Loren The Amazon Princess + The Castle Of N’mar DLC
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

The storyline in Loren the Amazon Princess really sucked me in and the cast of memorable characters kept me hooked. The turn based combat also turned out to be surprisingly fun and the game has a ton of replay value. Hopefully with the Steam release the game will receive the attention that it deserves and open the flood gates for more Winter Wolves titles.

Gameplay: A very nice fusion of visual novel and role playing.

Graphics: Although there is no animation the artwork is beautiful.

Sound: Good sound effects and some very memorable tunes

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Loren The Amazon Princess + The Castle Of N’mar DLC

Developer: Winter Wolves | Publisher: Winter Wolves | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Indie / RPG | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

When the queen of the Amazons disappears under mysterious circumstances, it becomes the duty of her daughter Loren to take up the position. However, Loren is more concerned with finding her mother than filling her boots and decides to mount a search party. Instead of queen she becomes an outcast with only a loyal servant to help her on her quest.

In an interesting twist, instead of playing the feisty Amazon your character is actually a male human or female elf that was raised in servitude to the Amazons. You get to choose your gender, class and back-story before embarking on the quest of a lifetime with Loren.

Loren the Amazon Princess is a unique mixture of visual novel and role playing which makes for quite an engrossing experience. Despite the somewhat clichéd nature of the storyline I found myself sucked in right from the beginning by the excellent writing. It took me about 17 hours to complete the game and DLC but at no point did it become boring or repetitive which is saying a lot considering the amount of text in the game.

Most of the time in the game is spent reading but thankfully the conversations are interesting and often quite humorous depending on the situations.  As a princess, Loren has led quite a sheltered life within the confines of the Amazon Citadel so stepping out into a world that doesn’t obey her every command is quite a shock to her. The player character starts out as quite subservient to Loren but as the adventure unfolds there is some nice character progression. You also meet other characters that can be recruited to your cause and by the end of the game I had a small army of party members to pick from.

You can only have six characters in battle so as your party grows you have to make some tough choices. Characters that do not engage in battle do not earn experience points except from completed quests which can make things very tricky in situations where your party has to split up. The turn based battles has a nice old school RPG vibe and assembling the perfect group of fighters, thieves and magic users is a lot of fun.

Each class has their own skill trees and characters each have 13 armor slots so the RPG system is quite in-depth and not just something that has been bolted on to the visual novel system. There are three difficulty settings to choose from and you can save at any time so the game is as easy or difficult as you want it to be.

The game runs on the Ren’Py Visual Novel Engine but features some sumptuous character artwork. The original release contained some risqué content in the form of skimpy outfits which has been censored for the Steam release but this honestly did not detract much from the experience for me. If you prefer the original version you can actually download the demo from the developer’s website which will detect your Steam purchase and enable you to play the full game in all its uncensored glory.

All the locations in the game are accessed from a map screen but each area usually only consists of one or two static background images. There is also a lot of recycling so all taverns, dungeons or forests pretty much all use the same background images. This might make the game sound very limited but the descriptive text actually help to bring these scenes to life without the use of animations. Unfortunately if you don’t like reading this is probably not the type of game for you.

Between visiting new locations and fighting evil creatures you can set up camp and chat to your party members for more insights about their personal lives. I found this aspect of the game very interesting and every single one of your party members has very rich back-stories. They all have personal quests as well which they will reveal provided they trust you enough. These quests are harder than normal as you have to complete them with only two party members but the rewards are worth it. I found most of the party members to be very likeable and well written with even the surly ones at least interesting. You can also engage in a romance with some of the party members and the game does not discriminate when it comes to genders. You can only choose between replying in a joking, friendly or forceful manner when addressed but once again the quality writing makes up for the lack of direct input. Your actions do have consequences though and the game has multiple endings so there is plenty of replay value.

I found the audio in the game to be pretty good and some of the tunes are actually quite memorable. Thankfully none of the sound effects or songs are annoying either and even after many hours of playing I still found myself humming along to certain tunes. There is no voice acting apart from the battle cries and phrases that party members utter during combat but considering the amount of text in the game this is hardly a problem.

The Castle of N’mar DLC is available for purchase alongside the game and is definitely worth the extra cost.  It might be labeled as DLC but with four new party members, new romance options, new locations and new story content it is actually more of an expansion. As the game was originally released in 2012 with the expansion a few months later it can hardly be classified as “day one” DLC either. Apart from the more modest character sprites this Steam release also feature achievements and trading cards which is always a nice addition.

