Time-looping hack n’ slasher Stories: The Path of Destinies is free today

Stories: The Path of Destinies

It is apparently a good week to not spend money on games. Not only is The Flame in The Flood still gratis via Humble, but the similarly delicious-looking cartoon action-adventure Stories: The Path of Destinies by Spearhead Games is currently free on Steam. Grab it now, keep it forever and play it a whole bunch of times because this one is built for the long-haul, if you don’t mind a little repetition.

Stories is a lovely-looking fantasy hack n’ slash adventure, perhaps making more than a nod or two to Bastion. It even borrows the concept of a reactive narrator. While this particular narrator clearly isn’t quite as charming (or actively verbose) as Logan Cunningham, he does a decent enough job of keeping you appraised of what’s going on both in the world, and within the protagonist’s head. But that’s the lesser of Stories’ two big features – the other is made pretty clear in the trailer below.

A given playthrough of Stories isn’t especially long – maybe a couple hours at most – but based on your decisions at various key story branches (with more options opened up by foresight from previous playthroughs), it can end up at any of 24 possible endings, plus one, final, definitive ending if you’re really willing to put in the time and effort. The only real issue there is that there’s no option to skip through chapters you’ve already seen, so you’ll probably experience a bit of repetition along the way.

Despite the colourful, outwardly cheerful nature of Stories, many of the endings are surprisingly dark. Vulpine protagonist Reynardo is a roguish sky-pirate by trade, which gives him a little more moral leeway than most. Depending on just how you want to play it, your path may end up more than a little blood-soaked, but if you want to see everything, you might have to play the bad-guy sometimes.

So, why are Spearhead Games giving away Stories: The Path of Destinies? Simple; To promote their upcoming spiritual successor/pseudo-sequel Omensight, which is due out in just three days. Omensight’s twist is a little more Groundhog Day; the end of the world is coming, triggered by the death of the Godless Priestess. Who killed her? You’ve got no idea, but a few trips through the world’s last day might give you enough information to prevent everything going pear-shaped. It looks really rather nice, and you can check out a trailer and wishlist it here on Steam.

9 Comments

  1. Jue Viole Grace says:

    bloimey, another free game? How nice

  2. MikoSquiz says:

    I bought this when it came out but didn’t make it through my first iteration. I seem to recall that it was mostly pacing/frustration issues, a lot of unskippable non-interactive/slow-walking relative to the amount of actual gameplay towards the start, and I may have gotten confused/lost/stuck as well?

    • Sarfrin says:

      I’d encourage you to try again. It’s a fantastic game, although there is walking between the fights.

    • 111uminate says:

      “I bought this when it came out but didn’t make it through my first iteration.”

      Your first iteration? What did you iterate into?

  3. Seafoam says:

    The name sounds so generic. Like some kind of fictional game in a movie.

  4. Chromatose says:

    What a wonderful little game. Immensely enjoying my time with it so far, to the point where I honestly feel a little guilty for picking it up free. The combat is right in the sweet spot of feeling both weighty and responsive, and rather than simply being more difficult, the addition of higher level enemies forces you to reassess your strategies and engage with the game’s mechanics in a way that doesn’t feel contrived.

    Wonderful story-writing and narration too, and I really love the idea of multiple playthroughs having meaning beyond just correcting your mistakes.

  5. Chaoslord AJ says:

    “Stories” has a great concept but suffers a bit from having too few assets and some design decisions. I played like 5 iterations and stopped then before getting the best ending but it was a cool experience.
    Looking forward to their next game which is releasing soon and I hope it might be more fleshed out.

  6. mac4 says:

    “She could do the Kestrel run in twelve Furlongs,” lol. (In-game quote.)

    Fun game alright. Hits my sweet spot of being neither overly hard, nor overly simplistic. That may of course well make it way too easy for many.

    Satisfying being able to pull off your counters, more so than I perhaps managed to in say a Shadow of Mordor. Something visceral about it, the comic graphics notwithstanding. So far enjoy the story-telling, too, btw.

    In short, so far I likes it.