Winter Voices Prologue: Avalanche Image
Metascore
47

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 4 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Summary: A drama is unfolding in a tiny village buried in snow, lost in the depths of a Three-River Principality valley. A sudden death, a now-hostile home, new sensory capacities rising like a storm and the departure towards the unknown, the only means to escape besides death, has become inevitable...The newly-orphaned heroine is pushed to leave her father’s village by the voices of her unconscious mind. The long journey to find answers will lead you through many events to overcome anger, sadness, pain and fear and finally unveil what is whispered by the voices of Winter. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Oct 25, 2010
    50
    Quotation forthcoming.
  2. Jan 2, 2011
    45
    Winter Voices is sadly too slow and the buildup doesn't pay off in the end.
  3. Dec 16, 2010
    30
    In the end, despite the inkling that the designers had a couple of good ideas rattling around in there somewhere, Winter Voices simply fails to be much fun. Perhaps later iterations in the series will polish the AI, make combat more exciting, and fix the writing… but we doubt it.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Jul 27, 2011
    9
    First off, I'll start by saying I created an account here specifically to counter those "critics" low review scores. If I can take a quick second to say the representatives of gamezone and games radar wouldn't know a creative game with a well made story if their life depended on it. I'm sure they suffered massive brain damage from childhood so I'll leave them alone for now. I'm angry at them (and myself) for passing on this game at first because those guys made the metacritic score so crappy, I've learned my lesson on passing up games from that arbitrarily pointless score alone.

    Alright, on to my actual review. First off, I'll talk about the story. It's amazing. I haven't found myself so interested in an RPG's story in a long time. The protagonist is one of the most relatable characters I've ever played as (I should mention that I'm a guy, so it's not just because she's one of the few female characters in a game world that isn't there just for nerds to fap to). The dialogue is well written for the most part, but occasionally it gets a little wonky. That's to be expected though, it was originally written in French and translated to English, so it's forgivable. Also, some of the characters' dialogue (mostly the enemies) is written sort of like poems, which MAY annoy some of you (I'm certainly no fan of poems, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story one bit).

    The gameplay is very original, I can honestly say I've never played an RPG quite like this. Pretty much every aspect, from the battles to the stats and abilities are a means to drive the story forward. For much of the game, you are not able to directly damage your enemies, which means you'll have to run from them while using abilities and accomplishing a goal outlined in the beginning of the battle. The battles, at least for the first few chapters, are mostly metaphorical. You spend the first episode battling your inner demons while later episodes introduce "real" threats. The battles are admittedly slow paced (especially the first few hours. It gets better once you talk to the Volva. I played until right before that part and wasn't sure on whether I enjoyed the gameplay so I put it away for a week or two, but the story was compelling enough to warrant another look) and some of the battles can be a little boring (I'm talking about you, "Survive X amount of turns") but if you have something to read (which I highly recommend for the first few hours, and for a lot of Episode 1) for the more boring battles it's hardly noticeable. Also, once you make it to Episode 2 the more boring battles from the first chapters are practically non-existent. The stats and abilities are impressive in how they tie in with the theme of the game, and actually help to drive home the story simply by existing. The abilities are extremely extensive, there are well over 100 different abilities to choose from to create a character to suit your playstyle. All in all, while not perfect (and occasionally frustratingly difficult), the gameplay is enjoyable. Also I should point out that they're working on a big patch that will most likely fix many of the big complaints regarding the slow pace and the difficulty of certain levels, so some of the negative points I made could become irrelevant in a few weeks. The background art is fairly detailed, it has a nice hand painted feel to it. The soundtrack is fairly extensive, it's a little bit hit and miss on a few tracks but there wasn't any track that was particularly annoying for me, they all fit the theme of the game very well and for the most part they're enjoyable. Also, they add new tracks as you go through the episodes, which is a nice touch. The character models themselves could use just a bit more detail, but they're not half bad either.

