Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering A Juggler’s Tale by developer Mixtvision.
A Juggler’s Tale: (The Explanation)
A Juggler’s Tale is a short 2-hour game in which you control Abby, a marionette, under the control of a puppeteer. In the game, told in five Acts, you move mostly left to right engaging in objects and puzzles while jumping over obstacles. Your main goal is to avoid capture by the circus leader who cages Abby after each nightly performance.
Once you free yourself and befriend a circus bear, Abby makes her way out into the world to rid herself of her strings and the circus henchman. Through each act, you will need to solve puzzles, many of which require a specific order in which to solve them. There were a few puzzles that gave me an ah-hah-like moment after solving them in how the game used both the unique mechanic of being held by strings alongside the environmental puzzles.
As you traverse through the worlds, the colorful vibrancy of the medieval world is a character as well. There are times where burning branches to free yourself from trees or gathering wooden planks to create stepping areas for Abby will be required. Throughout the time in the game, there were also some stealth areas where avoiding detection by the circus leaders henchman forced me to be quick, as well as patient while navigating the camps and building areas.
The story of A Juggler’s Tale is told primarily through the voice of the narrator, who ultimately is who you are running from. His rhyming sing-song voice accompanies Abby’s actions and even can belt out sarcasm when you misstep and get captured and have to restart. At times the voice was helpful in setting the scene and warning me of what was to come, I did find the narration to be helpful.
The game is not long by any means or challenging for that matter. You can complete A Juggler’s Tale in a short afternoon or evening. The story is engaging enough and the puzzling and unique mechanics brought by the small team of four or five people is worth the time spent in Abby’s world. I enjoyed the last half of the game which required more quick-thinking with regards to the puzzles and an interesting ‘boss battle’ that kept me on my toes. If you like unique indie games and puzzles A Juggler’s Tale is a decent game for the price.
A Juggler’s Tale: (The Gameplay)
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Adventure, Platformer, Puzzle
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: September 29, 2021 (EU & NA)
File Size: 2.2 GB