I actually first played this last weekend - but I feel asleep while playing. I'm blaming tiredness not the game, but I guess my overall impression, now that I've finished it (all the different ways you can finish it) is that I'm somewhat disappointed.
The game itself is quite simple, clean, and pretty. But...
a. I had trouble with the cursor - it's movement never felt smooth and I often overshot what I was aiming for. I'm not sure if this was just a "bad port" issue? (I think that the native version of the game is touchscreen, which makes more sense)
b. I was super excited the first time I finished the game - I got a book with a code! It went on a shelf in the game and I was invited to explore further stories/playthroughs. The number, if I recall, was a five-digit one and it game me the impression that, well, there were thousands of different stories (playthroughs). Furthermore, you're invited to visit a site, input your code and you can buy a book! (physical or digital, your choice) Wow! I was so impressed - and it's such a neat idea. Like a little storybook you can have. I imagined people buying the book to gift to little kids and such. But then, as I played through again, and again I realized that the number is a gimmick. There aren't really thousands of different games. In other words, there aren't that many playthroughs, in fact I completed them all in 90 minutes or so. This was such a disappointment! Now, it's not that the playthroughs were bad or anything like that - just that I thought the game was so much more than it ended up being. Sigh. This is like a No Man's Sky of branching narrative games.
c. I think it was neat how each playthrough acknowledged previous ones and there was also an effort to shorten some parts that would have been really boring to play through so many times. It sort of skipped ahead (for example the moment when you take fire from the fireplace, the first time you play there's more dialogue and stuff - after that it just skips to the moment when one of the burly men has the torch). It doesn't skip EVERYTHING, and some scenes started to get really long in the tooth (burly men sinking in the ocean particularly), but I did appreciate the attempt to make things shorter than the original playthrough.
Videos of this game looked really cool. That's the only reason I bought this game.
Having played it for (only?) a few hours, I'm surprised by a few things:
a. It's really hard. I just don't seem to get it - in terms of how to best control the car, control my turns and acceleration and what I think are the basic game controls. I bombed the tutorial. My score was in the bottom 5% of all scores! (I eventually got it up to the 45% percentile but that was many attempts later). It's just hard. For me. Which I'm interested in - personally - because I feel like I'm really in the dark as to what I should do to get better at the game.
b. There's an "overworld" which is how you get into levels and also how you progress in the game. Zones are gated and in order to lower the drawbridge to the next zone you need to complete a bunch of objectives in a zone. THESE I CAN DO! And, I enjoy just driving around each zone and trying to get the objectives complete - the objectives are generally gameplay related (drift in circles around this thing, drift under this other thing) - but since there's no time pressure I can take my time, plan my route, try again and so on with a lot less pressure and, I must say, a bit of fun.
c. So, the overworld/zones I enjoy playing in, but the levels themselves are a disaster for me. It's very sweet/sour sort of experience and I wonder how better players feel about the overworld. For me it's not easy, but I have enjoyed it - will better players find it a cakewalk and a boring grind?
I finished this last weekend and I have to come clean on a few things:
The game's first two chapters didn't really impress me all that much, but once the game gets going - it really moves along quickly and with fun twists.
It's interesting to compare this game to other games with branching narratives - e.g. the Telltale Games - in this sense, the butterfly effect stuff is interesting in how it provides context as well as memory, you can read the entries to remember what has already happened and stuff like that. They also do the "previously on..." segments (much appreciated) like Telltale did, but the butterflies add a lot more.
I was curious to see if the butterflies would influence me towards/against certain decisions or not. I don't think it did, and I think that's a good thing here.
The one thing I was confused about where the detailed stats for each character - I looked at them a few times, and saw how certain choices made things go up/down (you get an "updated status" message) but I didn't get a sense that the stats mattered all that much.
Once you're done you can go back and replay chapters - but you have to do them from the start. So, going back to try things differently, while possible, felt more onerous than I was willing to go for. On the other hand, replaying definitely goes faster (and you peek behind the curtain - e.g. quicktime events that don't really matter).
I played the entire game worried that someone would die at any moment. I don't think that's possible (most deaths are probably in the last three chapters or something like that), but the illusion that this was possible definitely enhanced the experience for me. A lot.
I made it with only two deaths. I mean three. I thought this was pretty good because one was "on purpose" - I did something I knew was a bad idea...
I've been playing this on the phone a little bit here and there. It's essentially a rogue-lite (you can purchase stuff that carries over). It's cute, and it can get challenging, but I'm not all that excited.
Well, there are lots of different characters, and the game incentivizes finishing dungeons with more than one, BUT there is a grind to get loot to buy decent starting equipment for them which is a bit of a drag. On the other hand, each character has different abilities (that you unlock as you level up within a dungeon, you always start at level one) which provide different tactical opportunities. Overall, I think I might stick with it until the end - but for one character. I may not if I get to a point where it feels to grindy.
The story? Some sort of forest creatures, and time travel and all woodsy? I haven't paid much attention and it seems mostly a bit...boring? Maybe there's a big twist somewhere along the way. So far the "sprite" (sproggy?) that tells you what to do is very suspect...