In the beginning of first episode of The Huntsman: Winter's Curse, a kindly shopkeeper convinces young heroine Elisabeth to take on his cousin as a travelling companion. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Available now on Steam and coming later this year to PlayStation 4, Desert Owl Games' The Huntsman: Winter's Curse plays just as nicely as it looks. It's a strange side story set in the world of The Huntsman: Winter's War, a movie that Gizmodo said was so bad it's actually good, or something to that extent.
These days a movie like that usually ranks a mobile puzzler or some nonsense. Instead we've got a card-based role-playing adventure game with hand-painted graphics and an interesting take on turn-based RPG combat.
The only thing that's missing is voice acting, so I provide my own in this look at the game's first 10 minutes and change. I apologise in advance.
I was a little worried when the game opened with a voiced cutscene that looked like something out of a cheap hidden object game.
But we soon move on to prettier pastures. The adventurous Elisabeth sets off on a quest to find her brothers following the death of her father. While her male siblings were content to live the farming live, sowing seeds and such, she wants to sow stab wounds.
She stops in the village for supplies, and the shopkeeper makes her an offer she can't refuse.
But Simon isn't up to the task. Not only does he fear entering the spooky woods, he tries to take his pay without rendering any services. And so they fight.
Each attack is a card, each card has the potential to affect Elisabeth's position in the turn order above the battle. It's an elegant system that I can't wait to explore further as the game continues.
With Simon dead and the likelihood of the shopkeeper ever seeing a return on his investment dashed, Elisabeth and some sort of magical crow wander off into the woods to stab more things.
I'd go into greater detail, but the first episode of The Huntsman: Winter's Curse is free on Mac and PC, so why not try it for yourself? It's pretty, and the imaginary voicework is amazing.