Usually when we use the word "retro," we're referring to games that mimic the pixel art classics from the early '90s, but indie German developer Hypnotic Owl is going back even further with The Pepper Prince, a five-part series of short fairy tale installments presented in rhyme and ASCII graphics.
In the opening episode, Red Hot Chili Wedding, the titular Pepper Prince is about to get married and "the honor has fallen upon you to cater this magical event! Hooray!" Players will "slip into the role of Hansel or Gretel who, after having been adopted by the gingerbread witch, are now running a successful confectionery business." The primary task: to deliver "a special wedding cake, featuring the ingredient the whole kingdom goes nuts over!" Sounds simple, but "unfortunately, as they rarely do in these stories, things don't work out as planned and soon there's a mysterious change in weather, a disappearance, and a broken heart to be mended."
Your eyes don't deceive you upon first glance at the screenshots and trailer for this "quirky, rhyming, point-and-click fairy tale adventure," which is indeed presented in "rudimentary ASCII graphics." Originally conceived as a "New Year's jam game, filled with silly fun, a donkey with diarrhea, and peppers galore" (and available to play for free online at the developer's website), The Pepper Prince has since been expanded into a "heartwarming tale" filled with "incredibad puns" across five short episodes of 45-60 minutes each.
The first episode, or rather "Seasoning" in this case (they did warn us about the puns), has just debuted on Steam for Windows PC, with the next four installments to be available individually as DLC or as part of the "Seasoning Pass" with the complete series included.