Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest Reviews
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!
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.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest is a bold introduction to the eco-friendly side of World of Darkness. Also, there are werewolves.
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
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.
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 comfortable, solo TTRPG experience that's accessible and well written.
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 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.
This is by far one of the best, if not the best visual novel I have played in my gaming career. Meaningful choices, engaging story, beautiful artwork supported by atmospheric music – it all makes Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest a fantastic game. It is such a shame it is such a short experience, but thanks to its impressive replayability, its shortness does not hurt as much.
Review in Polish | Read full review
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Going in with very little knowledge, Werewolf: the Apocalypse unfolded in a way that, while expected in retrospect, took me by surprise and kept me on the edge of my seat.
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?
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.
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.
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.