Thy Creature Preview

Anime-styled take on the Frankenstein tale now out on Steam early access

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Thy Creature

Developer: MazM
Publisher: Growing Seeds Corporation
Platforms: PC
Release Date: 19 February 2022
Price: $19.99 USD / $28.95 AUD – Available Here

Thy Creature could be summarized as a shoujo manga-styled video game version of Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel Frankenstein. Actually, calling Thy Creature a horror game of any sort isn’t very accurate. Sure, basic horror elements are present: A tragic story, a haunted tower, strange creatures, etc. but have you ever seen the Frankenstein monster blushing like an anime girl? I have not. The best description I can come up with for Thy Creature overall visuals and themes is “dark-cute”.

The game was recently released on Steam under their early access program. You take control of the Stitched up “Nameless Creature”. After being rejected by humans for being too handsome because of his “grotesque” appearance, he decides that humans are best avoided. After wandering for what seems like an eternity, the creature happens upon an ominous tower shrouded by the moon. He doesn’t have any memories of the past; the only thing he knows is that in this tower lies the reason for his existence.

Thy Creature is a story-heavy adventure game with some light puzzles. There are also enemy encounters like you’d see in an RPG; you can see the enemy on-screen and by touching it, you’ll engage in combat in a grid-like platform. The twist in Thy Creature is that you don’t issue commands to your party members, nor mash buttons to attack enemies. The battle is played out like a bullet-hell shoot’em up. I mean, it’s not really a shoot ’em up, your objective is to dodge bullets that rain upon you. While you desperately try to avoid the bullet-infested screen, purple memory fragments will appear, and by collecting those, you deal damage to the enemy. As you’d have guessed, the memory crystals’ purpose isn’t only dealing damage; they also unlock memories that belong to the creature or someone else in the tower.

To climb the tower, the creature will need to resolve a series of rooms, sometimes containing easy puzzles, and other times defeating enemies. The battles are easy, even for players not used to dodging waves of bullets in a 2D plane; sometimes objects will block access to the crystals’ fragments, requiring the resolution of a very simple puzzle while you continue to avoid bullets. The player will need to cooperate with other characters. That includes returning their memory fragments to them, thus, helping them retrieve their memories. Along the way, there’s a variety of objects that you can interact with; some of them give more context to the tower and characters, while others are key to advancing the story. There are also collectibles that contain a brief description, but can’t be used yet.

The graphics and flow of the game feels like an RPG-Maker title, but Thy Creature is made using Unity. its visuals and performance are generally superior to what is normally made using RPG-Maker.

The music in the game is almost always very somber and dark. There are a few more upbeat tunes, but even those have a hint of melancholy to them. I don’t feel that the soundtrack fits the game very well. It’s rather strange to listen to such depressing melodies while an anime girl angrily flails her arms for some stupid reason. The intro theme was composed by the music band Mili: They’re known for composing a variety of anime songs, and they also composed the soundtrack for Ender Lilies.

Currently, The game is on its initial early access phase, but there’s already a good chunk of content to be played, that is, the first and second floor of the tower. The problem here is the lethargic pacing on which events are played out. This game loves to take its time during dialogues and cutscenes. Even when there’s not that much dialogue or anything important happening, you are forced to wait for no reason until the characters decide to speak or take action. You can’t skip or even accelerate dialogues currently; you’ll mash the confirmation button in frustration trying to make the next dialogue box appear, but it won’t matter, you have to wait. There’s no controller support, so you need to use Steam’s built-in controller configuration to bind keys to a joystick, or play on a keyboard. The game is set to leave Early Access in a year at most, according to the game’s developer. More features are planned, such as skills and new ways to deal with enemies. I believe that Thy Creature will be updated continuously, and I’m hopeful that little by little, MazM will be able to address the issues currently present in the first build of the game.

Summary

Recommended – While Thy Creature is currently in need of some QoL implementations, I believe that the game has a lot of potential. The game started with the right foot. The more patient players can jump right in, but those expecting something more palatable may want to wait a few months before playing.

I have been playing video games for 36 years. I should be put in a museum by now, but here I am, writing about them.

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