Theatre Tales puts the player in control of the puppet master that acts out scenes from popular fairy tales. Only Little Red Riding Hood is currently available but there are other options grayed out at the start menu such as Puss in Boots, Cinderella, and Snow White. It is assumed these future episodes will be available as (paid?) DLC as the initial Theatre Tales download only costs about $1. However, the official description of the game makes it seem like all these other stories are included when they are not. Either way, clearly this is a game, more like an app, designed for young children or as a way for parents to sit down and play some Switch together.
I am clearly not the target audience for this Switch eShop download but there are still some glaring flaws that any player will immediately feel – the play control is broken. In any game, since the history of mankind, players use the left d-pad or analog stick to move while the face buttons on the right side of the controller do stuff (jump, reload, action, attack, etc). Nope. Not here. Theatre Tales actually maps the movement of the puppets to the right analog stick and still expects the player to hit the “B” button on the same side of the controller to select things. I thought perhaps I synced my JoyCons wrong, or that the player was supposed to use the touch screen (the touch screen doesn’t work at all FYI). But nope. Movement and the one action button are mapped to the same JoyCon. To be clear, this is when playing in handheld mode or with a Pro Control – not holding a single JoyCon horizontally. Not only does this not work, this will confuse the heck out of adults and especially young children learning how to hold and play video games. Imagine playing a Mario game using only one thumb, making it impossible to run and jump at the same time. That is exactly what is happening here.
If you do manage to put up with the broken controls, the player simply moves back and forth across the screen to forward the story. For example, Red Riding Hood needs to bake a pie to take to grandma’s house so the player has to click on the ingredients in the room then click on the oven. There is no way to win or lose, just progress. Then, within just a couple minutes, the story concludes and the player is taken back to the main menu with all the other stories grayed out. Even with the very low asking price, it still isn’t recommended since this “game” isn’t even finished and what is there is horribly designed. Better off reading the book instead. At least the book can spell theater correctly.
Just As Bad As: Little Shopping (Switch)
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