French game studio, CatOnTree Studio, invited me to an exclusive first look into their ambitious title, Twistales Forever After! This indie game adventure is planned to be released sometime in 2025. I am super appreciative to be given access to the pre-alpha testing for content creators. The developers even watched when I streamed their playtest live on Twitch! Why is this important? Because we’re taking a deep dive into my thoughts on my experience with Twistales.

Harnessing the Dark Fantasy: Twistales – Cinderella’s Fairytale with a Thrilling Twist

So what exactly is Twistales? It’s a dark fantasy action adventure game with a focused twist on Cinderella’s fairytale. Instead of wobbling in a dazzling slipper, she wields a crystal sword! Cinderella battles the darkness consuming the fairytale universe. To be clear, I’m here 120% for the story. The gameplay and other stuff is just a bonus.

The playtest mission starts in the forests of the Little Red Riding Hood. Sadly, Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf are not shown in the playtest. There is a quick written dialogue cutscene between Cinderella and her godmother. Cinderella mentions that she’s going to find the priest.

A Visual Delight of Dark Fantasy and Edgy Aesthetics!

Loading into the world, Twistales paints an aesthetic that is eerily similar to Alice Madness Returns. The balance of lights and shadows exposes the gnarled feelings of edginess and dark fantasy. Blood crystals pulsate like a heart. Cinderella’s abilities are light blue and flashy like a superhero. And Cinderella has one more secret, which I’ll share with you a little further below!

As I traverse the linear terrain, Twistales does remind me of a classic adventure game. It’s missing out on additional side paths, probably due to just being a playtest. There are elements of platforming but not to an excruciating extent. Cinderella can climb objects like rocks, and she can jump over water. The environment has an excellent use of elevation. The pathway to the ultimate objective does not feel boring to reach. I love all the assets CatOnTree Studios use for the backdrop and for the elements within the forest. By the way, are you itching for more action adventure games? Click this link to see why Hi-Fi Rush is an addictive rhythm adventure game you need to play!

Unleash Cinderella’s Combat Prowess in Twistales

Combat diversity feels good and only needs some polish. Cinderella utilizes a basic attack, a running slash attack, a 5-hit light combo, a jump attack, and skill abilities. For now, these skills use the typical blue mana bar. There are 6 skills which vary from a melee-focused heavy sword spin attack to a blunderbuss (old timey shotgun) ranged wide attack. My favorite one is the teleporting backstab. The cane and bow & arrow are not as good since the swinging sword and blunderbuss are basically the same things but do their jobs way better.

twistales combat

After beating a few baddies down by the riverside, I exit the forest to wander into a cemetery. The enemies get harder and have new attack patterns. One such enemy will riposte and counterattack as soon as they get hit. I had to remain light on my feet with those guys. A mini boss also comes out in the cemetery. He is a Hulk-like figure in armor and loves to throw rocks. What happens next is about the dark fantasy visuals that I said I would touch on from earlier.

Divine Destruction: Experience the Thrill of Cinderella’s God Mode in Twistales

God mode is an ultimate ability that transforms Cinderella into a Grim Reaper demoness with a blazing red scythe. I was not expecting an extravagant burst of beast bomb and LOVE IT! No surprise here but god mode obliterates everything on screen with a carving of lightning fast scythe attacks. During the playtest, I could trigger this ability off at any time before the duration ended. This saved more energy points so I could activate the ability again sooner.

twistales god mode

A large church is near the cemetery. This area was really fun because the church was more puzzle solving and finding secret rooms. It felt like a proper action adventure game with sprinkles of enemies every few rooms and platforms. I also found a glitch or two, to which the devs were mortified to see in action. I, on the other hand, loved exploring the nooks and crannies and predicting what would happen.

Overall, the Twistales pre-alpha playtest is already feeling great! I couldn’t be more excited to see how the game evolves from here. I guess I’ll find out soon enough, hopefully sometime in 2025, and I’ll keep it on my radar. Thank you, once again, to CatOnTree Studio for the exclusive access! Looking to learn more? Click this video to join my journey in the Twistales Forever After exclusive playtest!

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