Demo also available for surreal side-scrolling Chinese adventure The Bad Kids, previously known as Cat’s Cradle
Growing up is hard enough under the best circumstances, but all the more so when everything around you is falling apart and you’re forced to repress your worst memories. This is the challenge that awaits in The Bad Kids, a newly released side-scrolling adventure from Aluba Studio.
Zhu Chaoyang is just an ordinary junior-high student with an extraordinary secret that threatens to engulf him in an “unimaginable nightmare.” His current circumstances aren’t much better, as he’s exposed to dysfunctional family relationships, false friendships, and other examples of the greed and selfishness of human nature. As the young protagonist deals with the “coldness and cruelty of the adult world,” it will take everything in his power to remain “innocent and kind after being soaked in darkness.” All the while, players must peel back the “layers of mysteries” in Zhu Chaoyang’s past so he can face his deepest fears and finally confront a “murderous monster.”
The Bad Kids tells an original story loosely adapted from a popular Chinese TV series called The Hidden Corner (or alternatively, Cat’s Cradle, upon which the game was originally named before being rebranded). This keyboard-controlled, side-scrolling adventure features a hand-painted art style with atmospheric colour and lighting, accompanied by partial Chinese voice acting (with English subtitles). As you explore the physical world around the main character, you’ll also delve into the “inner world” of his personal demons, at times blurring the line between reality and imagination. The gameplay itself, however, promises a fairly traditional mix of investigation, inventory collection, and puzzle solving, along with the occasional lite action sequence when danger arises.
The full game has been released on Steam for Windows PC, where you can also find a demo for The Bad Kids to try before you buy. Note, however, that the main menu is not in English, so to change the settings you must select the fourth option on the bottom right, followed by the third tab on the next screen before scrolling to other language options.