2 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 7.2 hrs on record (5.9 hrs at review time)
Posted: Mar 22 @ 2:10pm
Updated: Mar 27 @ 1:01pm
Product received for free

Serafina’s Saga: Awakened is a well written romance/adventure novel where you play as Serafina, a young girl raised in the jungle but whose fate lies in the heart of the Kingdom of Krondolee.

The Story

You play as Serafina, a girl raised in the jungle alongside her guardian/father Arken, with no memory or knowledge of her life before or of her mother (who Arken is highly reluctant to speak of). After Arken is captured by soldiers you journey forth from the depths of your jungle home to eventually the royal halls of Castle Krondolee in search of freeing him. As you journey you uncover the dark secrets of your past, and Arkens, as you weave your way through relationships, romances, schemes and adventures.

This game is a prequel to Serafina’s Crown but is a stand-alone game. I myself have not played the first one but this one was very good and has me excited to try out other games developed by Woodsy Studio.

Game-play & Features

The features in this game include your standard text speed, audio controls, text size, brightness, resolution and quality controls. Controls include text forward, skip, auto mode (nice), a history log and wasd controls for movement. There is a gallery that you can unlock special moments as you play the game of each main character & moments.

Text is really easy to read, white font on a black background. And the hud is easily hidden for those wanting to enjoy the art and take screen captures. The game is divided up into chapters and does auto save quite often which is nice as sometimes you will meet your untimely end.

The game has romance but nothing graphic or lewd. The romantic parts fade-to-black and are not explicit. So hints of spice but not super spicy!

The Visuals & Audio

Visually the character art is well done, hand drawn and cell shaded.The backgrounds are CGI with some animations in the background like smoke stacks or birds flying. The CGI in this case blends well enough with the character art and looks good with the added effects and lighting in some parts.

The characters are voice acted and sound very good. The only character without voice acting is you, the main character, which works well for immersion. The soundtrack blends well with the gameplay. Ambient sounds are also well done such as birds chirping, weapons grating, brush moving and transition sounds from scene to scene.

The Save system is unique…some good, some bad

Alright here is where I appeal to the visual novel, otome lovers enthusiasts. We know how these games traditionally work right? We save a lot and we reload a lot in order to achieve all the romantic endings the game offers and the achievements. In this game that grunt work is not needed.

* Yes, sometimes we still want to save and the save files are lacking identifying features that would make it easier to know at what point you're loading into the game if you're going back to look for a certain point. So maybe an image displayed on the right side of the save file when selected can have an image of the load point. Just a file name is not enough and the current image displayed is generic with a chapter number. It needs more, I will highlight that.

* Your individual save points are not saved. You are loaded back to the most recent checkpoint the game autosaves at. That can be a bit of a grumbling as we are used to being in control of where we save and load into. When this happens you can hit the left shift button to fast forward and it will stop when a choice is to be made by the player. The game has many checkpoints as you go along so backtracking is not as tedious as it sounds if you want to change a fairly recent decision.

But the bonus is that at the end game you can go to the Extras menu, pick one of the other romance options routes , bypass about 75% of the game and play the rest at a certain point to see how the other endings play out. This is taking a lot of the grunt work out of the game for us who are used to playing by endlessly saving and reloading to get different story paths.

Overall Experience

Overall a well written story with some nice romantic arcs. I like all the potential mates and one play through is pretty lengthy with about 5-6 hours clocked for one route. There is character development between potential mates that I found satisfying. After the credits continue watch for a post-credit extra scene featuring your chosen mate.

The developer has reached out to me and now I understand the mechanics behind their save system. It is unique and in the end takes a lot of the grunt work out of how traditional visual novels function. How you go about getting the additional romantic routes and achievements is much quicker and easier. So I have changed my review to a positive and am happy to recommend it as the story really is an enjoyable one.


Otome Lovers wishes to thank Woodsy Studio for providing a free review copy for this game.


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Developer response:
jenny-woodsy  [developer] Posted: Mar 27 @ 9:02am
Hi Amjara, could you please clarify about saves not working for you? You can make as many manual saves as you want, then load them from the Load menu instead of the autosave if you prefer. It's true that the saves don't start you back on the exact line; they go to each individual scene. So sometimes there are a few lines you have to replay, but it shouldn't be anything major. Was this your experience, or something different?

Also, once you have finished one character route, you can start any new route (at the appropriate scene) from the Extras menu.
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