“Lost In The Forest” – Spero: The Forest Dwellers (Visual Novel) – 7/10 Sunflowers

A virgin forest is where the hand of man has never set foot. ~ Author Unknown

Genre: Fantasy/Action

Review Status: Complete

Licensed: This is available for free download on Ren’Py

Art/Animation: The art is decent, nothing spectacular but nicer than some of the other VNs I’ve played. It looks like it was done in Paint (though far more skillfully than anything I could do).

Summary: The forest has been sealed for ten years, but one day, one of the forest dwellers discovers a young boy within the gates. A dark creature is after him, and she must protect him and restore him to his home.

Review: This is a very short chapter in what looks like a far more expansive story. It’s short, with only 3 endings (good, bad, and true), and is a little rough around the edges. Some of the dialogue and writing needs clean-up and a proofreader. I winced more than once at the punctuation. At the same time it does some nice things with the dialogue choices – depending on what you choose you might end up unlocking some new things to talk about!

When I say that the story is far more expansive than what we have here, I mean that the background given on the characters and situation is spare and blatantly clues you in that there’s a larger story going on. The True ending also implies that the main character has a hidden background that is important to the kingdom, and leaves off on a bit of a cliffhanger about it. It gives the impression that it will be continued in a later VN, but so far there’s no sign of one.

But what is here is fairly standard for a fantasy. There’s a lost prince, a deadly danger, and someone who’s called on to protect the boy. I like how it does a few things differently than a typical fantasy, like the main character is a female warrior, but it’s no big deal; it’s just part of who she is and what she does. I would have loved to see more of this world fleshed-out, because this is very bare-bones; you get to the main quest right away and it takes maybe five minutes to finish the whole thing. There’s a lot of playability to try and get the different endings, but without more reasons to care about the characters I’m not feeling as entertained as I really want to. When I have to ask ‘so what’ about saving someone, it’s not a good sign.

Overall,  it’s still a solid VN. I definitely appreciate the groundworks for the story being told, and while it’s not perfect, it’s entertaining enough where I’m looking for more!

Recommended: 10+. This is a fairly standard fantasy title, and the ‘bad end’ isn’t violent or gruesome.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Seirei no Moribito (anime)

12 Kingdoms (anime)

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