In most RPG adventure games, the player has direct control over the character. Do you want to turn down a dark corridor to search for more treasure, or go on to face the green orc ahead? Talesworth turns this concept on its head, forcing you to manipulate an adventurer with a mind of his own.
Talesworth is a port of a Flash game that you can play here for free, but the iPad version is still worth buying. The touch controls are great, and the game eases you into its complex mechanics with a multi-level tutorial.
You have to guide your adventurer Questy through a maze-like dungeon by placing bags of gold and one-way gates before sending him to run through each level. Questy will generally travel in a straight line, or follow arrows on the ground, unless he’s drawn by gold or barred by gates. Fiendish traps like pressure plates that trigger arrows and boulders that roll around the level have multiple purposes. They can kill Questy and must be avoided, but they can also kill orcs and hit switches.
You only have a limited amount of gold and gates to drop, so the challenge is in finding the exact location for each tool so that Questy can clear the room in one solid run. However, we discovered a pretty major bug that lets you hit ‘clear tools’ while Questy is moving, letting you reuse tools more than once. It’s cheating, but it’ll let you beat the game without using as much brainpower.
Boulder on loan from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
While this exploit will probably be patched soon, we still wish the game had a hint system for some of the trickier levels. Once Talesworth gets going, it’s incredibly challenging, to the point where expert logicians will be tested and casual players might become frustrated.
For its unique concept and charming presentation, we give Talesworth high marks. You can play it online for free, but you should still consider buying it for the iPad.