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A Short Tale


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Rating: 4/5 (33 votes)
Comments (6) | Views (12,428)

A Short Tale
Ever since their terrific Forever Lost trilogy of point-and-click adventures, I've been trying to keep an eye on Glitch Games. Still, their latest adventure A Short Tale, released in February, somehow slipped under my radar. Based on the title, I assumed at first that this was because it was merely a bite-sized snack to tide us over. But no! It's a full length-adventure -- not as long as the Forever Lost games, perhaps, but you definitely won't be finishing it on your lunch break, either.

The title is a play on words, you see. Once again you play as Jason, who finds himself missing his younger brother Ben and wishes he could be small again. Be careful what you wish for, Jason! Next thing he knows, he's been magically shrunk down to doll size and trapped in Ben's childhood room, unable to reach the doorknob without some help from a few of Ben's toys, who won't offer their services without something in return. Even just reaching some of those higher shelves is going to require some ingenuity, so it looks like you'd better get busy.

While A Short Tale may take place in a single room, there's plenty to explore, and the colorful but realistic graphics make it feel more immersive than the typical room escape game. There are many clever puzzles to solve, from minigames to inventory-based challenges. You'll probably be glad to have Glitch's helpful camera/gallery feature on-hand to help you keep track of all the clues. Some of these puzzles require some definite thinking outside of the toybox, and casual adventurers may find themselves pining for a walkthrough at some points. (Fortunately, there's at least one very good one available.)

From the looks of things, Glitch's next few games will be back to the more somber tone of Forever Lost. A Short Tale combines the solid gameplay we've come to expect with a more whimsical approach that should appeal to the young and young-at-heart alike.


WindowsWindows:
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Get the full version

Download on the AppstoreA Short Tale (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)

Google PlayA Short Tale (Android, Android Tablet)

6 Comments

Patreon Crew SonicLover June 9, 2016 10:16 AM

Quick question. Is it necessary to have a device with a microphone in order to play this game? Because I've reached a certain point and, well... let's just say I have reason to believe as such.

Reply
Patreon Crew SonicLover June 9, 2016 10:42 AM

Never mind! You don't need a microphone.

You just need something else with a voice.

Reply
Patreon Crew SonicLover June 9, 2016 3:06 PM

And I'm out. I was able to beat the entire thing without help-- except for one puzzle. (I swear, that "train of thought" puzzle is about as intuitive as using a cucumber as a dog whistle.)

Reply
jason9045 June 10, 2016 7:12 PM

Hint-through:

General hints:

Audio is required to solve one puzzle.

USE THE IN-GAME CAMERA! There are a ton of hints, more than you can keep up with, and being able to display multiple "photos" on screen at once is important.

Take pictures of everything, but delete the picture when you're finished with the puzzle it helps solve or else you'll find them hard to sift through.

Wait for dialogue with the characters to complete before backing up from the view

When you've helped each toy, go back and talk to them one more time to get them to agree (however begrudgingly) to help you, or else you can't finish the game even though you've done everything

Item locations:

Perfection shapes (small yellow pieces)

Diamond

Inside air vent

Triangle

Behind Balls of Light box under table to the left of the desk (front-most corner of the box is the hotspot to change view)

Bow tie

Inside the dollhouse to the right of the exit door

Semi circle

Top shelf of the closet to the left of the exit door

House

On the shelf of the television armoire, next to the Nintendo game console

Square

Open the puzzle-lock chest below the easel

Rhombus

Inside desk drawer

Circle

Inside the flower pot on the window sill

Plastic gem

Open the dollhouse treasure chest

Small wooden box

Inside the dollhouse to the right of the exit door

Soccer ball

To the left of the Magic 8 Ball under the desk, in a small alcove

You'll need to use the pump on the soccer ball to take it

Pump

In the closet, to the left of the exit door (climb up the pipes)

Gun cabinet key

Solve the crossword game on the couch below the bunk bed

Water pistol

Open the gun cabinet

Token

Solve the crossword game on the couch below the bunk bed

Sweets

Use the token in the candy machine on top of the television armoire, which you can reach after the gun cabinet is opened

