Forest Guardian is a lewd visual novel about a merchant’s encounter with a misunderstood forest spirit.


At-a-glance


(Adult) Content?
(FxF) Sexual content.

Censorship?
No. Woot! Woot!

Hours of Gameplay?
Three or four hours.

Modding Support?
No.

Patch Available?
No, not necessary.



Foreword

I originally published a review for Forest Guardian on March 30th, 2020. I have updated that review, to reflect my thoughts on this game as of September, 2020.

Gameplay

The only button you need to know is the “Space” key. There are no choices to make anywhere in the story. I think this what is called a “kinetic visual-novel”.

Yes! This is a game you can play one-handed!

Story

In a nutshell. . .

On her way to deliver the goods, a merchant travels cuts through a woodland and passes out. She is rescued by a local woodland spirit. As they get to know each other, this merchant finds out a thing or two about her own sexuality, and two ladies become a little more than friends.

. . . out of the shell

Anna’s a travelin’ merchant. She’s managed to get her hands on golden spices, a coveted commodity. She needs to reach her destination (and deliver the goods) as soon as humanly possible. She decides to huff-it through a nearby forest, only to be stopped by a concerned villager. She speaks of a legend, a warning about the “Forest Guardian” who will attack (and kill) anyone who enters her land.

Anna doesn’t listen and she enters the forest anyway.

She succumbs to a chilling night and general exhaustion. She passes out, and is sheltered by Maya. She’s a kitsune (or fox girl), a friendly forest spirit. She’s unsure why Anna and the villagers fear her, but that’s to be discovered later. She is the forest’s avatar, but when and why that’s the case escapes her. As the story progresses, she hints a troubled past (which is best left undisturbed). Of course, her past doesn’t stay that way.

And what unfolds is a bittersweet love story between two unlikely companions.

Visuals

The titlescreen beckons with promise. It is attractive, clean and easy to navigate. The in-game interface appeared a little less professional. From “Settings”, you can control audio, display and text preferences. From “Gallery”, (previously encountered) CGs can be reviewed (and the user-interface is automatically hidden.) Sex scenes cannot be viewed without crafty use of the “save” system.

Now a word about the character portraits!

I was disappointed by the character portraits. Something about the shading threw me off. Though they are high quality, they just didn’t strike me as “top-notch”. Each character had one pose, and a few facial expressions. Only the main protagonists got portraits, and everyone else was represented with head-shots (or no image at all) — I call that cheap.

The Goods

The CGs are static and fullscreenable, and they are very high-quality. There’s a handful of female-on-female action scenes, but they are short, and few and far between (and very tame). The sex-scenes lacked visual variety, each using a narrow range of base CGs.

Verdict

I would wait for a good sale. Given the content and price tag, I think this game is somewhat overpriced. While Forest Guardian does contain sex-scenes, I would not consider it to be an erotic novel. This is wholesome story about fear, friendship and love, and the sexy-time comes naturally as a result of the main characters’ interactions.