“Frozen In Time” – Frozen Essence (VN) – 8/10 Black Cats

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates. ~Thomas Szasz

Genre: Mystery/Romance/Fantasy/Action/Supernatural

Review Status: Complete

Licensed: It’s licensed and free for download at http://games.renpy.org/

Art/Animation: Not too shabby! The art is clean, vibrant, and nice to look at. There’s a large variety of character designs and nice backgrounds. It’s not as professional-looking as it could be, but there’s very little to complain about. This being a VN, there’s really no animation to speak of, but the transitions are very nice. My only issue was with the ‘slap’ effect- it was far too often and in some inappropriate places for the story. I was quite annoyed by it by the end.

Voice Acting: There are no voices in this, just the dialogue and background music.

Summary: You play a girl that has been trapped for 1000 years, but is suddenly released from her prison of ice. When she wakes, she has no memory of what happened or who she is. With three guardians and an oracle that make it their business to protect her, she tries to discover who she is and what happened so long ago…

Review: This is a full-on VN, with many endings and an interesting storyline. The thing is that when you have more than one path to follow, you not only need to make the beginning interesting (and it is), you need to make each and every potential path have something to draw you in. This VN has them. With 14 different endings, you need them! There are so many choices that affect what is going to happen to you. There are certain things you need to do to get certain paths, and the variety of choices and events that happen based on them and when you choose them is astonishing!

Each path involves you getting close to another character. Each path has unique things revealed about the story, and you will learn about the pasts of those around you as you get their paths. Getting the paths in the first place can be an… interesting experience. Some are far easier than others. Some require some smart thinking for your choices. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell which path your choice will lead to. But regardless of the path you choose, you will discover more about the circumstances surrounding your identity.

Each person you choose for your path is well-developed. Some are great guys. Some… not so much. You can’t tell who is and isn’t until you’ve pursued their paths. It fleshes them out in terrific ways, and they’re all quite different and unique to each other. Their paths are as varied as the characters. Some of the good ends are downright gloomy, while the bad ends can get dark. There are some good ends that I wasn’t entirely fond of, to be honest, because they seemed as dark as the bad ones in their own way. That’s okay, and the variety of paths means that I am okay with that. There’s always another one to check out.

Overall, despite some of the issues with transitions, and the occasional repetitiveness of gameplay at certain points, this is one of the best free VNs out there- definitely worth playing.

Recommended:
13+. There is some mentions of being grabbed inappropriately and some rude comments, there is also the risk of death/imprisonment/etc for you and for other characters.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (manga)
Hanasakeru Seishounen (anime)
Ouran Host Club (anime and manga)
Fuushigi Yugi (anime and manga)
Ayashi no Ceres (anime and manga)

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