JiG is on Patreon and Needs You! Click here for more information


  • Review

  • Download Games

Winter Voices: Avalanche


  • Currently 4.5/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 4.5/5 (41 votes)
Comments (0) | Views (1,984)

Winter Voices: Avalanche

JohnBWinter Voices: Avalanche is a quiet, slow-paced, and very different kind of tactical role playing game. You play a young girl living in a snowy village whose father has just passed away. Dealing with the emotions that follow is difficult, and the mysteries surrounding her father's past makes it even more challenging. Avalanche is the first in a series of episodes telling the story of Winter Voices, and if you're looking for a game that's heavy on emotion, character, and storytelling, this one won't disappoint.

Winter Voices: AvalancheThe game begins as many role playing games do: choosing your character, including picking a portrait, profession, and adjusting your stats. You won't find the usual "strength, intelligence, wisdom, etc." in Winter Voices, though. Instead, traits such as Memory, Will Power, and Perspicacity are available, each representing a portion of the main character's emotional makeup while simultaneously serving as the mathematical basis for the role playing part of the game.

Winter Voices is very text-heavy, and you'll spend plenty of time walking back and forth talking to people and navigating conversation trees one choice at a time. The dialogue options available to you are based on different attitudes a grieving person might adopt at a time like this one, ranging from mournful to angry, teary-eyed and even sarcastic. You gain experience from talking to people, so even if you, yourself, aren't feeling chatty, you'll find a reason to begin conversations.

Winter Voices: AvalanchePerhaps the most interesting part of Winter Voices is the combat system. Most games give you a weapon to hit things with. In Winter Voices, though, your only weapons are "spells", and even those spells aren't spells in the conventional sense. Each time you enter a battle, you're facing off against your own inner emotions. Enemies are representations of different feelings or nagging thoughts inside your head (Shadow of Doubt, Insistent Memory, etc.), and doing battle with them is a symbolic way to move forward. You'll use skills like Betrayal, which causes you to deny your own personality in favor of a better one, thus preventing far away enemies from damaging you, or Courage, which increases your energy points for a few turns. The spell list goes on and on, as evidenced by a portion of the snowflake-shaped skill tree pictured below. All of this fits perfectly with the game's somber storyline, and it's the perfect way to tie in gameplay with plot.

Analysis: Winter Voices: Avalanche is a very unusual experience, and Beyond the Pillars is bravely trying something different with an established genre. The team was obviously going for story and atmosphere over gameplay, and the sense of lethargy that pervades the game is sometimes overbearing to the point that you feel a bit down yourself. Mix that in with slow battles, a grieving main character, and emotional reminders in every screen, and you've got a game you really can't take lightly.

Winter Voices: AvalancheThe game's music and visuals are beautiful, there's no other way to describe them. Everything feels calm and cold. Not a peaceful and happy calm and cold, but an anticipatory sort of feeling where mystery is abound. The atmosphere is expertly set to suit both the gameplay and the story, and you'll find the writing is equally poetic and mysterious.

Even though Winter Voices provides a great interactive experience, it's not quite perfect. You'll find the combat is painfully sluggish at times, and waiting for enemy animations to complete is a bit boring. In fact, the whole of the game seems to move a little slow, something that fits well with the story, but when you're out and about exploring the countryside, you don't want to wait 30 seconds while your character walks across the screen. The writing, while vivid and poetic in nature, can border on pretentious at times, but I never felt it was too over the top.

Winter Voices: Avalanche provides a unique role playing experience with a great presentation and storytelling that will really engage you. The gameplay shortcomings will hopefully be tended to in future episodes, but as it stands, Avalanche is a great experience for the right kind of player. It's not a cheery game, so if a bit of moody storytelling is what you're looking for, Winter Voices will do the trick.

WindowsWindows:
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Get the full version

No Comments

Leave a comment [top of page]

Please consider creating a Casual Gameplay account if you're a regular visitor here, as it will allow us to create an even better experience for you. Sign-up here!
  • PLEASE UNDERSTAND SITE POLICIES BEFORE POSTING COMMENTS
  • You may use limited HTML tags for style:
    (a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler)
    HTML tags begin with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. Always. No exceptions.
  • To post spoilers, please use spoiler tags: <spoiler> example </spoiler>
    If you need help understanding spoiler tags, read the spoiler help.
  • Please Preview your comment before posting, especially when using spoilers!
  • No link dropping, no domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! (rel="nofollow" in use)
Monkey GO Happy Escape the Castle> Bindie The monkeys are back! In the latest instalment of PencilKids'' popular primate series, your little furry friends have gone walkabouts in the dungeon of a castle. This particular dungeon is infested with more goblins, ghouls and gargoyles than you can...  ...
Kentucky Route Zero: Act II> Rebecca Spoilers ahead! Kentucky Route Zero is an episodic point-and-click game in five acts. Before you dig deep into Act II, please do consider enjoying Act I first....  ...
2,122 Views
3 Comments
Frog Fable> Arceus You thought it would be a simple errand. Just run along and get some milk for the King of the Village's Friday pancakes, right? The trouble for protagonist Zbylut (pronunciation unknown) begins when guards block the entrance to the town....  ...
Greetings From Potato Island> Arceus Tell me--do you believe? Believe in what, I hear you asking. Santa? The Easter Bunny? The Tooth Fairy? All good guesses indeed, but the answer Carmel Games' Escape from Potato Island was looking for was actually potatoes! Eye couldn't believe...  ...
Mystery of the Ancients: The Sealed and Forgotten Collector's Edition

Recent Comments

 

Display 5 more comments
Limit to the last 5 comments

Game of the week

Spellarium

Your Favorite Games edit

add
Save links to your favorite games here. Use the Favorites editor.

Monthly Archives