    Now for the negative bits. It's buggy. Not so buggy as to become unplayable, but it will occasionally crash after playing extensively. Because of auto-save, that's normally not a problem but if it happens during a battle (which it has for me once) it can be annoying to say the least. Also, there's this annoying glitch during the third episode where if you use the ability fairy tale while a Din is on the map, they will randomly kill you with a 100,000 damage attack. Hopefully that will all be fixed with the latest patch. Also, there's no way to change the camera angle. For the most part it's not necessary but on certain levels it can be an annoyance. tl;dr: Winter Voices, while it has it's flaws, is an amazingly fresh take on the RPG genre with original (albeit slow paced) gameplay and a well written and engaging story the likes of which haven't been made in a long time. I applaud beyondthepillars for making such a uniquely original game, and it deserves more love than it gets. Beat the prologue, if you like it try the first 2 episodes(the episodes are shorter and they get better as you go along)
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  2. Sep 11, 2011
    8
    I picked up Winter Voices off steam on a whim, and have been pleasantly surprised by this little game. I have begun purchasing the next installments, so that I may step further along in the story. There's no real flashiness, no boom boom, no insane adrenaline rush that makes your mind and pants explode while you blow stuff up. What this game has is subtlety, immersion, challenge, and a stark beauty. The scenery is more like a painter's palate than a collection of pixels; the sound track is haunting; the story has a depth most games never strive for. There are certainly ticks that keep this game from being perfect, but if you wish for a game that will take you on a little journey, then it is certainly worth it. Expand
  3. Apr 7, 2013
    8
    This is a game worth at least trying out, as it shows you an entirely different way of thinking of the whole notion of the RPG as more of a physics puzzle game based upon a skill tree than any standard dungeon grind. It's impossible to say that this is a wonderful, much less perfect, game, but it also tries to do something so ambitious that I can't help but cheer for it in spite of its many flaws.

    Those who ding this game for its slowness certainly have a point, and most of it seems to be flaws with Adobe AIR, the game's poorly-chosen engine.

    However, part of the slowness is also deliberate. It's a deeply psychological game, built around a core of the sense of loneliness and isolation, even from those who should be friends or even family. It was also a deliberate choice that all your "psychic powers" are themed around psychological "defense mechanisms" and coping strategies of the traumatized.

    "Deliberate" is also probably how best to describe how anyone really getting the most out of this game will play. Unlike so many "tactics" or "strategy" RPGs, this is a game that really asks you to take your time and think through all the consequences several moves in advance, like an overly elaborate game of Chess. In the hardest levels, you win by out-thinking how the predictable AI will move, and skillfully guiding the predators chasing you into blind corners or otherwise trick or trap them. It's a game that will make you genuinely feel clever when you figure out how to succeed.

    It's also, however, severely buggy especially because of Adobe AIR and some levels can seriously take minutes to even start the mission just because the engine is so inefficient, it can't even load the map.

    The game has an unforgiving side, as well. Skills bought on the skill tree are permanent, and the game likes to spring surprises on you where suddenly, some skills are disabled, and a build that was powerful before suddenly fails you with no recourse but to reload from much earlier in the game to build an entirely different character.
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  4. Jun 20, 2013
    8
    This game is a thoughful and strategic delve into a depressed girl's mind. Basically, her dad's dead and her mother missing or something, and she is slowly going bonkers.
    Right off the bat, the games turns super depresso sad Twin Peaks, and you get a taste of combat: Escape from the blobs. Yes, mostly blobs, that's what the enemies are.
    And these blobs are really dumb they harrass you with all of this poetic crap and stand on plot-important squares.

    With the newest build of the game, these are not problems so much, and much of the music has been fixed, but sometimes I wish I could kill at least one enemy. But still, it's a psychological and thoughtful "game" with a nice twist on the "control a team of kill everything" trope of the Strategy games. It also taught me what the word "volva" means and that's certainly something.
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  5. Dec 9, 2010
    8
    Yes, the Game has Bugs, and yes the Engine is not the best and yes, it's a very slow-paced Game. But the Story and the progress of the Subconscious of the Character, makes this Game on the one side Special and Innovative and on the other addictive, because you have the Feeling that the Heroine is your own build of a Human. Give the Game a chance, you won't regret it, if you can overlook some shortcomings in Games. Expand
  6. Mar 25, 2011
    7
    A short version of the review I originally posed on the Steam forum for this game. Poetic story and beautiful visual art creates a moving and deeply engrossing story worth your time and attention. Ponderous game play and remaining bugs detract significantly from the immersion. Luciano Pavarotti supported by an orchestra of pots and pans. Overall score a 7/10 because I value creativity over execution. Expand
  7. Nov 5, 2012
    4
    well, must say it: it's not a game. it appears to be more an interactive movie with turn-based rpg elements. you know, i'm always with indie developers, i always appreciate hard creative work which someone did, but we need to be honest with the result. so it has nice graphics, nice sound, probably a good story, of course. but it lacks of experience in game development and mechanics, which makes it hard to enjoy. it is not slow, as some mentioned before; it is just not a game, because there is a difference between storytelling in games, interactive movies, movies, and literature, for example. take the dramatic intro sequence. how long it takes to see the menu, at all? how long for the gameplay? why not telling the story in-game? why so many decision messages between single moves? inexperience game developers always try to put everything in their games. narrators and narration are something you must be careful of, in games, because games makes a difference to radio, literature or movies. imo the game lacks of a good art or gameplay director, of game dev experience, which means: there should be someone who knows how to put story, graphics, sound and gameplay together for a game. story and graphics does not make a game. if you need an inspiration: take "the walking dead" game, which is a solid adventure game. Expand