‘Chronotopia’ is an upcoming visual novel by French indie developer studio, Träumendes Mädchen. Chronotopia is the studio’s first commercial game, having released a number of short free games over the last few years. At the beginning of the game our character wakes in a dull desolate place, struggling to remember who they are. A young girl tells the MC that they must travel through various worlds to collect memory fragments and ultimately remember who you are and move on. The ‘world’ that the game focuses on is that of the fairy tale ‘Donkey skin’, a French story published in the very late 1600s. For those (like me), who hadn’t heard the story before, let me give you a quick run down. Long, long ago there was a kingdom that was prosperous beyond compare, due to a famous donkey who pretty much shat gold. The kingdom’s queen was beloved by all for her intelligence, kindness and beauty, but when she died unexpectedly, the king fell into a deep depression. After many years he was persuaded to choose another wife, which is when he set his eyes on his daughter…which is where we come in to save the princess!
What really stood out about the game was how beautifully haunting it was. The character designs reminded me of gothic storybooks and the music created such a mystical atmosphere. Even though I didn’t know the story ‘donkeyskin’ before I played, I think that worked in my favour, if it had been a story I knew very well like ‘Snow White’ or ‘Cinderella’, I would not have been as intrigued with how the plot developed or the thoughts and feelings of the various characters.
The game is a visual novel so a majority of the gameplay is reading and occasionally choosing dialogue options. However ‘Chronotopia’ does feature some point and click elements such as investigating rooms and solving puzzles. I really enjoyed these short breaks from reading, and it made the play through feel a lot more dynamic.
There’s really not too many ‘cons’ to discuss about the game. The demo took about an hour to play through which was quite a decent amount of time to get to know the story.
My only issue was I couldn’t quite work out how to get the ‘good’ ending. I tried a few combinations and kept getting the bad endings. Although that’s more on me not being able to work out the correct options. Whoops ignore this, there’s only one ending available for the demo!
According to the game’s Kickstarter, the full game is set to have 30 hours of gameplay with three romance routes. Romance will not be at the forefront of the game, as the game will focus on saving the princess, but there will be two GxG routes and one GxB one, and don’t worry, the GxB one isn’t with the father!!! The game is planned to be released in March 2019, and it’s going to be hard to wait so long! I’m very excited to see how the full game turns out and hopefully be able to get a happy ending for the princess.