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Game Info:

The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout
Developed by: Soma Games
Published by: Soma Games
Release date: September 14, 2018
Available on: Windows, macOS
Genre: Adventure
Number of players: Single player
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Price: $14.99

Thanks, Soma Games, for sending us a review key!

The Lost Legends of Redwall games turn the well-known fantasy setting of valorous mice and dangerous predators into text-heavy adventure games. When focused on its literary roots, The Scout isn’t bad. The story centers on the Lilygrove Scout Corps, a band of mice with unique personalities and relationships dedicated to protecting the populace. As long as they are the focus, the world is a joy to explore. Alas, the player must eventually leave level one, because The Scout has sneaking, running, and escort gameplay. Pirates attack the land, and the scout runs for the lighthouse. The game is never quite the same from there, and it’s obvious that this officially licensed game has moved from its wheelhouse, storytelling, to the new depths of gameplay. The waters might be a little too deep for The Scout to stay afloat.

The titular Scout is either Liam or Sophia (the player can switch between levels). These young mice are betrothed, and whoever the player does not control has just finished scout training. The player character begins the game by interacting with the Scout Corps and clearing the final scout tests. The first level plays like the notes on character backgrounds a writer might make before starting a novel. All scouts have their own relationships to the others, and they will happily tell the initiate mouse about them. It’s unrealistic in the way of adventure games. The player has a list of people, events, and locations to ask each mouse about, and conversations play out without anything like a natural flow. That’s okay, though. This first segment can be completed, according to the end-of-level screen, in twenty minutes. I spent about three hours talking to mice, reading mail, and performing the scout tests.

The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout
Highlights:

Strong Points: Large amount of worldbuilding text and dialog; good voice acting
Weak Points: Brief; available moves don’t support stealth and platforming well; reloading the area, such as after a death, does not reset the world correctly; the player mouse can clip through walls
Moral Warnings: Some blood shown; drinking discussed and shown

The tests themselves were hit-or-miss. The jump controls were a bit imprecise, and the lack of fine control made the sneaking test difficult. Still, the use of a map and sextant/compass to find collectables was solid and interesting. Despite the kid-friendly setting, this is a game that will use the word “azimuth” and trust the player to understand what it means, given the context. I admire that. The Scent system might be clever if it was used for creative purposes. As it is, the scents floating around are primarily for the player to track enemy movement and to give the player another way to be spotted and caught. After all, rats have a sense of smell, too, and can track the scout if the latter is standing upwind. Scents, along with small herbs and foodstuffs, can be collected for no in-game benefit I could discern.

I’m spending so much time on the first level because it showcases all the gameplay systems. It is also, without doubt, the best part of the game. Once pirates attack and actual enemies must be avoided, things start to go wrong. For example, the second level requires tailing a few pirates. If they detect the scout, they might never return to their route to continue the level. When they get close enough to the player character, the scout is caught and the last checkpoint is reloaded. Nothing of the capture is shown; the world just resets. Except it doesn’t quite reset. The pirates might still be in an alert state, preventing the level from continuing. Sneaking itself is difficult since the scout is able to do little but tiptoe or sprint. There’s a slingshot used to distract enemies, which I found useful once. The last level is a running chase unlike anything the game requires before. I got lucky that the chasing rat stuck himself on a fallen barrel, allowing me to walk through the rest of the level. The brief time spent escorting civilian mice was remarkably functional. If that sounds like faint praise, you might not realize how poorly most escort missions are implemented.

The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 68%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

The game is presented well. The simple graphics fit a fantasy setting. It’s unfortunate that the underlying pixels show through on occasion, and walls are not always as solid as they pretend to be. The music, while not exceptional, sets the tone sufficiently. Sound effects are boring, but the voice acting is quite good. Gameplay, not design, is the major shortfall of The Scout. There are few moral concerns. Some blood is shown, and combat is discussed. Drinking and distilling make appearances, as those familiar with Redwall might expect. The worst of the language was an exclamation of, “Satan’s snout!”

The story ends on a cliffhanger, with the implication that more chapters are coming. I would be interested in playing them, assuming they resume the story focus or give the player more stealth options. I suspect the first level felt so fun because it wanted to show off all the systems that will hopefully be used in future chapters. I do hope so. There’s potential here, but The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout doesn’t play to its strengths.

About the Author

Sam George

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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