33 people found this review helpful
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2
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 9.1 hrs on record (3.2 hrs at review time)
Posted: Oct 14, 2020 @ 12:15pm
Updated: Oct 14, 2020 @ 12:15pm
Product received for free

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Werewolf: The Apocalypse -- Heart of the Forest is a creepy and dark visual-novel adventure with choice-based consequences that allow for multiple branching paths and outcomes. The story is quite well written and the flow works pretty well. The many situations that develop differently based on the player's actions and also accrued statistics will give this game the replay value that it needs despite having a relatively short story that will vary on your reading speed and choices. My first run through took around 3 hours, and I imagine that replaying some sections I might be speeding through some sections trying to see all of the possible paths and endings. I have yet to do that kind of exploration to know just how dramatic the outcomes will be of course.

Nevertheless, it's a visual novel, so let's talk about some areas of a VN that are important to consider:

1. Visually the artwork is impressive, dark, creepy, and really cool to look at. There were a couple of times that I was seriously creeped out. There's not a lot of scenes or art plates in this game, but there are a lot of areas where the details and colors work just right to put you right where the game wants you to be.

2. The writing is not the best when it comes to a story or dialogue. The characters are typically fairly short in their discussions. Most of the words are in the narrative, which is fine, since you are playing/reading from a first-person narrative by the protagonist, whose background, present, and future unfold as you play/read.

3. The music sets pretty good overtones and draws out tensions in this game. It was something that I was not actively paying attention to, but did notice the variations and themes even when I was not trying to listen. The sound effects are simple and effective, and the limitations in quantity made each one that much more palpable.

4. There is no voice acting in this game. Done well, it would certainly add an extra dimension to the quality of the game; done poorly, it could ruin some of the atmospheres. I am perfectly fine reading through everything without voice acting. But I know that a lot of people would want to have that as an option.

5. The typical visual novel will have a protagonist character whose moods and actions are fairly set, but still have variable options in choices. This game uses a rage counter that will alter the choices or passive dialogue progressions. The character is a blank slate until you choose from the get-go how much rage you start with. Plus, the different character stats you accrue over the course of the game will define the protagonist, thus making this very flexible.

6. The support cast of characters are a bit weak overall in this game, I know this allows for additional mystery, but too little character development plus a decent number of support characters can potentially confuse the reader/player during the first or second time through the story. You can befriend characters and see their different dialogue and actions depending on their friendliness. Thus there will always be variations, but it felt a bit lacking in general.

7. Topic research was clearly done extensively to present the lore in this game. It's necessary for a topic that so many people are enthusiastic about while many others have little to no knowledge at all. I fell into the latter category and felt that playing through this game was rather educational for my own insight into the mystic world of werewolves. It was a fun learning experience.

Controls
You only need a mouse. I did try a controller and the right joystick moved the cursor while the right trigger acted as the click, so that works as well.

Pricing
For a VN without voice acting and such a short story overall to have the price tag of $14.99 is a bit high. From the amount of variable content, I imagine it would take several different run throughs in order to see everything. Overall quality of the game is worthwhile. I will be taking it through at least a couple more times by following a completely different protagonist set of options from my initial.

Conclusion
Werewolf: The Apocalypse -- Heart of the Forest is a fun visual novel for fans of the genre or those who want to experience this dark and creepy story/world. It does contain some visually and mentally disturbing scenes so make sure you are prepared for those. The story itself is a bit short though and so the price does seem a little high. I do wish that the support cast had a bit more individuality and development.

Score: 7.5/10

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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6 Comments
YQMaoski Oct 19, 2020 @ 10:55am 
Yeah, it's not too long, I have seen almost everything by now, about 9 hours in. Thanks for reading. :-)
danacscott Oct 19, 2020 @ 10:48am 
This one is on my wishlist already. Sounds better than I thought it'd be, though it's a pity that it's pretty short. Thanks for the review. ^^
YQMaoski Oct 15, 2020 @ 5:34am 
You are welcome, there are some really good and proven VNs out there, so you can start looking into those as well for getting accustomed to the genre. A lot of them come on sale at good prices too from time to time, so doing some research and keeping an eye on a few would be good. Thank you for reading!
AviaRa Oct 15, 2020 @ 12:51am 
I'm new to VNs, as I'm pretty picky. This one interests me, tho. I like it's visuals and style from the Store Page. Wishlisted.
Thanks for the good read!
YQMaoski Oct 14, 2020 @ 1:52pm 
Not the most amazing VN, the writing could be better. The lore was fun to read through. Even progression sometimes feels a bit too rapid. Anyway, definitely more of a niche game, not a wide-audience appeal.
FruitNDoggie Oct 14, 2020 @ 1:33pm 
Sounds like an okay VN, but it has to be pretty amazing for me to want to play it. This sounds pretty good, but not to that level.