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Review - INNCHANTED - A bite-sized trip to an Australian fantasy world that's not overcooked [PC]

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Hello beautiful people, I’m Tasi with Kreenpananas Gaming. This game initially found itself on my radar while on the lookout for indie dev teams representing the part of the world, I grew up in, the South Pacific. I came for the wombat, I stayed for the folklore-infused fantasy world. A special thanks to Twin Sails Interactive for review access. Innchanted is a cute and chaotic entry into the hospitality management genre that can be played solo or co-op. It does its best to shake up the genre. And as I’ve been told time and time again by my guests, “Overall, it just works”. I spent the majority of my time playing this game coop and while it was loads of fun, I’m not sure if it’s something I would immediately recommend. At least not in its current state. But let’s take a closer look because it might just be the kind of magic you need in your life right now.

Courtesy of DragonBear Studios

You begin the game with some of the basic mechanics of refilling potion dispensers and grilling meat. You’re introduced to a mechanic that’s either new or builds on the previous one almost every time you move through a level. So prepare thy nimble thumbs. Sometimes it’s as simple as mixing two different potions to get a specific effect. And other times it’s having to spear your own fish before you can grill it. Then there’s the whole remixing of all available activities that really ratchet up to chaos level. Imagine having to coordinate where you seat guests before needing to brew up a potion to dispel curses before your guests decide to give you a one-star rating on Yelp. Yeah, it gets wild! And it can get kind of hard if you aren’t well coordinated.

To borrow from our friendly neighborhood ogre, “The difficulty level is like an onion. It has layers.” With each layer increasing in difficulty. Several times in our playthrough the spikes in challenges really surprised us. Sometimes it warranted a second or third go at a level until we got to the number of stars we wanted to continue. I think the game does a good job of dangling those stars in front of you in a way that makes you want to give the level another go. If you find yourself in the weeds with tasks you can also call upon an ai companion. They’re not always the smartest but can be helpful in a pinch.

Courtesy of DragonBear Studios
Courtesy of DragonBear Studios

Speaking of pinch, the characters are so cute you just want to pinch them! They get even cuter and more stylish with un-lockable cosmetics. Completing certain challenges will unlock costumes, while Inn decorations become available for purchase as you progress through the story. There’s a progression system that looks to improve aspects of your abilities like how long potion buffs can last to cooking speed, and even upgrading your piggy bank to fend for itself when pesky cat burglars come around. There’s enough there to give me the “one more turn” feel. Did I mention the game is cute? There are wombats! And I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that yes, you can in fact pet the wombat. Well, brush the wombat. But that’s like petting, right?

Courtesy of DragonBear Studios

Innchanted’s story takes roughly 8 hours to complete, but if you’re looking to get full stars for every level then you’ll easily extend that. The premise is that Yarrul’s family inn has been stolen from an evil wizard landlord and you and your companions must brew potions, fish, cook, and fight to reclaim Yarrul’s family legacy. You can choose to either play as Yarrul or any of the three other companions. It starts off strong out of the gate but starts to stretch thin as it attempts to explore interpersonal relationships. I don’t think it hurts the game in any way but I would’ve liked to see more focus on the family, especially with the game time being as short as it is. I really admire them for telling a story that mirrors injustices forced upon a lot of Indigenous and First Nation groups. There are a lot of gems in the dialogue that made me chuckle because it’s not unfamiliar in the social justice work that I do outside of gaming.

I also admire that they’ve made inclusivity part of the guest seating action. Not too long into the game, you’ll be requested to start seating different tribes together to maximize bonuses which is a nice change from other games where you’re more or less rewarded for homogenizing to maximize profits. Against the Storm comes to mind.

Speaking of bugs, we didn’t come across any game-breaking bugs in our time playing but there are a handful of things I want to mention that are more noticeable than three dingoes in a trench coat. The game doesn’t seem to take note of which character you’re playing as it attempts to unravel the story around you. And the interpersonal relationships just sort of happen. It’s also clear that the game wants you to play with a controller which anyone more comfortable on a keyboard and mouse might need to just deal with. Less of an issue if you’re looking to play this as a couch coop. As I mentioned earlier, the AI companion is a bit meh with their intelligence which might pose an issue in later levels if you’re playing solo. And finally, if you’re like me and not super interested in getting the highest score then there’s not much in the way of replayability. On the other hand, if you want to entertain friends and family for a few hours and have a laugh over puns, of which this game has heaps, then you’re well on your way.

Courtesy of DragonBear Studios

Innchanted feels like a game wrapped in a lot of love and shared with the world with lots of hope and good tidings. DragonBear Studios put a solid foot forward presenting a game that’s as chaotic and messy as it is cute and wholesome. It grounds us in a magical fantasy-themed world with Australia as the backdrop and fills it with a lot of cultural references, humor, lingo, and colors. And I commend BearDragon Studios for giving us an opportunity to reflect on how the World has changed since the pandemic and that telling stories is one of the best ways to repair what has been damaged. One Inn at a Time.

Here are some sweet notes you left me on my DREDGE review!

Mighty big thanks to my Patreon supporters this month. Your patronage goes immediately back into these videos by allowing me to spend a little more time with these titles. If you aren’t yet a Patron, please consider checking out my page by visiting Catch you on the next review!


INNCHANTED is available on Steam

Developer - DragonBear Studios

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