Let’s get this out of the way: Winter With You is not a game in any sense of the word. For those of you who might be new or unfamiliar with the Visual Novel genre, this is (as advertised) a kinetic VN. That means there’s no interaction beyond clicking the mouse or tapping the enter key to advance text. As such, this is going to be reviewed much more like a book than a game moving forward.
The story follows Naoki, a guy who thinks he just caught his girlfriend cheating on him around Christmas, and his seemingly chance encounter with Yume, a bubbly blonde. The story itself was written in Russian (or some other Cyrillic language, apologies if I’m wrong – I have very little knowledge on them) and translated to English. I’m inclined to say that this wasn’t a machine translation – it’s very good, but there’s a handful of spelling or syntax errors. They were nothing that I’d call problematic; I had no issues understanding what was going on, or the intention of the speaker, but they were noticeable. The backgrounds are very detailed, and the CG’s are lovely. There’s a noticeable step down on the character art in non-CG instances, but it’s at least at the standard of an average VN at all times, and generally a touch higher. The voice work is solid, as is the soundtrack, and definitely a cut above the standard quality of the majority of indie VN’s.
It touches on themes of commitment and growing up, and is very well-done, but again, this is a kinetic novel, so there’s no choices to be made, even cosmetic ones. You spend a lot of dramatic time with your girlfriend, and a lot of lighthearted time with the other girl. All of this feels like perhaps it could have worked as a very basic (and more traditional) visual novel, and left me feeling more curious about what it could have been, rather than what it was. I enjoyed the story itself, but it did end a bit abruptly, though really..if the worst thing to be said was “I wish there was more of it,”…that’s not really a condemnation, is it?
If you like the kinetic style of VN, this is definitely worth your time.
To purchase Winter With You, click here.
The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.
The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.
When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.
Reclusive by nature, The Chuck is (like most semi-feral creatures) reward-driven. Approach with caution and some form of treat.