ViewMaster discs (viewer discs)

Solve the stackable wooden tiles puzzle on the bottom shelf of the table to the right of the desk

Screwdriver

Inside the toolbox under the train table

Knife blade

Inside desk drawer

Use the screwdriver on the knife first

Ruler

Beside the Magic 8 Ball under the desk

Dirt

Inside the flower pot on the window sill

Use the ruler to make a bridge from the desk to the window sill

USB cord

Top floor of the dollhouse

USB fan

On the window sill

Use the ruler to make a bridge from the desk to the window sill

Gauze

Insidee the green first aid box in the glass case on the wall to the left of the train

Fly

On the window

You can't catch it bare-handed, make a net

Use the gauze...

...on the bubble blower on top of the desk, next to the black ink bottle

Paintbrush

Inside the pencil case on the right of the top of the desk

Crayons (4 colors)

Inside the pencil case on the right of the top of the desk

Baking soda

Inside the red box in the closet

Vinegar

Inside the waste basket to the right of the B-E-N bookshelf

Soap

Spray bottle on the stairs leading up to the bunk bed

Sponge

The ball on the paddleball behind the keyboard isn't made of rubber like usual. Use a knife to cut it off

Floss

Inside desk drawer

Light balls

You'll need to turn them on first to find them

Use the app on the iPad on the bed to activate the light balls

They're in the right drawer under the couch under the bunk bed

Key

Under the floorboards of the closet to the left of the exit door. It's too dark to see, so some light is in order

Drop the light balls into the hole

Now you just need to get down there

Use the floss on the hanger bar at the top of the closet, then rappel down

It's attached to the kettle bell weight, which you can't lift

Use the soccer ball

Also use the pump on the soccer ball

Carabiner

Under the floorboards of the closet to the left of the exit door. It's too dark to see, so some light is in order

Drop the light balls into the hole

Now you just need to get down there

Use the floss on the hanger bar at the top of the closet, then rappel down

It's attached to the kettle bell weight, which you can't lift

Use the soccer ball

Also use the pump on the soccer ball

Spinner

Inside the + - panel on the stairs

Game cartridge

Find all the pieces to the Perfection game in front of the air vent, and put them into the game

Hair clip

On the top of the desk, just beyond the puddle of hair goo to the left

Use the sweets as stepping stones to get across

Needle

On the left note on the bulletin board above the bunk bed

Thread

Inside the toy cash register

Hint locations:

Desk drawer code

Solve the Simon (memory game) on top of the table to the right of the desk

Keyboard

Solve the tile-swap picture on top of the B-E-N bookshelf in the corner

Air vent

Solve the keyboard puzzle

Crossword game

Left note on the bulletin board above the bunk bed

Dollhouse door code

Rubik's cube on the couch under the bunk bed

Imagine the numbered squares on a single face

e.g., 1 and 4 are both the upper-left square

Count up from 1 to 9

Treasure chest inside dollhouse

Wooden blocks just outside the dollhouse door

Count the shapes

Do the shapes on the treasure chest remind you of something?

Clocks!

Look for three clocks with those shapes

Triangle

Top floor of the dollhouse

Remember you're looking at it from the back

Circle

Over the broken wall shelf above the train

Square

It's a digital clock

On the shelf above the bunk bed

Set each clock to the hour matching the number of shapes

Toolbox under the train table

Use the plastic gem from the dollhouse treasure chest

USE A HAMMER ON THE BOX

Do what it says, but think outside the...um...box, I guess

You can't lift the hammer to the box, so bring the box to the hammer

The small wooden box

Use it on the hammer to break the box open

Now you've done it...

