One of life’s small pleasures is being able to read to others. Subsequently, there is nothing more enjoyable than bringing the words of a book to life. Watching the audience’s reaction as the drama unfolds is priceless. What’s more, it’s equally great when artists reimagine classic tales. This is exactly what happens in Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures. It’s a game all about familiar stories with amusing and unexpected twists.
Developed by Drakhar Studio and published by Outright Games Ltd., this is a colour action-adventure platform title. It utilises famous characters from Sony Pictures Animation films and will be a firm favourite for younger gamers. Furthermore, its gameplay unfolds across three well-known fairy tales, so adults can also enjoy what’s on screen.
Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures is perfect for children.
Whenever I cover a game from this publishing and developer duo, I have to remember that their key audience is younger players. Consequently, the gameplay is usually much easier, has distinct repetitive qualities, and won’t challenge much more adept players. Therefore, an adult will probably tire of what they see, and won’t get the same enjoyment as a child would. However, as an onlooker, I enjoyed the twists of each plot, the colourful landscapes and the familiar tales and characters. Moreover, there are elements to the gameplay that younger players will struggle with, so this is the perfect opportunity to bond over a fun and whimsical title.
The action revolves around three classic fairy tales. There is Little Red Riding Hood, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Each of these stories has a twist that usually involves the protagonists. For example, Little Red is played by Mavis, Dracula wants to play the part of Ali Baba, and it concludes with both heroes taking part in The Emperor’s New Clothes. Alongside the main characters, you will meet Frank, Johnny, Wayne, Murray, and more from this much-loved franchise. As I said, Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures is aimed specifically toward children, but adults will enjoy much of the action.
Repetitive, simple, but just right.
The gameplay is broken down into thirteen chapters. Little Red Riding Hood and Ali Baba comprise five chapters each, and the Emperor’s New Clothes only has three chapters. Now, this may not sound a lot, but the game forces you to return to most levels after new skills or powers are unlocked. Subsequently, each fairy tale takes a considerable amount of time to complete. If you also consider the collectables that must be gathered and each creature that must be slain, there is a lot going on.
Alongside this, you will have to tackle the end of story bosses that will challenge and defeat you. Consequently, they were one of the few difficult moments and take some patience and a tactical approach. Luckily, however, the developers aren’t monsters as they were generous with the ability to respawn whenever you died. Fortunately, checkpoints are never too far away, so you can simply jump back into the action as if nothing happened.
Standard Platforming mechanics.
Apart from the gargantuan bosses, many of the elements are familiar and easy to overcome. Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures utilises standard platforming mechanics while mixing in some magical vampire powers. These special abilities help you to activate pressure plates, climb walls, jump obstacles, smash opponents, and more. Furthermore, you’ll have to scour each stage for coins, keys, and chests. These form the backbone of the collectable aspect and can be ignored if you so wish.
As already mentioned, the simplicity will be underwhelming for many older and more experienced players. Yet, younger gamers will love the repetitive nature and the straightforward approach. My children adored being able to play this with little guidance, and I was happy to let them explore, knowing that it was a safe and fun title with minimal violence and no gore.
Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures doesn’t look Spooktacular.
Whenever I tackle any film inspired game, I expect the graphics to be highly polished and to wow me. However, Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures doesn’t look Spooktacular. Yes, it is serviceable and children will love its colourful imagery, but it’s nothing special. The semi-linear gameplay is funnelled by invisible walls and claustrophobic spaces. What’s more, there is an array of glitches and issues. Monsters will disappear into the scenery, or you’ll die because you clip a wall or tree. Furthermore, Dracula’s running animation makes him look like a demented soldier doing the Goose step. Subsequently, it was very amusing, but the end product lacked polish and this was disappointing. However, my children didn’t seem to care, so maybe I’m just being picky.
As expected, the audio was inspired by each of the stories, and this was fantastic. The blend of songs was fascinating to listen to while adding a fun and whimsical element to the gameplay. What’s more, the sound effects were loud, unusual, and added a fantasy twist. However, what I found to be annoying were the repetitive sound bites that accompany much of the action. Had the developers toned this down a little, it would have been a better experience.
Easy controls but thwarted by the terrible camera angles.
Whenever a game is aimed toward youngsters, you know it’ll be easy to master. Luckily, Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures didn’t let me down! Thanks to its excellent tutorial, little guidance is needed to help children play it. Yet, this was far from perfect, as the camera angles are utterly atrocious. I mean, they are the worst I’ve seen in a long, long time! Furthermore, depth perception is hard to judge, and this causes much frustration and many unnecessary deaths. If you stand too close to a solid object, the camera moves and turns as if you are rocking on a boat. Subsequently, it’s nauseating and unnecessary. It made me sigh and mutter repeatedly and is the most disappointing element of this title.
Thanks to the monstrous amount of collectables, there is some replay value and longevity. You must collect cards, coins, and Frank’s body parts on each level you undertake. This involves you finding chests, killing monsters, and smashing everything in sight. It isn’t challenging by any stretch, but it’ll keep younger players entertained for hours. If you rushed through this, I’d expect it to last around five to six hours. However, if you take your time and search for everything, then you’ll need around ten hours to complete it.
Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures is what it is!
Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures sets its stall out very early on. Consequently, you know it won’t test a mature gamer or keep them entertained. Yet, if you are a parent, then this is the perfect addition to your library. Its whimsical and colourful ways will amuse younger players without the risk of gore, sex, or bad language. Furthermore, you’ll be amused by the twists in the plot and the colourful characters. Yes, there are issues, but most games have them. All things considered, this is an excellent title for children and I recommend you to buy it here! Can you complete each of the stories and find the collectables? Use your special powers, enjoy the unusual stories, and help Mavis and Dracula in their new roles.