Horror Tales: The Beggar Review

I was pretty high on Carlos Coronado’s previous outing, Horror Tales: The Wine; it was slight and not without fault but overall the potential was there for a decent evening or two of indie horror thrills. So when follow-up The Beggar was brought to my attention, I was keen to see the saga continue. Sadly, it misses the mark in multiple ways and is a far less refined entry than The Wine.

Let’s start with the glaring problem I have with The Beggar – the addition of combat. The Wine had us running for our lives in mostly great chase sequences. Here, we occasionally get pinned into an arena and forced to endure the promising sounding but ultimately terrible ‘physics-based combat’. Playing as the titular Beggar, we have the use of telekinesis powers to pick up all manner of small and medium sized objects, such as barrels, crates, chairs and the like. When the monster appears, we need to pick up items and throw them at it a few times to get it off our backs.

An example of the combat – unless you have a smaller item like a chair, it’s almost impossible to aim with any accuracy, especially later on when there are multiple enemies to contend with

In theory, this is fine. Think Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun, for example. The problem in The Beggar is three fold though; firstly, it takes so long to charge up a shot, and the monster’s ability to teleport to a new location seems timed to be just that bit quicker, meaning just as we get it in our sights it’s gone. Secondly, when we’re holding a charged shot, we can’t move or look around easily – which means when the monster teleports it’s too annoyingly tricky to find him again, so we just have to let the shot go and try again. Finally, when we’re holding a shot the item in question is blocking our view almost entirely. Which can make the frustrations already mentioned hair-pullingly worse. I’m thinking it was done this way for tension, but it is quite simply not fun to engage with at all. 

While we only need to defeat the green dude here, the addition of the two wolves, as well as the elemental effects, trees, and our slow fire rate made this fight quite frankly terrible

It’s bad enough that, during what turned out to (thankfully) be the final fight, I almost quit the game. We were in a wooded area, with three enemies to fight, all while trying not to hit the trees, trying to find items to use, and avoiding being launched by the monsters’ attacks. I should also add on that the Beggar has some other abilities that make combat that much more arduous too. We can change the time of day as well as the weather at will – and in combat, the enemies are invincible in fog. So as well as all of the above, we also need to find time to turn the skies clear so we can actually hurt them. It’s all incredibly annoying stuff, and at no point did I have anything close to fun engaging with this element of The Beggar.

With that out of the way, I will say that The Beggar is more enjoyable when Carlos brings out his storytelling and slight puzzle mechanics, though it’s still not as great as I’d hoped. Much like The Wine, the world has gone to shit thanks to the Banydebosc wine and its mind-altering effects. The Beggar is one of its victims it seems, and a suspiciously friendly robot finds us down and out, promising help at the nearby hospital. 

Things are far better when we’re just solving light physics puzzles and exploring, though even then the slow pace of the big puzzles drags us down

Problem is, the world has fractured into mile long chunks and so getting anywhere is almost impossible. This is where the Beggar’s telekinesis and time-bending powers come into play outside of combat. It’s simple stuff, but a welcome reprieve from combat at least. Changing the time of day moves floating chunks of earth between islands, while making it rain will fill up a ravine with water, for example. The Beggar is not a long game, coming in at about 3 hours, but a lot of that time is taken up by watching these floating debris move about. Holding RB charges up our time-manipulation ability, but much like the combat throws, this takes far too long. At least we’re not under pressure in these instances, but it can still get pretty tedious to hold the button for 5 seconds, select a time of day, watch the earth slowly move to us, hold the button for 5 more seconds, select a time of day, and have the earth move slowly back with us on it. When most of the puzzles require a good four or five steps to solve, this soon gets old. And cast your eye back to the combat described above – now add this slow feel to getting rid of the fog and it’s clear this isn’t going to make it any better…

There are occasional flashes of promise, with one section requiring us to move between shadows out of the hot sun, and others where we need to solve very light physics puzzles to proceed. But these are far outnumbered by the parts that had us reaching for anything else to play instead. It does at least look the part, using Unreal Engine 5’s tech to deliver a world that feels and looks big, as well as some lovely lighting effects. It’s not going to rival something like Immortals of Aveum, but it looks pretty nice indeed. 

But a pretty sheen can’t cover the simple fact that Horror Tales: The Beggar is a step down from The Wine, with terrible combat, slow puzzle solving, and a general lack of fun to be had. I’m strangely invested in the story of the Banydebosc wine and its effects on the world, and the tease of the next entry is still something that I’ll want to check out, I just hope that we can either remove or improve the combat parts, and pick up the pace a little.


Horror Tales: The Beggar has its moments (mainly thanks to some half-decent world building) but the introduction of combat, and its slow moving puzzles, underwhelmed me completely. Go and play The Wine instead, and hope we get more of that for the next outing.

This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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  • Visually decent
  • Some interesting enough lore
  • Combat is dreadful
  • Puzzle are slow moving affairs
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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