Tattletail came out on Steam on December 28 and pretty much flew under the radar until a bunch of Youtubers discovered it and made it somewhat a success (I’m sure it more than paid its development costs and probably put a decent amount of pocket money in the developer’s…pockets). Looking at the Steam stats, it actually still turned out to be a low key title with somewhere between six and twelve thousand owners, which is a disappointment because this game is much more engaging and suspenseful than Five Nights at Freddy’s ever was. Me, personally, I threw my $5 down on launch night.
This is a game with a basic premise: You are a child who opens his Christmas present five days early to find that it is a Tattletail (think creepier Furby) and you have to survive each night until Christmas. Each night progressively introduces you to more mechanics, your Tattletail needs to be brushed, fed, and charged regularly otherwise he will not stop chattering. You have a flashlight which also much be shaken regularly otherwise the room gets dark (obviously), and by sprinting you create noise. The noise mechanic is important because in order to avoid the Mama Tattletail who is out to kill you, you’ll need to keep Tattletail satisfied and your flashlight charged. You actually don’t see any real action until about night 4.
I recommend playing through this game, you’ll get a few hours out of it for a fiver and it isn’t as bad as the screenshots might make you believe. Tattletail has resources that need to be filled, but they go down so slowly that it never becomes obnoxious, and even when he does start screaming about food, the game is basically lenient enough that you can walk from one end of the house to the other and still not have to worry about Mama attacking. The tension in the game comes from the feeling of losing control, as you move around the house, avoiding Mama’s red glowing eyes, while trying to keep your flashlight on and shushing Tattletail. The game punishes you for reflexes, the moment your flashlight goes out your instinct is to hit the mouse button and charge it, causing instant death.
The game isn’t perfect, there are a few instances where you’ll be in Mama’s sights without being able to see her on screen, resulting in an instant death because you thought it was safe to charge your flashlight. There are numerous ways to cheese the game, but you should at least finish the game once before you ruin the experience, spots you can seek out where Mama doesn’t have a spawn point watching over, or when you figure out that your flashlight is only necessary while holding Tattletail (because he’s afraid of the dark) and not charging it doesn’t penalize the player while walking alone in the dark while charging it could potentially kill you.
While I hope that the developer behind this game continues to make games, I hope to never see a Tattletail 2 without at least good reason. What little story is there leaves just enough questions to the player’s imagination, and I’d hate to see sequels for the sake of sequels.
Check it out on Steam.