Cinders is technically a mature take on Cinderella as it tells the story of a witty young woman living with an overbearing stepmother and her two daughters. Unlike the classic fairytale, Cinders will take her fate into her own hands.
Cinders is a game from the visual novel genre; meaning that gameplay is delegated to reading the story and making a handful of decisions that will impact the game’s ending. You’ll spend your time reading and learning about the various characters that Cinders come across.
As with most visual novels, Cinders features choices to make throughout various conversations; decisions that will impact your relationships with the various cast of characters, but will also determine the heroine’s faith, personality and the game’s ending. Cinders feature a hefty 120 decision points and over 300 choice options; leaving plenty of room for replay value.
An unfortunate omission here is the fact that the game lacks an Auto function for the text; meaning you constantly have to press the A for the text to progress. It’s a bit annoying and having an Auto-scroll function for the text would’ve given it a more book-ish feel: sit back, get your feet up and read. Instead, you have to press A every time you finish a sentence.
In your reading haste, if you press A too quickly and missed a few lines, you can use the LB button in order to rewind the conversation a bit and get caught up. However, please note that it doesn’t work after making a choice so you can’t change your decision. But the game has a few save slots, so you can save your game before making a decision and reload if you’re not happy.
Cinders looks great; it has an à propos fairytale flair; very unique and colorful backdrops as well. Characters however are a bit creepy looking; reminiscent of creepy, horrifying dolls you’d find in an old antique shop. Also, Lady Carmosa, the evil stepmother, looks like a clown… literally thanks to her makeup. And there’s surprisingly quite a few areas to visit for a visual novel. The soundtrack feels appropriate given the setting; some of the same sound loops come back too often though. It won’t win awards, but it’s enjoyable and soothing for the visual novel experience.
To be honest, Cinders is one of the most enjoyable visual novels I’ve had the chance to review; a new take on a classic fairytale is an interesting way to go; it feels familiar and new at the same time. Thanks to the bevy of choices, replay value is through the roof, but as with any visual novel, it sometimes feels tedious going through the “same” story again, even if it leads to a different ending.
**Please be aware that you might never be able to reach a certain ending. My decision led me down a certain path and during the final chapter, The Outcome, the game threw a fatal error where it stopped me from reaching the ending. I don’t remember all of the choices, but be aware that could possibly happen to you as well (which explains the final score).
- Interesting take on a classic fairytale
- Lack of auto scroll
- Creepy looking characters
- Chances of the game fatally crashing