Live every 90s kid’s worst nightmare in the first-person horror game ‘Tattletail’Filed inside: Games
If you were ever fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you felt about it) to own a Furby, you know how eerie and unsettling talking electronic toys can be. Young children light up at the prospect of a talking furry friend, but those of us that are older are quick to recognize how truly creepy these robotic creatures really were. Inanimate objects suddenly exhibiting signs of life drops you right into the uncanny valley, and it’s no surprise that this type of irrational fear was the inspiration for the wildly popular franchise Five Nights at Freddy’s. That particular adventure into madness focuses heavily on large human-sized animatronics. Developer Waygetter Electronics is shining a light on smaller animatronic toys, namely one called Tattletail, a fictitious bundle of blabbering joy that closely resembles a Furby.
Upon first glance, Tattletail seems a lot like Five Nights at Freddy’s. You’ll spend most of your time clinging to a flashlight and shining it towards foes in an attempt to survive night. Thankfully, aside from the theme and overall atmosphere, Tattletail features enough variance in mechanics to make it look and feel like an entirely fresh adventure. The horrific journey starts on December 20th, 1998. You’ll control a young child who simply can’t wait for Christmas and sneaks out of their room to peek at their present. Down in the basement you’ll come across a large wrapped box, and inside you’ll meet Tattletail, a joyful egg-shaped companion that craves interaction. Once you pick Tattletail up, you’ll need to keep it happy or risk incurring the wrath of its loud and demanding voice.
Three separate bars will appear at the top of the screen when Tattletail is in your possession. You’ll need to raid the refrigerator to feed your little buddy, use a hairbrush located in the living room to groom its fur, and interact with the specialized charging pad in the basement to keep the batteries fresh. If you allow any of the bars to empty, you’ll be met with a bellowing “feed me” or “brush me” until you manage to complete the task. Even worse, when your Tattletail begins to run out of batteries you’ll have to suffer through the warped and demonic sounds of its dying voice. This isn’t more than an annoyance in the early stages of the game, but later on you’ll want to be sure that your Tattletail is happy at all times.
Although it’s creepy, Tattletail itself won’t do you any harm. Its mama, however, is a different story. Mama Tattletail was “pulled from store shelves” and discontinued for an undisclosed reason, and soon after you start your adventure you discover why. Mama has a thirst for blood and will kill anyone who gets between her and her baby. Mama doesn’t see very well, but she makes up for it with her impressive hearing. The only way to survive her wrath is to remain as quiet as possible and avoid her. This is easier said than done, especially when Tattletail is involved. The horrible shrieks that this fuzzball emit will surely be your undoing, so it is imperative that you keep it as quiet as possible while you slip your way through the shadows each night. Things get rather dark rather quickly, and you’ll need the aid of your trusty flashlight to keep yourself safe. Unfortunately, and in true 1990s fashion, your flashlight is powered by shaking it. Of course, shaking the device makes noise, but shining the light onto Mama is the only way to get her to leave you be for a few moments. You can also sprint to put some distance between you and the beast, but be aware that sprinting generates quite a bit of noise. Victory is achieved by expertly multitasking between caring for your Tattletail, illuminating your foes, and hiding within the darkness, unlocking achievements by collecting eggs along the way.
Tattletail features a simplistic yet well-rendered art styling, and a few sequences which mimic the horrid quality of 90s VHS tapes rather well. Between the chilling musical elements and the near pitch-black chase sequences, Tattletail does a fantastic job in crafting a very chilling adventure. The release isn’t very long, and can be finished from front to back in around an hour (if you manage to elude Mama). What makes things even more exciting is that fact that you aren’t tethered to one specific area. Unlike Five Nights at Freddy’s where you’re locked in a security room, you’ll have free reign of the house. Having the ability to move around really heightens the fear level.
You can grab Tattletail right now on Steam for $4.99. That price point is well worth the admission, especially for those of you that live and breathe horror games. Just be aware that you aren’t getting more than an hour’s worth of gameplay here, and there isn’t much in the way of replayability. Hopefully Waygetter Electronics will crank out more projects like this in the near future. I’d love to see something like this with a little more substance and some added length. For more information about Tattletail, be sure to check out the dedicated Twitter page here. You can also follow Waygetter Electronics on Twitter for information regarding future projects and updates.