35 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 1.8 hrs on record
Posted: Nov 30, 2018 @ 7:38am
Product received for free

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The Crown of Leaves is an ethereal and fantasy visual novel set in a world enshrouded in mysticism and strange occurrences. Currently only Chapter 1 is available and there are 3 planned total. The point and click aspect of the game is minimal, and it is mostly story driven with seemingly meaningful choices.

The story is interesting and unfortunately it doesn't make a whole lot of sense yet in what is currently available. As of writing, there are 2 meaningful decision junctures that affect the overall game. Though on many levels, you can choose to act how you wish around the individuals you interact with. You can be sympathetic, blunt, or simply unfriendly most of the time.

You can find out more about the game's plot by reading the description on the store page than you can by playing at this moment, and there are many instances of strange nonsensical words thrown into the text that will leave you wondering and scratching your head. (I recommend diving into the game without reading the detailed plot description in the store page, as it is as much of an exploration to the player as it is to the protagonist Roui who you will follow. I will not divulge any story details here.)

What stands out about this game is the artwork accompanied by very fitting and surreal music. Individual character designs are done really well with a lot of attention to detail. The style they are drawn in really fit well with the fantasy world that seems to blur the edges between the physical and the surreal.

Mouse for point-n-click and scrolling through dialogue texts. Very little/minimal inventory use or item management in the game as of the writing of this review. Also P button on keyboard is useful from time to time to reveal available clickable elements on screen.

Absolutely gorgeous hand-drawn artwork, all of the details are pretty amazing. None of the characters are alike and all of the sprites have plenty of altered illustrations. The backgrounds are done in impeccable detail. And the animations are really neat, though they may not always make sense.

Music and Sounds
Music is pretty cool, though the way it's currently set up is the track runs and if you take your time in a room, the music stops when the track ends. There's no looping/cycles to keep up the audible atmosphere continuously. As for sound effects, I had to end up turning off the text sound effects, it was getting to be too gritty on my ears. Fortunately there was a setting specifically for this. The very first introductory lines leading into the game were voiced, otherwise, no additional dialogue or narrative voices can be found. It's a nice lead-in, but the lack of continuation or follow up is a bit disappointing.

Do you like having your thoughts messed with and tossed in all directions? Do you like being led around the nose not knowing where you are going? Do you enjoy unexpected twists and turns? If you are a fan of visual novels and say yes to the above-mentioned questions, then, definitely look into this game.

If you prefer to have a complete story, then this game might not be for you in its current state, with Chapter 1 complete and total of 3 planned.

There is also minimal point-n-click aspect of this game, and it's mostly a VN, as such, it doesn't really have much in the way of puzzles, and you should not expect to see it there.

If you would rather feel like you are in complete control then look elsewhere.

If you enjoy good artwork with good creative imagination, this is a good game to check out.

Despite what I have said, there is a demo available, and you should see for yourself.

Base price is $4.99 USD and the game is very short. I do think it is reasonable given the extent of detail within the artwork in reproducing such a vivid and fantasy world accompanied by the very pleasant music.

+Excellent artwork (character sprites, backgrounds, backgrounds, etc.)
+Good music
+Fairly fleshed out fantasy world (though many details missing due to the game currently being 1/3 complete)
+Meaningful decision-making
+Demo available
+Save anywhere, multiple save slots to save into and to load from
+Easy to find poin-n-click elements on screen with P button

-Too short (first run through what is available right now will take about 1 hr, with clicking on everything and speaking through every dialogue option, subsequent search for alternative paths will be shorter, though bottlenecked by dialogue text display speeds)
-Minimal point-n-click elements other than learning about the lore of the fantasy world (there's hardly any inventory management/item use at this time)
-No way to have instant display of texts (would be ideal for playing through for alternative pathways)
-Initial lead-in voiced narrative with a total lack of further voicing is a bit disappointing

The Crown of Leaves is a well-designed fantasy visual novel with minimal point-n-click gameplay and meaningful decisions that is currently incomplete in its story. Chapter 1 out of 3 planned currently available. There is a demo available to help you decide if this is the right product for you. First run through Chapter 1 will take about an hour to learn the lore and click through all available options, however you choose to proceed. The most outstanding part of the game is the artwork for me. The price is fair, for the quality of the artwork and the interesting world and currently still incomplete story. As of this writing, I would rate it 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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