Arcana: Heat and Cold. Season 1 is a lewd visual novel about a young “spellbreaker” that wants nothing more than self-respect, but winds up in a grand adventure instead.


At-a-glance


(Adult) Content?
(FxM) Sexual content.

Censorship?
No. Woot! Woot!

Hours of Gameplay?
Four or five hours.

Modding Support?
No.

Patch Available?
No, not necessary.



Gameplay

Walk from point “A” to “B” and mash through text boxes. Arcana: Heat and Cold. Season 1 is a linear point-n’-clicker game with heavy dialogue. It’s necessary to collect information, items, and to employ one of two “magic” to advance dialogue (by drag-‘n-dropping the correct icons into the dialogue boxes.) Don’t bother exploring the game if you’re not asked to: outside of a hidden nude in Chapter One, you’ll only be wasting your time. While it would seem that you have a choice in how the story unfolds, choice is an illusion (and the devs weren’t afraid to say so in one of many nuanced, fourth-wall breaking dialogues.) There are a total of eight “chapters” to see, each building on the last — I suggest playing them from start to finish for the best experience. There’s a sex-scene for every chapter, and they can reviewed as desired from the “Gallery”.

Story

In a nutshell. . .

The main character (whom represents you) is a newly recognized spellbreaker, a prestigious class of magic user specialized in dispelling dangerous spells or magic-related illness. Arcana: Heat and Cold. Season 1 follows an adventure he has which starts with a doctors visit, which leads to a surprise encounter with a hidden (and super sexy!) fox tribe, which ends with a narrow escape from the law (or so he thinks!) Nearly every woman he meets winds up stripping down and sucky-sucking for one reason or another — it’s safe to say, all of those years studying as a breaker of spells payed off!

. . . out of the shell

I think the main character is supposed to represent you, but for the purposes of this article I’ll be giving him a name. Let’s see here. . . he’s a man, and he breaks spells for a living. . . ah! For the purposes of this article we shall refer to him as “Spam”, short for “Spamagi”.

And this is why they pay me big bucks.

Spamagi is a spellbreaker, he has a humble a dream; to be rich, respected, and revered as a member of the magic community. His journey begins with doctor’s call. Vayne’s daughter has a bad case of “Arcade Allergy”, causing her to spout nonsense as her body becomes super-charged with volatile magic energy. Arcane Allergy is an illness brought upon severe emotional distress.

To get the bottom of Diana’s distress, Spamagi does some. . . sleuthing.

He pokes around her possessions and flips through her erotic fiction. Inside, she finds a letter from her sister, Eleana. She wishes for Diana to visit her in the coming week, at an undisclosed secret meeting place. Spamagi uses this knowledge to determine the correct magic runes to cure her. Diana begs him to visit Eleana in her place, since her parents would never let her leave the house.

— and before he leaves they fuck because her parents won’t let her out of the house.

Spamagi arrives at the designated spot, only to be confronted by Miley Tai, a fox-lady demanding payment. After a long, spiteful exchange and failed extortion, she reveals that her tribe chief is very ill — based on her description of the illness, Spam determines that it must be another case of Arcane Allergy. Miley strongly encourages him to help her tribe with a little foxy hanky panky.

About five minutes later, Spamagi meets with Diana’s sister, Eleana (as originally planned.)

He delivers a note from Diana, and they part ways when he realizes that Miley robbed him blind. With nothing to his name, he sets off to build a home with one-hundred sticks. Eleana offers to house him for the night, in exchange for information about her family and sister. On that night, Spamagi breaks into her neighbor Theon’s apartment in search of a functional bathroom.

He gets caught browsing through his mail (and narrowly escapes a shanking.)

Theon explains that it was he who convinced Diana’s father to hire a spellbreaker in the first place, and that he was secretly hired by her father to maintain Eleana’s safety and report her activities. After an insightful night (and a three AM fuck-session with Diana’s sister), Spam meets with Miley once again. He reclaims his property, and they head on over to her camp.

For Miley’s retrogressions, Spamagi punishes her with an anal thrashing.

They do so in a secret cave that (supposedly) only Miley knows of, only to be shut inside with no means to re-open the door. Spam manages to locate a secret entrance and two fumble in pitch blackness. They are abducted by a spider woman, whom desires only Spam’s “gift” — his penis. Before she is able to finish him off (in more ways than one), Miley kicks her right off his dick!

That sounds both super badass and super painful. . . for him.

They escape from the spider-lady’s cave and into a locked cell. It doesn’t take Miley long to figure out that they are at her village, just inside their prison. Miley decides to take Spam to meet the village deputy, who explains that the cave was actually the tribe’s bomb shelter, and the spider-lady was hired to protect its contents. Once they establish that Spamagi is what he says he is, the deputy agrees to let him go provided he cure their chieftain from her illness.

She. . . mistakes him for someone and whips him with a wiener-shaped whip.

The deputy concocts a plan: by equipping Spam with a pair of fake ears, she hopes to fool the chieftain into not attacking him. It doesn’t take her long to see through her disguise, but he finds out that the chieftain despises an unknown human from her past. After a long (and unfruitful) exchange with the deputy, Miley comes to the rescue with the information he needs; the chieftain was once married to a human, and he left her for a hideos orc (because the chieftain was, and still is incredibly conceited and hot tempered.)

With this knowledge in hand, Spam is able to identify to correct runes to do away her with her Fever.

Before he leaves, they fuck! Spam receives his payment, and he is escorted from the village by Miley. Shortly after they say their goodbyes, he is pursued by a squad of armed soldiers. He is pulled inside a nearby bush and experiences an absurd (and very lewd) episode that involves screwing Diana’s mom and some totally subtle fourth-wall breaking dialogue. When he wakes up, he realizes that Theon had clocked him over the head to keep him from screaming (and giving away their position). As he explains there’s no time to explain, he skulks away from the guards as Spamagi follows.

. . . and just like that, the game ends.

Visuals

The titlescreen and user-interface look great! Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed by the fancy interface (fit for a professional production). You may adjust audio and display preferences using the function keys (as stated from the titlescreen). However, I would have much rather seen a traditional “options” menu in addition to keybindings. You can review sex-scenes from the “Gallery”, complete with dialogue. The artwork and interface are bomb, but the in-game sprites fall flat for me; I’ve seen them before, and as they are not fully original the sprites seldom match the hand-drawn artwork that represents them.

The Goods

There are eight sex-scenes to see, each including several panels of static CGs arranged in a comic book-style. I wasn’t a fan of the presentation, but the artwork is stellar and the panels look great. Seven of the scenes showcase consensual sex between the protagonist and one of his clients, typically as a form of “payment” for services rendered — there is one rape scene, but both parties enjoy the action (and it’s not rape if you like it!) Half of the scenes involve a human lady, and the other half some form of monster-girl (generally a fox-girl, or in one case a spider-girl).

Verdict

I definitely recommend this game! However, it’s important to note that Arcana: Heat and Cold. Season 1 is less a game and more a visual novel that plays like a game. The funny thing is, there’s virtually no need for the “game” part at all — Arcana: Heat and Cold could have been a visual novel and virtually nothing would have been lost. The story goes through many twists and turns, and each chapter builds upon the last (leaving one interested in what happens next.) It was a delight touching on previous chapters long after completing them, as previous events were tied together with creative exposition. Full price or not, I think this is a worthwhile buy.