The Winter Tower Review


Revenge is going to taste so sweet


Released: November 22, 2022
Available on: Steam
Genre: Visual Novel
Developer: EVERIUM
Publisher: EVERIUM

Lately, I have been playing some of the free games I’ve had on my wishlist for a while now. I thought perhaps this is the year I’ll finally play those games and get them off my wishlist. If not to finally play them, but so people won’t question why I have free games on my wishlist.

The Winter Tower puts you in the shoes of Ekaterina and we jump in right into the action. It turns out that Ekaterina is in a classic evil step-mom situation with a side of evil step-brother. Ekaterina is the daughter of a Lord who married Melissa sometime before the events of the game. However, who is going to be named as the heir is up to debate. Igor, Melissa’s son, is the oldest and thus would traditionally be named the heir, but Ekaterina is his child by blood so she should be the heir. Due to this, Ekaterina’s father was going to name the heir himself, but he suspiciously got into an accident before he could. While her father was unconscious and bedridden, Melissa took control of the castle. No doubt to enact decisions that her father can’t reverse. Except, there’s a little speed bump in Melissa’s plan, otherwise known as Ekaterina. Melissa tries to solve this by giving Ekaterina an ultimatum: get married or have the coming of age ceremony. Ekaterina, of course, chose the later.

We don’t get to see Ekaterina’s interact much with Melissa or Igor, but I don’t blame her for hating them. Especially when it’s implied that Melissa got with her dad mainly because she was so confident Igor would be the heir by default. Not to mention she wants to force Ekaterina into a marriage.

Every family has their own coming of age ceremony and for Ekaterina’s family it’s to live in the Winter Tower for a whole year. Wouldn’t Melissa have free reign to enact her plan to take over her family’s castle though? Don’t worry, Ekaterina already had a plan for that. She even took into account the possibility of being poisoned or having assassins sent after her. Anyway, all Ekaterina has to do is stay within the Winter Tower’s grounds. Easy. Or that’s what she thought before she learned that none of the doors are opening. Luckily, she does discover the entry to the cellar which, in turn, led her to discover someone else that has taken refuge basically underneath the tower. He’s quite a mysterious fella and reads Ekaterina like a book, but she eventually convinces him to help her out. In return, she’ll look after him and won’t betray him. You get to learn his name, Alexis, while also being roped into another situation: elves. And since Alexis says taking care of the elves means looking after him…Ekaterina has to take care of them as well. Through her stay at the Winter Tower, she’ll learn about the magical aspects of her world as well as experiencing some interesting events.

I honestly liked The Winter Tower. It has a nice writing style, nicely paced, and has an interesting story that had me engaged throughout its short runtime. Ekaterina is absolutely a girl boss and I really liked her for that. She takes nobodies shit while also being able to grow, understand why she upset someone, and tries to better herself after she apologizes (depending on your choices). Meanwhile, I liked Alexis who is pretty much a mystery for most of the game. He plays off of Ekaterina really nicely, I liked how he introduces all this magical stuff, and the voice acting tied to him is pretty nice. The art was also nice, though I couldn’t help but laugh at Melissa’s character art. It’s just how ridiculous her outfit is.

There are dialogue choices you can make and they’re used pretty well. There is, of course, a correct answer for each, but choosing wrong will either skip a couple lines or a scene…or cause a bad ending (which is kind of funny). The bad endings were good and there’s even one that’s a delayed bad end. There’s two good endings, with one being the better of the two, which are pretty good as well. And talking about that, I did like the ending. I do wish we got some more interactions and more romance though. Ekaterina and Alexis had a great buildup to what would be their romance arc. So much so that the ending, which would otherwise feel anticlimatic, feels like a fitting end.

The only thing is that there were some confusion with how certain things were written. Like I have no idea why, but I thought Ekaterina’s father died instead of just being bedridden. You also get to learn about Ekaterina’s father’s past in relation to how he was named heir and that whole situation was pretty confusing as well.

There is a side story meant to show you what happened after the ending, but I didn’t end up buying it. This is partly because I’m only interested in the side story and not really interested in having the OP/ED music, artbook, or the bloopers (sorry).

Verdict

While I wouldn’t categorize The Winter Tower as an otome visual novel, it was overall a good game. Ekaterina being forced to do the coming of age ceremony at the Winter Tower, meeting Alexis, and experiencing everything she did was an interesting story, I really liked Ekaterina and Alexis as characters, the writing style is nice and nicely paced, and the art was nice. Not to mention the voice acting that accompanied Alexis really helped in endearing him to me. The only negatives is that I wished it was longer and that some things were confusingly explained. If you have a few hours to spare and want to fill that in with a visual novel, check out The Winter Tower. It’s free, so why not!

RipWitch

♡ ♡ ♡ A witch that goes for anything that peaks her interest no matter the genre. Currently obsessed with the Persona series and trying to make a dent in my backlog. ♡ ♡ ♡

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