I still have one more post to do for the Truck Simulator beginners series that I have been working through recently – I hope to complete that early next week and I will probably mention ‘skins’ in that one😅 This is different though.

Almost all of the games I tell you about on my blog are Simulation games. As well as trucking, I currently do farming, hunting, fishing and occasionally some other activities. Even Elite could be viewed as a Space Trucking Simulation 😂 This is probably a result of some of my early gaming experiences when I found that I wasn’t particularly good at platformer’s and first person shooters. You can lose interest when you repeatedly can’t get past the N’th level in a game. Basically – I don’t enjoy games that require spamming a key repeatedly to make progress and my reaction times have never been up to the speed required for many FPS type games.

This week I have taken a step into unknown territory – The Visual Novel. I have sometimes looked at these games and wondered what they would be like to play. In general they are a mix of point and click combined with choices to be made by the player that may affect the outcome of the game. Judging by the reviews on Steam, quite a few pretend that your choices affect the outcome when actually they don’t. There are a couple that have stood out as being good examples of the Visual Novel. One is Disco Elysium – which I will be trying in the future – and another is Winds of Change. I actually put Winds of Change in my followed games list over a year ago and I hummed and hawed about buying it. The game is populated by anthropomorphic animals, which I think is something I was struggling with. Anyway, I’ve bitten the dog-biscuit and I’m playing the game👍

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I’m not going to go into too much depth because I don’t want to ruin the game for any prospective new players reading this. As I’ve only worked through the first passage of play (which has taken me 5 hours), I can’t tell you much detail about the story anyway. The basic tenet of the tale however is that you are The Seer of Valinorth – a village in the land of Alestia. You will set off on a quest to defeat an evil – along the lines of a Lord of the Rings type of fantasy. You have a Scribe and her apprentice as companions at the start. Valessa is the Scribe…

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and Fortaime is the apprentice…

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The characters don’t always appear in the same pose – here’s Valessa being a bit flirty😂

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As you progress through the game your entourage grows with new companions joining your quest. In each location there will be things to find and interactions to have. Some will be simply a direct involvement to progress the story but others require some hard choices to be made and, reading between the lines of the reviews, they do matter! Meanwhile, you also get glimpses of things that are happening elsewhere in Alestia. Some of what you see may help you with your difficult choices, or it may not 😅

One aspect of the game that is important is gaining the trust and loyalty of your companions and you do that during conversations with them. You can also listen in to chats they have between themselves which can be helpful in knowing their state of mind. Not only can you gain their loyalty, you can go so far as to form a romantic liaison. From the developer’s notes on Steam, the game lets you Pursue friendships, and even romances! (not limited by gender). That’s just as well since Valessa seems to be the only female character in the game!

Although you will need to read a lot of text on the screen, all of the characters are voiced by actors and this helps you to engage with them. That has certainly made it much easier for me to get into the game and I am really enjoying it – I certainly feel invested in my companions👍