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Winter Voices: Avalanche

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Windows
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Description

Avalanche is the first episode of, and the prologue to Winter Voices, an RPG released in seven separate instalments. Set in an unknown, snowy village void of all forms of technology, the player controls a 24 year-old girl right after the death of her father. After dealing with the cremation she gets to move around in town to talk with the villagers, she has to live with her grief, and she needs to find out more about her father's history. Her emotional journey after the death is where the RPG elements are introduced. Moments where she is overcome by memories or feelings are turned into turn-based battles with a grid-based overlay. The way you choose to deal with the feelings is reflected in the skills that are used and is also determined by the direction you take in the snowflake-shaped skill tree. Skills are for example called resignation, rebound, unaffected, emptiness, betrayal or consolation, and from that initial choice a deeper personality is developed.

Walking around the environments is done in real-time. The girl can have conversations with the villagers with multiple dialogue options that lead to different outcomes. There is no looting, weapon collection, or any form of item gathering, and experience is gained through events. Next to picking a new skill with each level progression, the girl also gets to distribute points among the six main attributes: humor, will power, memory, perspicacity, charisma and intuition. At the start of the game there are also three classes to choose from: huntress, weaver or volva. Some battles take place in the real world while others transport the girl to a parallel fantasy dream world called The Seid.

Battles are not based on aggression and defeating enemies. Opponents are often abstract shapes named after emotions such as regret or terror. Generally they cannot be attacked directly. Instead the girl needs to survive a number of turns or escape. Not all battles need to be won to progress. Most of the girl's attacks are in the same vein. They allow her to push enemies back, reduce the damage they deal or stun them (as in forgetting a memory for instance). There are many temporary effects as well and it is also possible to summon creatures that help defend the girl usually by draining enemies and pushing them away. Next to general energy (energy points) the girl also has movement points and psyche points (to be used for skills). These are partially or completely re-generated with each turn.

Screenshots

Winter Voices: Avalanche Windows Parts of the story are shown in text
Winter Voices: Avalanche Windows Here the goal is simply to survive for a while.
Winter Voices: Avalanche Windows The large and complex skill tree
Winter Voices: Avalanche Windows Moving back in time to when she was still a little girl

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The Press Says

Gameblog.fr Windows Oct 14, 2010 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Gamers Daily News Windows Oct 21, 2010 7 out of 10 70
Legendra Windows Feb 17, 2012 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
GameZebo Windows Nov 11, 2010 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
Gamekult Windows Oct 25, 2010 5 out of 10 50
GameZone Windows Dec 30, 2010 4.5 out of 10 45
Games Radar Windows Dec 02, 2010 3 out of 10 30
HonestGamers Windows Oct 01, 2010 3 out of 10 30

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Contributed to by Sciere (249839)