It’d be easy to look at Little Goody Two Shoes and think that it’s a happy-go-lucky cutesy experience, but believe me, you couldn’t be more wrong. There’s a dark undertone to this fairytale-inspired adventure, and with plenty of clever gameplay mechanics at work as you lead the young heroine through her mysterious little life, it makes for a tantalising and unique experience.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Little Goody Two Shoes tells the story of Elise, a young girl who lives in a fairytale-inspired world that wants nothing more than to be rich and live in prosperity. I mean… isn’t that what we all want? Following the death of her grandmother, she seems down on her luck and finds herself helping out those around her to make ends meet, until she finds a mysterious pair of red shoes. They give her the promise of the life that she so eagerly desires, but at what cost? With strange occurrences taking place around her and the arrival of a peculiar young girl named Rozenmarine in her life, it seems that Elise’s existence won’t be the same for much longer. And, if she hopes to achieve her dreams, she’ll have to make sure the townsfolk don’t grow too suspicious of the unusual things happening around her…

I loved the storytelling of Little Goody Two Shoes, with it interweaving so many different themes to make for a dramatic and engrossing tale. It’s part fairytale, part horror story, and part rags-to-riches, with all of these ideas helping build up this almost unnerving tone that’ll keep players guessing as they see Elise’s new life unfold. But be warned: whilst it looks very cute on first glances alone, you might find yourself surprised at just how dark the game can be. It ticked all of the right boxes for me, and with multiple ending to achieve and secrets to discover, it offers plenty to keep players invested in Elise’s topsy-turvy life.

Little Goody Two Shoes is a text-heavy experience, so you’ll be doing a lot of reading throughout your adventure. There’s an emphasis placed on getting to know the townsfolk and completing interactions with them on a daily basis, so you’ll be happy to know that it’s all really well written. It’s no visual novel though, with plenty of elements of gameplay in place to keep players invested in Elise’s day-to-day life. For one, you’ve got to keep on top of Elise’s sanity and hunger throughout the game, with different items used to restore them. They’re each affected in different ways, such as your hunger increasing as you perform tasks or your sanity increasing when encountering spooky creatures (more on that in a moment), so you’ve got to keep on the ball to ensure you don’t hit too many ‘game over’ screens.

“It ticked all of the right boxes for me, and with multiple ending to achieve and secrets to discover, it offers plenty to keep players invested in Elise’s topsy-turvy life.”

Of course, there’s a lot more going on that just managing your well-being. You’ll also pursue romance with a variety of characters on some kooky and fun dates, work to convince others that Rozenmarine isn’t a witch (you’ll understand when playing), manage your cash to keep your items in good supply, and help out the townsfolk in a variety of ways.

When helping out the townsfolk, players will complete mini-games that are presented in a retro-stylised manner. These consist of simple tasks such as gathering falling fruit, chopping wood, collecting eggs, and so forth. They’re not too challenging and their simple nature does mean they rarely feel particularly involving, but they’re a neat way to help out others without simply relying on dull fetch quests. It would have been nice if there were a few more to complete to keep things varied, but they’re short enough in design that their repetition doesn’t feel like a problem.

When nighttime falls, players will venture out into the woods and deal with the many nasties scattered there. There isn’t combat in the game, but there is a focus on avoiding enemies that are lingering around and doing a bit of light puzzle-solving, so you’ll certainly be kept busy as you try to survive. It takes a bit of prep work to survive the night, whilst the challenging difficulty of the obstacles in your path can admittedly get a little frustrating early on. It’s something you adapt to as you play, but it might have been nicer if players had a bit more of an opportunity to fight back. But still, it’s a neat twist to the more easy-going nature of your daytime activities, with your nighttime trials and tribulations only getting more enjoyable as you get used to them.

Check out some screenshots down below:

It’s hard to define what exactly Little Good Two Shoes is as a genre, because it offers so much across its gameplay. Each aspect comes together to make for an enjoyable experience though, and whilst there can be a learning curve (especially in the nighttime sections), the reward of your success and progress makes it all worthwhile. Each day spent in the game always brings something fresh to keep the experience exciting, whilst the balancing act of living Elise’s unusual life is always entertaining and addictive. I still haven’t seen all of the endings yet, but even after pouring hours into the game, I keep coming back for more. It just feels unlike anything I’ve ever played, but in that engrossing way that just makes it’s a treat to keep coming back to.

Visually, the blend of 90s anime-style character illustrations and hand-painted environments looks wonderful, whilst the game also does a good job of adding to the atmosphere with its layering effects that makes the world feel more lived in and bustling. There are some really wonderful sights to be seen across each environment that help make the world engrossing to explore, whilst the soundtrack manages to sound both hopeful and haunting at the same time. It’s really impressive and complements the mysteriously eerie narrative of Little Goody Two Shoes.

Little Goody Two Shoes Review

Little Goody Two Shoes has a bit of a learning curve, but the tantalising narrative and variety of gameplay mechanics ensure it’s an engrossing experience. It was easy to root for Elise through her daily struggles in her fairytale-inspired life, whilst the eerie undertones and focus on managing her well-being will certainly keep players on their toes. There are lots of creative scenarios to find yourself in on a daily basis too, and whilst they can admittedly get a little formulaic, they never stop being entertaining.

The nighttime sections can be a little frustrating and it can get a little overwhelming managing every aspect of Elise’s wellbeing early on, but there’s a good time to be had playing Little Goody Two Shoes. It’s one of those games that’s a little hard to describe with words alone, but only because it’s so varied, creative, and, most importantly, fun.

Developer: AstralShift
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch