ReviewsReview: A Juggler's Tale

Review: A Juggler’s Tale

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Everyone wants to be in control of their own destiny! Following orders is one thing, but having no freedom to choose your path in life is something altogether different. A caged person will always yearn to see the world, and this is exactly what happens to the protagonist in A Juggler’s Tale. It’s a wonderful German-inspired fairy tale that takes you on a journey of beauty and highs and lows.

Developed by Kaleidoscube and published by Mixtvision, this is a 3D side-scrolling puzzle adventure title. It’s a touching tale about one girl’s bid for freedom, and the cruel world she resides in. You will explore stunning locations, enjoy wonderful mechanics, and be thrilled by the classic rhyming narrative.

The theatre is now open.

A Juggler’s Tale is a short but thoroughly enjoyable experience.

I’ve played many indie titles and rarely am I shocked by what I see. However, A Juggler’s Tale surprised me because of its combination of stunning landscapes, emotional audio, touching storyline, and excellent puzzling mechanics. I thoroughly enjoyed everything I experienced and was only disappointed when it ended much sooner than I hoped. The developers have captured the classic German fairy tale world perfectly and its inoffensive style allows gamers of all ages and skills to enjoy its story.

The plot revolves around a Bavarian theatre and a story about a girl called Abby. She wows the crowds with her tightrope walking and minxy ways. Yet, for all the cheers and pleasure she gets from her adoring fans, Abby wishes to see the real world. With a smart mind and an eye for detail, only her puppet strings hold her back. You must control her as she bids to escape the ringmaster who keeps her captive and the subsequent bounty hunters who chase her.

Simplicity is everything.

What makes A Juggler’s Tale so fantastic is that its simple concepts allow you to enjoy every element. There is a perfect balance of difficulty, exploration, puzzles, and character interactions. You will venture through many locations while climbing ladders, pushing boxes, avoiding your captures, and carving new paths. During every interaction, you must ensure that your puppet strings remain untangled and branches, poles, and overhanging surfaces will prove to be troublesome.

Working your way through each problem becomes increasingly tougher, especially when you are being chased by Tonda, a bloodthirsty barbarian who has been paid to return you to the circus. As he steps up his efforts, the surrounding world turns into a dank, war-torn environment filled with starving and dying citizens. Abby no longer knows whether she wants to be free, but she can’t return to the life she once knew.

Can you beat the bear?

A Juggler’s Tale is a wonderful blend of wonderment and misery.

The basic theatrical set-up is a fantastic setting for this fairy tale inspired title. This helped the developers to create any environment or location that piqued their interests, and I loved how each Act merged into another. The side-scrolling style focussed the action linearly, and this worked well with the structured lines of the play. The earthy tones and sultry colour palette enhance the classic look and emphasise the horrendous and miserable plight of each citizen. The misery was brilliantly juxtaposed with the bright characters and the joyous but fleeting moments of victory. I quickly got swept up in the drama of the plot and I loved how it was presented.

The classic medieval style was supported by the folksy soundtrack. This lively music brought energy and fun to an otherwise sad and desperate plot. The changes in tone and pace reflected the drama on the screen, and this prevented the story from having any low points. I admit the music was great, but it paled in comparison to the booming rhythmical narration. I loved Jack’s storytelling and the many twists and turns it created. This helpful fellow guides the story perfectly, but, a word of warning, don’t get on his bad side.

Don’t touch the water.

User-friendly controls.

Though some of the puzzles may be too challenging for a younger audience, the controls are user friendly. However, with a little guidance from a competent player, A Juggler’s Tale will be enjoyed by all age groups. With few buttons to remember, it was easy to pick up the controls. My only gripe was when it was challenging to find stones or fruit that can be thrown. A helpful indicator would have removed many issues and, in turn, this would have made those moments more pleasurable.

Unlike many of its peers, this has plenty of replay value. With hidden objectives and many ways to complete multiple tasks, you must play through each Act many times to complete this title. To finish this will be a challenge, and its short two to three-hour gameplay will be experienced many times if you wish to unlock every achievement.

A Juggler’s Tale is a great puzzle game that needs to be played.

Fans of LIMBO or INSIDE will adore A Juggler’s Tale! With so many great elements to enjoy and a wonderfully narrated story to experience, this is a game that needs to be played. I loved it and recommend you to buy it here! Will Abby regret her decision to escape? A dangerous world awaits her, but surely a life filled with fear is better than no life at all?

 

My review with footage captured from my Xbox Series X, enjoy!

SUMMARY

A Juggler's Tale is a wonderful puzzle adventure title. With excellent narration, beautiful graphics, and a touching plot, I loved every element. The simple concepts combine well to make a user-friendly title that's accessible for gamers of all ages.

+ Excellent graphics that match the fairy tale inspiration.
+ Wonderful narration.
+ Touching audio.
+ An excellent plot.
+ User-friendly approach.
+ Excellent controls.
+ Plenty of replay value.
- It was challenging to find objects to throw.
- I wanted more.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: [email protected]

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