Posted by Evolve on May 20, 2018 | In: General News
Tala is an autumnal adventure game that has recently arrived on Kickstarter. Utilizing traditional animations and nature photography, the world of Tala is tiny, ripe, and begging to be explored in depth.
Players adopt of the role of the eponymous Tala, who is a forest spirit in the search for a meager woodland town she calls home. As of late, your life has consisted of aiding the Town Guardian in preparing food for your journey into the daunting Deep Woods in hopes that you may stumble upon secure foods for the upcoming winter season. You are instantly geared with a great deal of responsibility, which at first requires you to keep an eye on the townsfolk to ensure they don't get up to too much mischief while the Town Guardian is away on an important mission. You're the newbie in this role, so make sure no one tries to pull a fast one on you. You will soon realize that there are various complexities in the town that you must help out with in different ways, be it discussion innovations with the Inventor, helping the Baker discover fruits for her pies, and maintaining that the Sproutlings keep their energy levels in check.
Soon after you've been given all of this responsibility, you'll notice that the Town Guardian's companion has made it back to town prematurely. You realize instantly that something must be wrong, so you begin to investigate. As it turns out, the Town Guardian is stuck in the Deep Woods, a place you're not prepared to venture out toward just yet out of your fear of the unknown. It's not an area particularly close by, and even though you're tentative about wanting to explore it, you understand that the Town Guardian is in dire need of assistance, so you volunteer to help. You march up to the Inventor, relay the details of the mission you are about to embark on, and ask to borrow the dingy old plane. With the help of the townsfolk, you collectively fix up the old plane swiftly so you may fly out as soon as possible. After departing, are reminded that winter is rapidly approaching and that you need to find the Town Guardian stat.
The environment that you inhabit is full to play with interactable elements. Chimneys bellow out smoke, signs blow in the wind, and you'll see windows open or close periodically. The gameplay derives of solving various puzzles throughout your journey, and various interactable parts of the environment may play into those. Tala has a handy contextually aware cursor so if you want to know if something is interactable, you don’t need to walk up to it. Just hovering over it will suffice. The puzzles you come across will usually be the point-and-click kind and consist of collection items and using them on other interactable surfaces. For instance, you'll often find yourself needing to solve a puzzle just to perform some pretty rudimentary tasks, such as figuring out how to get through a gushing waterfall without your match going out, or creating a path of stepping stones to get across a river.
A thought-bubble based dialogue system is utilized in Tala to create an experience that is entirely wordless. Lines of dialogue are replaced with thought-bubbles and animation instead. When chatting with the townsfolk, you will see a prompt shoot up that contains a dialogue tree, as well as a few dialogue puzzles here and there. One of the most prominent upsides to this feature comes with the fact that you don't need to be fluent in English to be able to understand what is being said, which is a neat concept to execute smoothly.
The developer of Tala, Matthew Petrak, has received nearly half of his pledge goal in donations so far and has about 23 more days to acquire the rest. This project falls under the Kickstarter "All or Nothing" bracket, meaning it will only get funded if it reaches its full goal by June 11. For prospective players, if funding goes smoothly, you can expect to play Tala on PC for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. A short demo is currently downloadable for all systems on itch.io Be sure to check out the trailer below to see the photographic art in action.