Now you have a smaller hammer you can use on the glass box next to the train

Gun cabinet

Use the key from the crossword game

Rotate each piece of the key to make it fit the lock

Puzzle-lock treasure chest

This is essentially a slider puzzle, and the empty space will be in the ten o'clock position. You're on your own for actually solving it

Stackable wooden tiles

To solve this, you must first solve another puzzle with six elements

The encyclopedias at the bottom of the B-E-N bookshelf

The hint for this is inside the puzzle-lock treasure chest below the easel

Once the book positions are set, you have the heights of each stack, left to right

Pencil case

Use the viewer discs in the ViewMaster

The symbol inside of each gear corresponds with a symbol on the pencil case

Count the number of gears for each symbol

Spin the outer ring to show the correct number of dots for each symbol, in the order displayed (not the order from the ViewMaster reel)

iPad unlock code

Reveal the secret message on the marked paper top of the desk

That symbol appears three places in the room: the paper on the desk, the poster on the wall, and

The bottle of ink on the desk

Dip the paintbrush in ink, then use it on the message

Spilled soda

The pop-up ad on the iPad gives cleaning instructions

Baking soda

Then vinegar

Then soap

Then warm water

You DO have a water pistol...

...which isn't warm.

Try the hair dryer?

Yes, that probably would melt the water pistol. What about another container?

The water glass from the shelf above the bunk bed

Squirt the water from the pistol into the glass, then warm the glass with the hair dryer

Then a sponge

Now it's clean! ...ish.

Easel drawing

The test paper on the bulletin board above the bunk bed

First, you need to get up there, but the arm of the bucket loader won't stay up

There's that hole on the button shroud that something might fit into

Use the needle

Use the crayons to color in the drawing

Red box in the closet

Solve the easel drawing

+ - panel on the stairs

Clean up the spilled soda

It starts with 0 and each number is 1 more or less than the one before it, so use the + to increase and - to decrease, keeping up in your head

Spinner box

Use the spinner from the + - panel, and the hint sheet from the same location. Each flower shape must have a spinner rotated around to show it in its viewer

Money box

This one is, as the kids say, a doozy. Do kids say that? The hint comes from the TV, after entering in the correct code on the game console

For this, you'll need a couple of items

The game cartridge

The hair clip

And a couple of hints

The cheat codes from the right drawer under the couch under the bed

The note from the shirt pocket at the top of the closet to the left of the exit door

Got all that? Here's what to do:

Plug the game cartridge into the game console, and turn it on.

The TV is voice-activated, using the small Amazon Fire remote to the left of the game controller. You can hold the speech input button all you want, but you're too small to be heard.

Use the hair clip to hold the button down

Now to find something else that makes noise (this is where you need audio to solve a puzzle)

Apart from the snoring Magic 8 Ball, the noisiest thing in the room is the keyboard

If you've played around with the keyboard, you'll have noticed it says "On" when you power it on, the number of the mode when you change modes with the three buttons in the top-center, and speaks letters in modes 2 and 3

Switch to mode 2, then find the keys for T and V, and press them in succession, then power the keyboard off and then on. If you've done this right, you made the keyboard say "T V On" and, since you used the hair clip on the Amazon Fire remote, the TV will now be powered on

We're interested in the game, so you want the TV on channel 3, so use the keyboard to issue that command

From mode 2, press the keys for T and V in succession, then switch to mode 3. The keyboard should have said "T V 3" and now you will see the Nintendo's game menu on the TV.

Once the TV is on and tuned to the game channel, enter in the correct cheat codes

The sequence is on the cross-stitch hanging on the wall above the stairs

Enter the cheat codes, in order, for unlimited love potions, all weapons, invincibility (be careful not to enter the code for invisibility instead), and unlimited lives.

The Konami code doesn't work here. I tried. Once you get them all entered in, the correct code appears on the TV.

The top shape is for the dial on the left, the bottom for the dial on the right.

Toy cash register

Half of this hint is through the telescope, reached from the window sill. Each moon phase has a shape on it that you can zoom into. The other half...

...is from the TV channel 1

The TV is voice-activated, using the small Amazon Fire remote to the left of the game controller. You can hold the speech input button all you want, but you're too small to be heard.

