achievements associated with discovering these secrets.
Forgotten Hill Tales is the most recent release on Steam. Although Tales is a stand-alone game, fans of prior Forgotten Hill products will recognize many references and will likely appreciate this journey even more. Forgotten Hill Tales is made up of five vignettes, each with its own story and characters. Each Tale is a complex ‘escape the situation’ that includes inventory find-and-use, mechanical puzzles, and environmental hints. They are not particularly challenging for the astute gamer who pays attention.
There are incremental suggestions accessible in Forgotten Hill Tales if you are willing to forego an achievement. We found a number of the mechanical challenges to be a little annoying, but the entire experience more than made up for our minor annoyances. Unfortunately, from a technological sense, nothing has changed. There are simply separate audio toggles, and no volume or brightness controls, however, there are a lot of languages and a windowed mode with a resizable window. Also, no gibberish during dialogue this time, which is always appreciated, and the game, as usual, autosaves when you quit.