Heileen Series


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Heileen Series

DoraSometimes we go looking for adventure. Sometimes adventure finds us. Sometimes adventure throws us overboard, turns us into a castaway, and threatens our life at every conceivable opportunity while toying with our emotions. But hey, it's all about the journey, right? And Winter Wolves' visual novel series Heileen, Heileen 2: The Hands of Fate, and Heileen 3: New Horizons is one heck of a journey at that. In the 17th century, our doe-eyed heroine Heileen has spent her entire life as the daughter of a wealthy merchant being unable to do what she wants or even really change her own life. But when her uncle decides to take her on an overseas trip, it quickly becomes apparent that there's more to life than just romance and big dreams... and she's not going to see any of it coming.

Heileen SeriesHeileen plays like a traditional visual novel. You'll read the text that narrates the story, and just click to select the option that appeals to you most whenever you're given a choice. There's no real wrong decision, but Heileen's quest system means that you're given points for successfully completing certain objectives, and since some of those can only be done under certain circumstances, you'll want to think about where you're going and what you want for Heileen as you play. Fortunately, you can right-click to open the menu and save or load the game whenever you like, so you can always go back if you decide you want to try something different. Hey, decades of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure readers will tell you it's not cheating, it's just like keeping your finger on the page! Considering all the possibilities Heileen has for adventure (and romance) you'll want to explore and experiment as much as possible.

Heileen 2: The Hands of Fate introduces a new mechanic, however, in the form of a deck of magical tarot cards that respond to your actions and can help influence Heileen's life in unexpected ways. Like... crossing the border between dreams and reality unexpected. Eventually, you'll even be granted a map (if you're clever) that will allow you to choose where Heileen goes at times. In the third game, however, New Horizons offers you far more choices and in-depth gameplay, as well as an expansion of the tarot cards in the form of the Sins/Virtues system. Thereafter, not only will the choices you make impact Heileen's character, but you'll also have to choose the things she does on a daily basis to influence everything from her statistics to the way other characters think about her. And if you're interested in romance from a specific gender only, the third and final installment is also available in a "Yuri" version that includes all female romance options.

Heileen SeriesAnalysis: Heileen is one of those series that undergoes a significant positive evolution as it goes on. This is great for Heileen herself, since in the beginning she honestly comes across as a shallow brat, but it does mean that the first game feels a little rough around the edges and simplistic to boot. (And arguably, a questionable "good" ending if you choose to pursue the apple of Heileen's eye, though this is essentially retconned at the start of the second game.) With the latest installment, however, New Horizons offers up even more of the sort of depth, engaging writing, and myriad of choices you've come to expect from Winter Wolves... as long as you don't mind an extremely black and white morality system, of course. It doesn't hurt that it's an absolute stunner too, marrying art nouveau style with expressive, beautifully detailed characters.

Heileen SeriesThough you will need to play the first game to give it context, however, arguably the second installment, the Hands of Fate, is where things really begin to take off and the series finds its own stride. Once you're allowed to really make your own decisions as to where Heileen goes and her motivations, it begins to shine and sucks you in, and the fantasy-lite approach to its historical fiction setting really lets it get creative, and by the third game the series has turned into something really impressive. New Horizons is a huge game and brings in some much needed player influence in the form of character stats and more freedom, letting you take a direct hand in Heileen's development the way previous games did not. The inclusion of more simulation elements was a fantastic choice, making the game hard to put down and more challenging overall, and is a phenomenal example of a series growing and changing for the better.

With its vivacious mood, gorgeous art, and fanciful adventures, the Heileen series is the perfect choice for any players who want something light-hearted with a magical twist. Heileen 3: New Horizons is arguably the biggest and best of the bunch, and will keep you both busy for a long time, and coming back for more with the impressive amount of branching paths, romance options, and career choices for Heileen. It even does a good job of recapping the entire series up to that point so you can jump right in there if you wish. Whatever the case, however, Heileen is a huge adventure filled with magic, romance, danger and humour that you should definitely make a date with if you're looking for some swashbuckling... and some smooches.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo (Heileen 1 - Sail Away)
Get the full version (Heileen 1 - Sail Away)
Download the demo (Heileen 2 - The Hands of Fate)
Get the full version (Heileen 2 - The Hands of Fate)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - New Horizons)
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - New Horizons)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - New Horizons + Bonus Content)
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - New Horizons + Bonus Content)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - Sea Maidens (Yuri Version))
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - Sea Maidens (Yuri Version))

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo (Heileen 1 - Sail Away)
Get the full version (Heileen 1 - Sail Away)
Download the demo (Heileen 2 - The Hands of Fate)
Get the full version (Heileen 2 - The Hands of Fate)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - New Horizons)
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - New Horizons)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - New Horizons + Bonus Content)
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - New Horizons + Bonus Content)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - Sea Maidens (Yuri Version))
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - Sea Maidens (Yuri Version))

LinuxLinux:
Download the demo (Heileen 1 - Sail Away)
Get the full version (Heileen 1 - Sail Away)
Download the demo (Heileen 2 - The Hands of Fate)
Get the full version (Heileen 2 - The Hands of Fate)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - New Horizons)
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - New Horizons)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - New Horizons + Bonus Content)
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - New Horizons + Bonus Content)
Download the demo (Heileen 3 - Sea Maidens (Yuri Version))
Get the full version (Heileen 3 - Sea Maidens (Yuri Version))

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