Genre: Visual Novel
Release Date: Oct 17, 2016
How can one game possibly be so pink?
Rose Of Winter follows Rosemary, a young woman on a quest to become a knight. Along the way, she takes a job escorting a handsome prince (of the player’s choice, of course) through a dangerous mountain landscape. The aim of the game, so to speak, is to win the love of said handsome prince.
One of the first things I’d like to talk about is the art style. As I mentioned above, it’s very, very pink.
This makes sense as the game is called Rose Of Winter. Also, it’s largely a romance game, and pink is generally considered a romantic color. The artwork by Magnolia Porter (who also wrote the game), Aatmaja Pandya, and Victoria Grace Elliot is extremely cute and fits the general light-hearted tone of the game itself. The music by Toby Fox is also quite fitting, going from the sweeping epic sound of the main theme to softer tracks for the game’s quieter moments.
As for the gameplay, it’s pretty standard for a visual novel. The story is advanced through a series of still images with the dialog in a window at the bottom of the screen, during which you are occasionally presented with a number of choices that affect the story’s outcome. Each story’s path is actually quite short (I was able to complete each patch in about 4o minutes), but the replay value for these types of games generally comes from trying to get different endings. Each path in Rose Of Winter has 2 endings: one sad, and one happy.
Which leads quite nicely to talking about the story itself. It starts with Rosemary at the inn of a treacherous mountain, looking for some work as her coin purse is quite a bit lighter than it should be. She notices 4 jobs, each escorting a prince across the mountain to a nearby city. The path is kicked off by choosing one of the princes:
-Falknel, Prince of the Fae (who is about 6 inches tall)
-Prince Elgandir of the Southern Kingdoms (who’s about 5 but you romance his caretaker and not him…though it turns out a little more complicated than that)
-Tirune, Prince of Dragons
-and finally: Prince Kuya of Moonforest (a large, scantily-clad warrior prince with horns).
She states at the beginning of the game that there were other jobs available, but these four looked the most interesting (by which she means that they’re hot). The point, naturally, is to get the prince to fall in love with her, but there a number of obstacles that must be overcome before that can happen.
The general tone of the game, as state above, is fairly light-hearted. Really, the darkest it gets is during the dragon’s storyline where he starts dropping hints that he may have eaten his last human lover and kind of wants to eat Rosemary too (in the literal sense, I should probably point out). It’s also not particularly explicit in terms of sexuality; while it’s hinted at in some of the storylines, nothing is ever really shown (it’s not that kind of game, after all). There are some moments that are esn’actually downright hilarious, like the time that Rosemary finds Kuya in a…compromising position:
Because naked people are funny.
It’s also really refreshing to see a female character in a game that isn’t ridiculously objectified. Rosemary wears clothing and armor that are appropriate for her surroundings and profession. She also has a body type that looks muscular, and actually like she could wield the sword that she carries. Really, the only scantily clad character in the game is Kuya, and that proves to be a bad decision as the mountain is cold.
In a sense of personal taste, however, I felt that the game was a little too cutesy in some places. But this is outweighed by its sense of humor and the strong writing overall.
In general, I would recommend this game if you’re a fan of visual novels with a more romantic bent. It is currently available on Pillowfight’s website for $10.00 and on Steam for $11.99.