About an Elf Review: A tale of fabtastic proportions!
The magical elf princess Dam has a superawesome story that is totally truthtastic and not at all fibatrocious, so you should all definitely listen to it because it’ll be absolutely worth it. All you need to listen to this extramagical tale of epicness is a single gummy bear; now, I know that’s a lot to ask considering everyone’s homeless now after the infamous glue trap disaster, but don’t worry, Dam has something up her bell sleeves! By the end of her tale, she’ll take down the King of Terrors in order to bring a veritable elftopia to all the remaining elves so they can live out their days in peace and happiness, you better believe it!
So begins About an Elf, an interactive tale available exclusively on Nintendo Switch. Developed and self-published by Merengue Interactive, About an Elf is described on its Nintendo page as “a point-and-click-ish, rpg-ish, visual-novel-ish game of gigantawesome proportions.” Spanning four magical, mysterious lands complete with monsters to fight, items to collect, and puzzles to solve, About an Elf is an elf-tastic epic that belongs on your shelf!
As previously mentioned, everything opens up on Elf Princess Dam trying to convince her friend, Dido, that she should totally listen to her story about establishing her idea of a promised land, Elftopia. Dido isn’t entirely sure — since the fee is an entire gummy bear — but Dam makes a compelling argument and so she succumbs to her friend’s pleas. She isn’t left totally high and dry, of course; in fact, you won’t find her without her iconic yellow lollipop that completes her monochromatic yellow look. So no worries on the hefty pricetag — Dido still has enough for a massive sugar rush!
But back to Dam’s epic tales — paired with her hero cat in training, Roland, Dam’s time in About an Elf is spent exploring various areas of a human home that seem to slip between dimensions. It’s a good thing Roland is with her, because it’s dangerous to go alone; various monsters stand in her path, ready to destroy her and *gasp* force her tale to come to a close. Of course, Dam ain’t no slouch herself, as she’s armed with a variety of Magiballs that possess mystical powers to take down the monsters before they can do her harm. Makes sense, since this is totally an epic about elf-heroics — Dam’s gotta come out on top!
What initially drew me to About an Elf is its silly premise and interesting writing, and I’m happy to report it’s as entertaining as it reads in its description. Although the story tends to meander and not have much of a point, Dam shows us that it’s not the story itself that matters, but the very act of storytelling is entertaining. Her silly antics are delivered with a serious yet comical tone and word choice reminiscent of an 8 year old girl’s but somehow more mature; set against Roland’s blunt hypeman one-liners, the pair never failed to elicit a lil lol from me every now and then.
I know the conversation surrounding games being art is starting to get a little repetitive, but it must be said that About an Elf introduces a uniquely visually arresting style that lit up every last dopamine receptor in my brain; to that end, I took 313 screenshots to capture the amazing essence of About an Elf! One aspect that unfortunately cannot be captured is the movement, which I found such a cool and interesting design choice. Instead of static characters, About an Elf features characters that move between two poses over and over again which really draws the eye and keeps things alive and engaging. And those character models? *chef’s kiss*
Although About an Elf is only a 3 – 4 hour romp that ends in an unexpected-yet-should-have-expected way, it’s an elf-tastic epic worth playing. The writing is guffaw-inducing, the music toe-tappingly addictive, and the visual style unlike any other I’ve seen in gaming before. If you’re looking for a story-telling experience more entertaining than the actual story itself, lots of laughs, and plenty of opportunities to take screenshot after screenshot of glorious models and colors, About an Elf is a must-buy.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: Switch (reviewed); Publisher: Meringue Interactive; Developer: Meringue Interactive; Players: 1; Released: February 10, 2022; MSRP: $11.99
Editor’s note: This review is based on a retail copy of About an Elf provided by the publisher.