About “Tales of therapy”
The game starts revealing Ivan’s situation, he is a young boy who has shut himself off from everything and everyone. A tragic event has deeply upset him altering his behavior. In the beginning, we don’t know what happened. Ivan’s mother is very worried about her son, she doesn’t know how to help him and decides to ask a psychologist, Dr Alexander, for help. The psychologist is informed that Ivan loves storytelling, so he decides to go for a narrative therapy, in order to keep in touch with his suffering. Dr Alexander suggests they create a story session by session; this will make it possible for Ivan to explore his real problems without talking directly about them, since his suffering is still too intense for him to face it explicitly.
In this story the main character, Vain, represents Ivan’s alter-ego.
So the game has two different narrative streams: on one hand, in the Dr Alexander’s office, the boy-psychologist dialogues unfold; on the other hand you can follow Ivan’s storytelling as it develops and flows with the help of Dr Alexander, which indeed is the player’s key to explore Ivan’s amazing inner world, acting as Vain.
the game within the story
The gameplay is set inside Ivan’s and his psychologist’s story, where the world is a figment of Ivan’s imagination – a fantasy world of mystery where Vain will head out on an adventurous journey full of danger and symbolic references!
The game kicks off with Vain’s awakening in an unknown forest, where a mysterious voice tries to lure him. The young explorer has no memory of his past, but he will do everything to retrieve it , even if he is feeling down and lost.
The young hero will face many challenges: not only to retrieve his memory, but also to find his place in the world. Vain will learn that sometimes the most insuperable obstacles are right inside us and it’s difficult to solve them alone, without any help.
In this game there are challenging riddles – in other words, puzzles to be solved in the explorable areas. The player will solve them in order to activate switches or to reach some platforms.
Do you know The Legend of Zelda gameplay? That is what we are talking about! (otherwise if you don’t know it, we suggest you follow our Youtube channel to have a look at how to solve these riddles).
How to play Tales of Therapy?
In the story narrated by Ivan, you will find yourself in the shoes of Vain, a young explorer who lost his memory and ended up in an unknown world. You’ll play a classic 2D rpg game with a turn-based combat system.
In the battles against enemies, there’s no casual-encounter system, so all the potential enemies will appear on the screen and you can avoid them in most of the cases (but sometimes you can’t escape easily from them!). Beating enemies will obviously allow you to get objects and power up the character, so we recommend not avoiding all the combats!
Art direction and Soundtrack
A matter of style
Tales of Therapy drawings are by illustrator Chiara Romagnoli, making the game unique. Their fantasy style aims to carry the player to the imaginary world of Ivan!
All the game’s graphic assets are bought or developed in collaboration with external artists.
An auteur soundtrack
The game features an original soundtrack composed by Italian musician Manuel Magrini. You can already listen to some of these songs on our Youtube channel! In this game, the soundtrack plays a key role in creating the right atmosphere and expressing Ivan’s feelings in every single moment of his adventure.
For example, the song “Strange awakening” plays as Vain’s wakes up in the unknown forest in the beginning of the adventure. Vain is in the middle of a little lake, surrounded by trees and flowers. The first notes of this song softly set the scene…but the boy soon realises that the forest hides some great danger and he can’t remember how he has got there. Then, the notes tail off and a more disquieting music takes on, while Vain feels more and more upset.. What’s going on? Only by moving on in the story, Vain will find the answer.
Tales of Therapy will be released in November 2022 on Steam.