Use the hair clip to hold the button down

Now to find something else that makes noise (this is where you need audio to solve a puzzle)

Apart from the snoring Magic 8 Ball, the noisiest thing in the room is the keyboard

If you've played around with the keyboard, you'll have noticed it says "On" when you power it on, the number of the mode when you change modes with the three buttons in the top-center, and speaks letters in modes 2 and 3

Switch to mode 2, then find the keys for T and V, and press them in succession, then power the keyboard off and then on. If you've done this right, you made the keyboard say "T V On" and, since you used the hair clip on the Amazon Fire remote, the TV will now be powered on, and on channel 1

If you need to change the channel back to 1, it's the same as when you switched to channel 3, except you use the mode 1 button on the keyboard instead of mode 3

Train car

On the secret message poster to the left of the exit door

Your paintbrush won't work here, though, so you'll need another way to get ink up there

You'll need to have cleaned up the spilled soda first, because you need an empty water pistol

Which you're immediately going to fill with ink from the bottle on the desk, and then shoot the poster


Helping the toys:

The alien

He'd like his three kids back.
Kid 1:

Inside the air vent, stuck to the spider web. The spider wants food in exchange

What do spiders eat?

Flies. Give her yours.

Kid 2:

In the dark spot under the floorboards in the closet to the left of the exit door. Pick him up when you retrieve the key and carabiner

Kid 3:

Inside the spinner box

The Roomba

He is sad. What would give a vacuum cleaner purpose?

Dirt. Put dirt on the floor, to the right of the Wet Paint sign, then go talk to him again. Important: do not back up before the conversation ends, or he won't go to the dirt pile.

The train

He's missing track pieces
Track piece 1:

In the left drawer under the couch under the bunk bed

Use the key from underneath the floorboards in the closet to open it

Track piece 2:

Inside the toy cash register, underneath the desk behind the spot where you took the soccer ball

Teddy bear

He'd like his eyes back

What do teddy bears often have for eyes?

Buttons!

Button 1:

Use the knife to cut the button from the shirt at the top of the closet to the left of the exit door

Button 2:

It's in the train's middle car

They'll need to be sewn back on, so you'll need your needle and thread. Just use a button item on his eye holes


Magic 8 Ball

He'd like a few things

He'd rather watch paint dry than help you

Dry that wet paint!

The Roomba needs to have been helped already for this to work. Plug the USB cord into him if you haven't already (takes two tries, because it's a USB cord) and then plug the fan into the USB cord

He needs his DVDs sorted from best to worst

His DVDs are on top of the television armoire, to the left of the candy machine

Use the ratings from the TV guide behind the keyboard to sort them from best to worst, top to bottom. 8 and 9 are not in his collection, so skip those in your rankings

He's lost his train of thought

This was fairly obtuse, but the keys here are "train" and "thought"

The weird symbols on the train's middle car kind of look like letters

Spell "THOUGHT"

If you don't see it, the up arrow is the T, the H is what you may be confusing with a lower-case n, the O is the diamond, and the G is a lower-case g

Robot

There is a map to his closet. Two maps, really.

One is beside the stairs to the bunk bed. The other is above the crossword game on the couch under the bunk bed. Use these in tandem

If you use the map from the couch as your guide, start at the teepees on the wall map, and follow the trail from there

To get from the teepees to the skull statue, you go right. So press the right arrow once. From the skull, you go to the lake, so press the down arrow, and so on until you reach the treasure chest, which in this case is a robot's closet

Now you can dress him up like his favorite hero, who is...

From his vantage point in one corner, he is looking directly across the room to the opposite corner, above the desk

Climb up the desk and cross the hair goo

Use the sweets from the candy machine as stepping stones

Climb up the paper chain and smooth out the poster on the wall to see what the robot has been staring at

Dress him up exactly like that using items from his closet

Once you get all the parts on, he says there is still something missing

His hero has a hook for a right hand, but there's no hook in his closet

Use the carabiner on his right arm

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