Top Critic Average
Snappily paced, beautifully written and a visual treat, Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest does apt justice to its sprawling source material and represents a great place for newcomers to the mythos to get started. Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is the best visual novel to come along in a long time.
The legendary tabletop RPG returns in the form of a beautiful visual novel designed to emulate the tabletop experience. Based on real-world environments and activism, players are also offered thousands of story branches resulting in five different endings. Heart of the Forest shows what visual novels should aspire to be.
There are plenty of solutions, some peaceful, some not…but the ways we choose to grapple with our past and our own potential guide the paths we walk. Horror is often used to strike at the heart of human experiences, and Heart of the Forest does that. The question becomes: what do you do with the power you learned you had all along?
While it isn’t a perfect game, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest is a rather unique and clever take on the visual novel genre that combines it with some truly engaging RPG elements. I found myself feeling immensely satisfied with my first playthrough, even if not every path I took ended up being ideal in the end. I found myself already pondering just what decisions I might make differently on a second (or even third one) given how much evolution the title does. That in and of itself is a sign of an enjoyable game to me!
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is a great visual novel with tons of impactful choices, great visuals, and excellent sound design. While it slowly loses steam after the introductory chapters, it's still well worth multiple playthroughs.
Returning to the world of living werewolves from the World of Darkness turns out to be more ambitious than we could have imagined – Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is an interesting text game that will try to prove that reading in Poland is not in the backdoor.
Review in Polish | Read full review
A good visual novel and introduction to the Werewolf: The Apocalypse universe. It may be far too brief, but its replay value goes a long way towards making up for that shortcoming.
All in all, I loved Heart of the Forest. I was frustrated by some of the choice mechanics, but it was never enough to make me stop playing. I wanted to push through to the end every time to see whether or not their stories could be saved. A game that keeps you coming back well after the first playthrough is a precious treat in my eyes, and Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest had me eating right out of its paws.
Heart of the Forest is an engaging game that has a much-needed new perspective on the World of Darkness, as it steps away from the vampires and offers a different kind of horror. The experience is over a little too soon, but it's worth going through each path and seeing how each run-through plays out. Short runtime aside, Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is an interesting exploration of environmental issues tied into a personal story of anger, and it makes the prospect of more World of Darkness titles in the future more exciting.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest may have a run-time shorter than its title, it might fumble some of the characters, but it absolutely nails the landing. As someone who is relatively new to Visual Novels, it has opened my eyes to the potential of the genre, the scope in which the genre can encompass, and kept me engaged cover to cover. If you want less anime tiddies, and more gritty, grimdark monster mashing, then I cannot recommend this title enough.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest is a good transposition from a RPG board game into a videogame, but which might not represent a good gaming experience precisely for this reason, especially to players unfamilliar with board games. The genre to which it belongs to has rhythms and dynamics that might meet only a handful of players’ requests, meaning those who are looking for beautiful stories to shape and live as they prefer without thinking too much about the gameplay.
Review in Italian | Read full review
The most important aspect of a visual novel is that it has a compelling story, and in that aspect, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest delivers in spades. I just don’t feel like the mechanics in Heart of the Forest justify it being a videogame over a straight up novel. If you’re a fan of the Werewolf: The Apocalypse franchise, then Heart of the Forest should serve as an excellent love letter. Newcomers to the franchise who are visual novel fans will find a driving narrative, but those who like a lot of play in their game best stay away.
With a unique art style, effective use of sound and plenty of lore, Heart of the Forest is well worth checking out if you're a fan of visual novels and the werewolf genre itself. It's just a shame there wasn't more of it.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest wants to immerse you in a thriller, where the decisions and the ending are your sole responsibility.
Review in Greek | Read full review
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of The Forest offers adventure and visual novels fans a slow buildup of character development, interpersonal relations, and plot, then a really quick finish with an anticlimactic ending that left me wondering, "Was that it?" Its saving grace is that you play through more than once to see where you can take the decisions and how your character will end up.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest has an intriguing atmosphere and there are many choices that can affect the outcome of the story. Sadly, the story isn't all that memorable.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Wolf has a lot of promise, starting out very strong but it's ultimately let down by what feels like a very rushed last couple of chapters. The characters, the setting, the atmosphere and the writing are all on point which is what makes this feel like a sadly missed opportunity to make an all time great. Here's hoping they flesh out the next one.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is a decent visual novel that starts out strong but loses some of its appeal due to how rushed it all ends up feeling. There's a fantastic premise here with an atmospheric setting, some strong characters and plenty of decisions to be made that feel genuinely important to how your character develops. However, the speed at which it begins to introduce new situations, characters and mechanics in its final chapters before coming to a surprisingly premature end takes some of the shine off what otherwise could have been a properly top-notch effort.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is a disappointingly brief and unengaging role-playing game in a format that doesn't lend itself to engaging gameplay or deliver on a satisfying narrative. While there is potential under the hood, I can't say I enjoyed playing very much at all.
Ultimately, I’m probably expecting a bit much for a three-hour visual novel, based on a pen-and-paper tabletop game, to engage with a subject on a meaningful and nuanced level. The developers have succeeded in doing the Werewolf: The Apocalypse property justice, and the game’s presentation is distinct, interesting, and often brilliant. However, there are so many high quality visual novels that do have the thematic depth and quality, and are written in such a way that they don’t come across as condescending. Heck, there’s another werewolf story that does all of the above on the Nintendo Switch in Raging Loop, but does it better, so there's a direct alternative available. That being said, I’d love for this developer to get another shot at the Werewolf: The Apocalypse property, and for them to handle the writing with that little bit more maturity that would elevate it and make it something special.