Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest
A comfortable, solo TTRPG experience that's accessible and well written.
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 is a bold introduction to the eco-friendly side of World of Darkness. Also, there are werewolves.
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.
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.
A well-done and intelligent choose your own text adventure set in the venerable World of Darkness Werewolf RPG universe makes for a satisfying bit of interactive fiction.
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.
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
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 wants to immerse you in a thriller, where the decisions and the ending are your sole responsibility.
Review in Greek | Read full review