Without A Voice is a short and sweet (or tragic) visual novel about a princess’ encounter with a strange lady, who’s more than meets the eye.
Hours of Game-play?
No, not necessary.
I’m impressed that the developers behind Without A Voice haven’t charged a penny for this game. Granted, you can support them by purchasing the companion artbook, but this is a well received title that’s worth something. This is a great entry into visual novels, for someone who wants to get their toes wet without breaking the bank or uh, bustin’ a boner. This particularly read wasn’t up my ally, but I still had an alright time playing through this game to write a review.
Now, if only the developers were to pursue something a little more. . . adult.
. . . in a nutshell
Consult my article on visual novels.
out the shell. . .
Smash through text boxes, and decide what the main character says (or doesn’t say) here and there. Depending on your actions, the story will end in one (of eight) ways. This novel is divided into seven chapters, each representing another day. Each chapter kicks off with a poem of sorts, to set the mood.
. . . yes, this is a game you can play one-handed.
Princess Cassidy lives deep in the woods, exiled from her kingdom. Following the death of the previous ruler, Cassidy was next in line to take the crown. Unfortunately, she was deemed unfit to rule, and her life was endangered. Her Brother Alexander exiled her, (supposedly) for her own safety. She subsists on regular deliveries for (from Alexander’s agents). One morning, she finds herself without firewood. As the next shipment is days away. she leaves her cottage in search of firewood. Instead, she meets Elowen.
Cassidy immediately has the hots for Elowen.
She’s infatuated by her looks, and years of exile have made Cassidy lustful for social interaction. Elowen is long time denizen of Cassidy’s neck of the woods. She’s in tune with nature, and helps Cassidy survive without taking more than she needs. Unlike Cassidy (who is naive and not-too-bright), Elowen is extremely blunt. She’s a no-crap sort of person, and sees through Cassidy’s every insecurity. Cassidy is lonely, and in love. Elowen appears to share the same sentiments, but something about her is. . . off.
What happens to Elowen is up to you.
The titlescreen shows promise, with a pretty background and user interface. “Options” allows you to adjust a variety of resolution, sound and visual settings. “Extras” acts as a gallery (to review unlocked CGs) and houses a wide variety of bonus content. The user interface cannot be hidden when viewing images in the gallery.
The artwork is great. It is very painterly and stylistic, a fresh breath of air from swaths of anime-style visual novels. There were a few times where a portrait-styled image broke my immersion, but most of the artwork is designed to fill your screen (without ugly borders).
Pick up the game and give it a go. If you don’t like it, boo hoo (it was free). Though the length and writing left something to be desired, it’s otherwise a sweet (or tragic) tale fit for an afternoon indoors.