Sceal: An Irish Folklore Adventure is just a simple interactive story you get to “play” for an hour or two. With incredibly basic gameplay that amounts to just dragging your finger across the screen to move the spirit and the occasional swiping back and forth to paint an object, the only redeeming thing that Sceal has going is the soundtrack, but more about that later.
Based in Irish folklore in Sceal you “play” as the spirit of a little girl trying to remember what happened. I am not in any way familiar with the Irish folklore, so I don’t really know what to say about the story. It’s not that I hated it or anything like that, but it meant nothing to me. It wasn’t relatable, the font was too small and kinda hard to read and holding an overheating iPhone 6 in my hands made everything a little harder. Maybe I am utterly wrong and there’s an amazing story told there that I just didn’t follow or invested myself enough, I don’t know.
The only redeeming thing I can say about the game is its presentation, well half of that for me at least. The game has this hand drawn pop-up book visual style that was interesting at the beginning, but that feeling passed really really quickly. So for about an hour and a half, I flew around this often washed out uneventful area… yuck. Luckily I had my headphones so every now and then I would just close my eyes and listen to the amazing music Sceal had to offer. In my opinion, this is the main reason to play this game.
As I closed my eyes I was transported. Again, I know nothing about the Irish culture and folklore, so it all sounded like gibberish to me, but what a beautiful and haunting gibberish that is. It shifts and changes delivering a large array of moods and emotions, that gave meaning to what I was doing as the spirit, even when I was just painting houses. It lets you know when you need to feel scared, lonely, hopeful etc. and it just saves the experience redeeming all its other shortcomings.
Sceal: An Irish Folklore Adventure is not for everyone and probably not for you since I know what you like to read on this website. But if you want to hear some amazing music, then it is totally worth it. Thanks for reading.