Loren the Amazon Princess is a game that ticks all the right check boxes when it comes to a gripping high fantasy story and despite the rather niche market for visual novels it is a welcome addition to the Steam catalog. It is obviously a game that is not going to appeal to everyone but fans of the genre will definitely have a lot of fun. I played one or two Winter Wolves titles in the past but Loren the Amazon Princess definitely exceeded my expectations and I found myself returning to the game even with other work piling up on my desk. Check out the demo if you want to make sure that you’ll enjoy the game as it gives a nice overview about what to expect but don’t blame me if you end up just as hooked as I was.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: 1Ghz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL compatible card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 150 MB available space
  • OS: Mac OS 10.4
  • Processor: 1Ghz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 150 MB available space
  • Processor: 1 Ghz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 150 MB available space

Related posts

The Yawhg

The Yawhg

We were surprised at how short a single playthrough of The Yawgh is, but with more than 50 endings, you'll definitely want to complete it more than once. The randomly generated story has a surprising amount of depth, and the gorgeous artwork by Emily Carol is a definite plus. The Yawgh is best enjoyed with a group of other players, so if you are a solo player, the experience is just not the same. Gameplay: While the game is short and simple, it does have tons of replay value. Graphics: The visuals are great, and Emily Carrol provides her signature artwork for the game. Sound: The game features a moody soundtrack that adds to the ominous vibe.

Beat Da Beat

Beat Da Beat

Blast away aliens that move and attack to the beat of some great Dubstep tracks in this addictive bullet hell shooter. The game is no walk in the park and with four difficulty settings as well as ten ships to unlock it will keep you busy for a while. Being a fan of EDM obviously helps, but the charming pixel art style visuals and relentless action is what kept us coming back for more. Gameplay: As simple as dodging bullets and grabbing coins. Graphics: Retina searing colors and flashes, but very nice overall. Sound: Your personal music taste will determine whether you like the Dubstep soundtrack or not.

When Our Journey Ends – A Visual Novel

When Our Journey Ends - A Visual Novel

When Our Journey Ends follows the adventure of Mariko, a high school student who ends up stranded at an unfamiliar train station on her way home one day. She quickly discovers that it is not an ordinary place and learns about the spirits that dwell there. This visual novel features a unique graphical style, with lovely animated backgrounds, but it is rather short and the main story is not as fleshed out as much as we would have liked. It does feature a number of side stories that take place after the main story, but even with these the game is over way too soon. Gameplay: Short and lacking in meaningful choices. Graphics: Interesting character spirits and beautiful animated backgrounds. Sound: English voice acting for all the characters and a very decent soundtrack.

Car Detailing Simulator

Car Detailing Simulator

Car Detailing Simulator is a relaxing game with plenty of tools to help players restore dirty, scratched-up cars to pristine works of art. The focus is purely on cleaning, so even players intimidated by the complexities of mechanic simulator games can have fun with this one. By its nature, the game can become repetitive, which players might find either soothing or tedious, depending on their tolerance levels. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that cleaning cars is very satisfying, and building up your bank balance as well as reputation while moving up the ranks is an enjoyable experience. Graphics: The game features plenty of detailed cars that can be cleaned inside and out. Sound: The music is nothing to write home about, but the sound effects are spot on. Gameplay: Despite a lot of repetition, cleaning cars is a relaxing and satisfying activity that can quickly hook players.

Undertale

Undertale

Undertale looks like a traditional retro RPG, but beneath the surface lurks a captivating and emotional title that isn’t afraid to subvert expectations. Playing as a young child trapped in a world of monsters, players are free to try and befriend everyone or do what any good RPG hero would do and slay them all. With its unique combat system and quirky cast of characters, Undertale is one of the most memorable and interesting takes on a well-worn genre and should definitely not be missed. Gameplay: Undertale plays a lot like a traditional RPG but isn’t afraid to subvert expectations at every turn. Graphics: The visuals are distinctly retro in style but pack plenty of charm. Sound: Undertale features a wonderful soundtrack with plenty of memorable tunes.

Knot

Knot

Knot is an enjoyable puzzle game that is based on interlocking burr puzzles. It's a decent-looking game, but the control scheme leaves much to be desired. With 40 puzzles on offer, the game can be completed in a few hours, but considering the low price tag, it is still something that will keep puzzle fans entertained despite the niggles. Gameplay: The concept is very enjoyable, but the controls let the game down. Graphics: The puzzles look great, and the wood, stone, copper, and other materials for the textures add some visual variety. Sound: Although the soundtrack is quite relaxing, it's not very varied.

Leave a comment

three × five =