[Nintendo Switch] HORROR TALES: The Wine Review
A deadly pandemic has surged worldwide, and there is a cure on a mysterious island in the Mediterranean. Can you retrieve it and save your family? Check our Horror Tales: The Wine review!
Explore a post-pandemic fictional Mediterranean island and confront your Nemesis!
Mediterranean Horror: Explore the forsaken capital of an awe-inspiring archipelago. Do not let yourself be fooled by the gentle sea breeze, the Mediterranean vistas or the comforting summer sun. Since the Devil’s Fevers pandemic ravaged the city, it was abandoned, and now only horrific nightmares await there.
Survive your Nemesis: Someone is relentlessly hunting you. Suffer and agonize while you try to run away from the encounters with this strange stalker obsessed with you.
Intense Challenges: Solve environmental riddles, physics puzzles and other similar challenges in an interconnected vertical world. Even while being chased and hunted.
Accessibility and Photomode: Tweak more than 20 Accessibility settings to create a tailored experience for you. Use the Photomode to make perfect shots and unlock many secrets using it.
Horror Tales: The Wine is the first in a planned series of small horror experiences that indie developer Carlos Coronado plans to produce. I’m not typically a huge horror guy, but I thought I should check this one out as this seems to present an interesting concept for a first-person experience on the Nintendo Switch.
Horror Tales: The Wine uses a very current backdrop of a global pandemic as inspiration possibly for this new tale. In HORROR TALES: The Wine, there is an ongoing global pandemic called the Devil’s Fever that is killing off people in mass. You and your family have been stricken with it, dooming you all. There are rumors that a certain bottle of wine from a Mediterranean island can be used as the cure, and that’s the catalyst for your journey with The Wine.
You arrive on the sunny Mediterranean island, and my first thoughts were, “well, this is different.” This definitely did not show what I was expecting of a game in the horror genre. For an island with a cure, it seemed almost empty, with the exception of one soul that you find early on… and one you need to stay away from. He wants to kill you, so you’ll be running from this guy a lot as you try to stay alive… and sane.
The Wine is more of the current-gen horror titles that focus on survival over combat, similar to games like the Amnesia or the Outlast series. There really isn’t any combat, and you don’t have any weapons. You do find a lantern to aid you, but the majority of the game will feel more like a walking sim – which is not a bad thing! You’ll have some platforming puzzles to solve, and most are executed really well – nothing that will keep you stuck for long periods of time, but enough, you have to think about how to go about things. As you continue solving these puzzles, you’ll connect the island in different ways, which is actually really clever.
Your main focus is finding out what happened on this island, which is revealed through the different notes and journals you will find scattered throughout the island. We see this in a lot in games, but I’m not sure if there is a better way to tell the story, especially with almost everyone seeming to have died or escaped from the island. I’d be curious to see what the evolution of this is though in the future. The story is still interesting and compelling, but it does require that you explore each area that you visit.
I actually like a lot of what The Wine brings to the table, but there are some issues. The chase scenes from your assailant who is stalking you are supposed to be the big Horror moments, and honestly, there were the segments where The Wine started to lose me a bit. There are way too many of them, to the point you sort of know when to expect them, typically in places with mazes and areas with lots of corridors. If this had been held back to a more limited amount, I think they would have had more impact. Also, there are door puzzles where you need to use pictures in each are to find the combinations of symbols needed to open each door. Your experience might feel different, but I did want to bring it up.
Now let’s talk about the island. This is a gorgeous location to explore. I have never been so afraid to be murdered in such a beautiful landscape! For how good it all looks, I was actually surprised how well the Nintendo Switch handled it. I actually started my journey playing this one on Handheld Mode and finished it on the big screen in Docked Mode, and it impressed me how good the visuals and the framerate were in both scenarios. The island is beautifully crafted and designed, and it connected the real world and the surreal sea of wine segments.
I think it’s pretty clear at this point that I liked the game, but there we some things keeping me from outright loving it. I think there is a good story here set in a great world, rife with great exploration and compelling world-building. The chase scenes will not be for everyone, and the door puzzles will have you backtrack here and there to find all symbol combinations so that you can unlock shortcuts and reach new areas. The length was great since it took me just under 3 hours to complete, making it a game that does not overstay its welcome. If you’re like me and are not typically on the horror train, this game could be a good entry point.
This HORROR TALES: The Wine review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Carlos Coronado.