It’s been months (…and months!) since I played any games. Life, including work, the pandemic, family emergencies, and my own “fine time” with a serious and debilitating chronic medical condition, gaming took a massive back seat. But, things happen in a cycle: just when I thought I was out, Steam’s Winter Sale pulls me back in, clearing the cobwebs and picking up the mothballs.
It was the install of Chronicle Keepers: The Dreaming Garden that was a saving grace. It is the story of Kinnat, a girl whose mother has been missing for years. A visit to a book shop connects her with a mysterious book called “the Chronicle,” its pages happen to be a link from the real world to a fantastical one where her mother is being kept. Kinnat comes to find out Mom was a covert chronicle keeper who is stuck in this netherworld – so stuck she has become a stone statue! With a broken medallion that allows Kinnat a portal into the netherworld, and the help of a weird leprechaun, she enters this strange place to solve the mystery of what happened to her Mom. The story pulls from Irish folklore here as the story makes references to fairies, banshees and of course, your faithful companion, the leprechaun. I am very naive to the references…even with my own Scottish lineage, I was not exposed / took an interest in Celtic mythology, although this game has piqued an interest…
Chronicle Keepers: The Dreaming Garden looked great from the get-go and it’s a relatively easy going game. I found the puzzles fun and engaging, but it might have been because I have not played a HOG in months…I really enjoyed the interesting dynamic of Kinnat’s Mom’s broken medallion that you can use as a monocle to view the netherworld and collect items not seen with the naked eye. The sense I got early on is that this game did not want you to fail, and I even remember saying that exact thing to the Hubs…if you are going down the wrong path, or using a tool inappropriately, the game will gently say, “nice try, but that’s not quite right.” The tools given also make sense in their use: yes, you can use that lighter to light that fire.
As much as I enjoyed this game, the one off-putting element was the creepy leprechaun. Umm, I know leprechauns generally are not the nicest-looking, but geez…
And really, if we are talking about attracting gamers to a HOG, what is up on Steam for this game doesn’t do Chronicle Keepers justice. The graphics look super cheesy and dated, and the reviews are mixed??
Please, don’t let that be your deciding factor to pass on it…I took a chance on Chronicle Keepers: The Dreaming Garden because it was at a deep discount, and I’m glad I did. It definitely is a keeper!
Chronicle Keepers: The Dreaming Garden