A Winters Daydream developed by Ebi-hime and published by Sometimes You is basically a Visual Novel being released on October 8th 2019 for consoles. It has been available on Steam since this time last year and looks to be priced at about £5. Now straight away, that price should tell you a lot about the game. Well, I say ‘Game’ but there is no gameplay involved whatsoever.
I have played a lot of Visual Novel titles over the last 12 months and although I wasn’t a fan at first, the genre has really grown on me and I have learnt to appreciate the talent involved in the creation of these games, but also actually being able to interact with the story as it unfolds. A Winters Daydream is a title that under everyday circumstances would have killed the genre for me!
Nineteen-year-old Yuu can’t stand his younger sister, Otoko, and the feeling is mutual. It’s been almost a year since Yuu saw her last, having escaped his dreary home town to study in the bustling city, but with the advent of New Year’s he finds himself obliged to return to his family to celebrate.
Unfortunately, Yuu’s absence has not softened his younger sister, and Otoko is just as sullen and surly as ever before.
Finding the atmosphere at home unbearable, Yuu decides to escape once more — not to the city this time, but to his grandmother’s snowy, secluded village.
The reunion between grandson and grandmother starts normally at first… until one moonlit night, when the pair witness a star streaking through the sky.
The following morning, Yuu enters the kitchen, still half-asleep, to discover…
“Who are you? What are you doing in my grandmother’s house?”
…that his grandmother has transformed into a cute young girl!
What is the reason behind his grandmother’s drastic change? Will Yuu be able to restore her to her original self? And why is she so adorable?!
If I want to take time out and read a story, I will pick up a book; the last thing I want to do is sit for 4 hours reading my TV screen, in fact after the first 15 minutes I had started to fall asleep. Luckily you can skip through text with the use of the X button and I found myself doing that. The story in no way excited me, it was dull and I just kept hoping for something to do which never happened.
The characters that are used in backgrounds to the text as well as the backdrops are simple to say the least, I have seen a lot better, however, for once fully clothed. That being said, in almost all Visual Novels I have played through in the past, there is some movement from the characters on screen even it is just a pair of boobs jiggling up and down slightly. A Winters Daydream delivers dead emotionless characters on screen not adding to the story at all and the very few backdrops are basic at best.
It boasts a story of 50,000 words, but did drag and felt like at least double that. If you are going to make a Visual Novel, give it a voice or two! Get some voice actors in to deliver the story to the players because boasting 3-4 hours of pure reading in a game is painful to the customer. I ended up just skipping through massive chunks of text as the writing was nothing special and didn’t keep me intrigued. All that being said, they did reward me with a platinum trophy just for suffering the torture of the whole thing.
If you do want an easy platinum trophy then by all means, waste your money on this and just sit there hammering the X button for 15 minutes to skip the entire story which isn’t really worth reading and hey presto.
Now, personal opinion time, I know Steam will literally allow any developer to showcase their talents, or lack of in a lot of cases, but how the hell Sony and Microsoft have allowed this on their stores is beyond me. There are a lot of struggling developers out there that are working on much better titles than this and Sony or Microsoft don’t want to know or they have to fight for 6 months or more to pass quality checks, so how the f**k did this one slip through the net? It should have stayed on Steam or at best, port it over to mobile devices as they’re known for easy money making releases.
Avoid this game if you ever come across it. Its not worth wasting your money on it, go buy a book instead, I can recommend some great authors (3 of which write for this site including myself).
2/10 just for the effort that has gone into the basic artwork.
**PLEASE NOTE: AIR Entertainment were supplied with a review copy of the game, I think you can guess by my review that this has in no way influenced my opinions as per our Review Policy**