Seems like I’ve had a lot of “interactive graphic novel” games for the Nintendo Switch fall into my lap lately. Granted several of them are ports from other systems. Nevertheless, it’s probably a market well suited for the Nintendo Switch’s portability feature. The latest one for the Nintendo Switch hits the eShop next week entitled Winds Of Change. It’s been on Steam PC since August of 2019 and has racked up a lot of optimistic reviews. I just recently started to “play” it, for lack of a more meaningful word, and I wanted to convey my initial thoughts which are all quite positive!
A “Furtastic” Start!
Okay, please forgive me but I can’t seem to stop with the “fur” puns. The best being a “Furry Tale”, which I can’t take credit for. The reason being, if you didn’t notice the banner graphic at the top of this review, that the main characters of this interactive graphic novel are all feline-based.
The story behind this interactive graphic novel is solidly based in a Fantasy setting. The story is told in first person and third-person perspectives. It all begins in a too often used and familiar way. “You” as the player character start the game with a faulty memory. You are the last Seer, the Chosen. It’s your sacred vow to ensure peace and goodwill prevail in the world. You’ll end up leading a rebellion to reclaim peace from a set of unjust rulers.
The story goes so far as to borrow just a smidge from the likes of the tales of King Arthur and Excalibur. In Winds Of Change, the “Blade of Exodus” takes center stage. It once belonged to The Triumvirate themselves. The opening chapters seem to indicate that the key to victory may lie in using their own weapon against them. But who can wield such a blade?
While this all sounds like a familiar story the question is why has this game intrigued our interest early on?
Things We Like Early On
The first and foremost is the artwork. Each of the main feline characters we’ve seen thus far is drawn with a Disney-like sensibility and likeness. In fact, within the early hours, we’ve played Winds Of Change we’ve seen no reason why this game isn’t appropriate for and can’t be recommended for an older young gamer!
The dialog by the main characters is fully voiced featuring top voice talents from the industry. This helps liven the pace between sections of typical novel text. It takes the boredom out of it becoming a complete visual novel game. There are also dialogue choices you make to affect the story, the first being whether you yourself are male or female.
There are also points in the story where you can enter an exploration mode. This is part of the interactive experience that borrows from our favorite point-and-click adventure games. The game also does a good job of not reusing the same static scenic art and assets over and over. In doing so the graphic novel seems almost animated and lengthy sections of text to read are kept to a minimum.
The “+” key brings up a submenu that allows you to save progress, see the history of the current scene, check preferences, etc. So far the game plays flawlessly in docked and undocked mode.
Whether you call this an “interactive graphic novel” or a “graphic adventure novel”, etc. it doesn’t matter. Winds Of Change shows enough promise early on to keep us energized to pursue the story’s end. If you want to take a light-hearted break from the typical, “infuriating” hack-and-slash of typical games then pick up Winds Of Change for a pleasant “change” of pace!