Gretel And Hansel

By Alec Meer on November 26th, 2009 at 12:04 am.

This is very lovely, in a vaguely malevolent way. It’s a narrative puzzle game of minimal dialogue and hand-painted graphics, a little in the vein of Samorost. Hansel is an idle, blinkered boy-child, and Gretel his industrious, concerned sister. She feels it’s imperative to escape their angry, abusive mother (and subjugated father), and thus puzzling begins. The puzzles are simple but thoughtful, and as a more visceral bonus, usually involve whacking something with your catapult at some stage. The look’s what really makes it, though – cutout, waterpainted shapes moving in pseudo-stop motion, evoking vintage Eastern European animation.

It’s very brief (took me around 20 minutes), but as an adjunct to completing the puzzle, there are 10 optional death scenes to find (don’t worry, you don’t lose any progress by dying), which are surprisingly vicious, given the fairy tale atmosphere. But then again, it’s fairy tales as the brothers Grimm first intended them – dark to the point of sadism.

The first part of three, apparently – just as well, as its narrative seems to throw logic and coherence to the wind otherwise. If you’re struggling with it, there’s a video walkthough below. And be warned that the flowers on the well bit is far more annoying than it looks.

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15 Comments »

  1. Psychopomp says:

    Hanzel Und Gretyl does not make for fitting music :(

  2. Dave Gates says:

    This is genuinely wonderful, really, really enjoyed it.

  3. Jonas says:

    Giant goddamn spider: simply not okay.

  4. cypher says:

    Kinda cool to see more grim Grimms stuff, the quirky art style defiantely makes me want to play the other parts whenever they come out. Hmmm it seems to me that there are allot of cool webased games these days- almost gives you hope for the future of pc gaming! ;)

  5. Guinness says:

    Brits call slingshots catapults? Awesome. Your term is stronger.

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      Maybe. Less precise though, ambiguous. Only correct in the sense that slingshots catapult things.

      Me (being from the colony of Australia) , I’d normally reserve the term for the big things that look like a trebuchet (but are slightly different to a trebuchet).

      It’s much like calling a corkscrew a “bottle opener”. It might lead to bad things like not being able to get at your beer. Unless it’s a twist-top. Or wine. Depending.

      …See?

    • duel says:

      Thanks Professor Friendlyunit!

  6. DaFox says:

    ‘Gretel And Hansel’ sounds horrible. What is this nonsense? ‘Hansel and Gretel’ is the way it goes!

  7. manveruppd says:

    Beautiful animations you linked to!

  8. Zaphid says:

    Oh come on, since when is Czech republic eastern europe ? :D

    That said, those animations were usually for kids, many had nightmares about them for years, they really are brilliant for a stop-motion with pupetts

  9. TheSombreroKid says:

    played this a while back nice visuals fairly boring game, one of the better flash ames around but that’s not saying much.

  10. The Dark One says:

    The bunny death is the best.

  11. El Stevo says:

    Anyone got all the deaths?