Little Goody Two Shoes | Logo

Developer(s): AstralShift
Publisher(s): SQUARE ENIX
Platform(s): TBA
Release Date: TBA

Official Website

If there is one game that my mind keeps going back to from my brief time at PAX West 2023, it has to be Little Goody Two Shoes. Set in the town of Kieferberg, you play as Elise – an incredibly expressive woman who dreams of riches who discovers a red pair of shoes that will change her destiny. The game itself is split into two parts. First, there is a daytime portion where you’re in the town, playing mini-games, exploring romantic interests, and trying to allay suspicions of your fellow townies. Second, there are the nighttime portions where Elise is solving puzzles and navigating dungeons with enemies in them. Both halves couldn’t feel more different, yet they are clearly meant to be integrated into one whole.

Described to me as an homage to JRPGs, Little Goody Two Shoes has beautiful graphics that remind me a lot of the anime sprites from the Sega Saturn classic Magic Knight RayEarth. The character designs are sharp and expressive while showing off a range of emotions. The city of Kieferberg itself is gorgeous too, and it is a city that would fit well in with any number of classic JRPGs from the 1990s. Even the horror-filled night sections are darkly cute, and they are extremely stylish in a foreboding way as the enemies try to kill me.

My Little Goody Two Shoes demo dropped me into the first nighttime dungeon of the game. Remarkably, the game doesn’t tell you what to do or how to proceed. This is, again, an homage to classic JRPGs. I instead had to try out everything to get an idea of how to proceed. I ended up checking the mirror, letting it crack, picking up a key from the floor, unlocking a treasure chest near the bed, and finding another key inside that let me unlock the door to escape that room. As I proceeded to a room where I had to find four keys to unlock the central door, I encountered candles that would trigger and try to harm me as I came within range whenever I went from corner-to-corner opening chests. While it wasn’t obvious on how to survive them, I ended being okay if I ran away from them before they could spin around and damage me. It is very weird not having a way to defend myself in a dungeon, though it definitely managed to amp up the scare factor because of it.

When the demo moved along to the daytime, it was then that I was told about the Hunger mechanic in the game. Elise, like people in real life, has to eat. And I ended up snacking down on some food in my inventory to help keep her well-fed. As I quickly progressed through various conversations in the daytime, I couldn’t help but be struck by how expressive Elise is. She is not a meek, mute protagonist. Instead, she is a fleshed-out woman who wants money, can be selfish, and is a real go-getter.

Little Goody Two Shoes | Elise's House
There is a different type of gameplay during the daytime in Little Goody Two Shoes, but it doesn’t make the game any less scary. (Images owned by AstralShift/SQUARE ENIX).

Little Goody Two Shoes | Kieferberg

As I went around town, I ended up helping one of the townies to chop wood. What I was not expecting was a full-blown mini-game that required me to chop a bunch of wood under a time limit while also not chopping literally anything else that appeared. This mini-game was depicted like a yesteryear mini-game with limited buttons and pixelated graphics inside a faux arcade cabinet. And honestly? It was fun and simple, which I am guessing was the whole point.

“AstralShift has managed to pull off different types of fear and tension in a spectacular way that left me desperately wanting more than what this demo had to offer in this gorgeous world.”

The real show-stopping moment for me of the daytime portion was when Elise launched into a full-on musical song cutscene that, if it was on Broadway, would have been her “I want” song. The music and singing were fantastic, it told me so much about her character, and the graphics kept switching from anime-inspired, to a doll spinning in circles that the developers made in real life, to all these different styles of graphics. It was insane to watch, and it made me giddy with excitement for how unexpected it was. It was like I was transported back into the world of LUNAR: Silver Star Story Complete, Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, or even Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon on the Nintendo 64. I am a complete sucker for unexpected musical numbers, especially ones that help to further the underlying plot, and this one delivered on the concept.

As I was running short on time at PAX West, since we were closing in on the final minutes before the show shut down for the year, the developer assisting me told me to skip along to the final dialogue section of the Little Goody Two Shoes demo. At that point, Elise was trying to allay the townspeople’s suspicious about a woman that had come into town that the extremely superstitious townspeople were wondering about being a witch. I found myself having to select different dialogue options – all of which sounded good – to help explain how I knew this mysterious woman. As I kept selecting dialogue options, I honestly felt a lot of the same foreboding that I felt during the nighttime portion of the game as I was realizing that I wasn’t fooling anyone and that they were going to see through us both. Sure enough, by the end of the conversation, it was clear that the townspeople didn’t believe my wildly spun tales of her being family and I saw that the town’s suspicion of me had gone up.

And that is where the brilliance of Little Goody Two Shoes shows up. It is so easy to build a tense game by stripping away your character’s weapons and dumping them in a world that wants to kill them. After all, it is scariness that is happening to you. It is much, much harder to build that tension by taking that same character and inserting them into a situation where all the bad things can happen when it is completely in your control. I had to weigh the dialogue options and choose the lie that I thought sounded best. It was clear that things were spiraling out of control very early on during my conversation with the townspeople, and it scared me just as much as any candle attacking and draining my health could do. AstralShift has managed to pull off different types of fear and tension in a spectacular way that left me desperately wanting more than what this demo had to offer in this gorgeous world.

I cannot wait for Little Goody Two Shoes to come out, and neither should you. This game is being published as part of the SQUARE ENIX Collective, and I cannot wait for it to come out.

Are you excited for Little Goody Two Shoes?

What do you think of video game musical numbers?

Let us know in the comments below!

Quentin H.
I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it.