My colleague, Liz's Grim Tales: The Wishes Review kept my expectations decidedly low for this game and, honestly, I think she may have been a bit harsh. Granted the voice acting is dreadful, but I thought the story engaging and the games captivating.
I will posit that if gaming were music, Grim Tales: The Wishes would be the equivalent of a country western song. Truly, how many bad things can befall one family? Yet, in this instance, rather than a cheating wife and a stint in Folsom Prison, a little boy is the catalyst for their misery.
It seems that while playing outside, a large dog makes off with the boy's favorite toy, a puppet. The boy, Brandon, gives chase and ends up at the home of a witch. She restores the toy and offers to grant a wish. The boy's wish — for the puppet to come to life — sets in motion the beginning of the family's troubles.
In exchange for the wish, the witch causes the boy to become old and frail. (Clearly another case of youth sucking. See my Witch Hunters: Stolen Beauty Review.) His mother, Luisa (also your sister), calls you in to help.
After the premise of the tale is established, further story nuggets are revealed bit by bit, which kept my attention, even when they turned slightly outrageous. For example, at one point, the boy bemoans his father's absence — on a Siberian expedition. Siberia? Really?
Then the mother, in a misguided attempt to help Brandon, follows the witch herself and ends up trapped in a crystal ball. (Well, it's really more like a snow globe than a crystal ball.) See what I mean about a country western song?
"I go out walking, after midnight,
Because my momma is trapped in a snow globe.
Daddy's in Siberia and I'm aging.
I'm so lonesome I could cry…."
Now if only you, as the aunt-cum-mystery-solver would contract a menacing case of poison ivy as you dash through the swamp, the family misery would be complete. Grim Tales indeed!
As Liz mentioned, there is quite a bit of "back and forth" in terms of fetching items, but I don’t mind that too much when I have a really reliable walkthrough in hand. (As you will with CGG's Grim Tales: The Wishes Walkthrough.) And, Fluffy the Wonder Cat (an ingenious feline inventory item), as your trusted companion does take some of the burden off you when it comes to climbing ladders and retrieving gear.
You'll enjoy some challenging mini-games and hidden object areas along the way for a Grim Tales experience that wasn't nearly as grim as I expected.
Keep your Grim Tales: The Wishes Walkthrough by your side, and you'll encounter no challenges that you and Fluffy can't easily overcome.