Publisher: Crunching Koalas
Genre: Adventure, Other, RPG, Visual Novel
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 12
Release Date: 14/02/2019
Price: £17.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
“A mature take on Cinderella that’s all about player choices and shaping the famous fairy tale in any way you like.
Cinders is a witty young woman living with an overbearing stepmother and her two daughters, as if she was re-enacting a certain well-known fairy tale. But unlike its protagonist, Cinders is not afraid of taking fate into her own hands. Even if it means breaking the rules…
The game takes a look at four women and what made them who they are. It’s a story about freedom, dreams, sisterhood, and finding your own Happily Ever After that may not exactly agree with the stale morals of classic fairytales.
With multiple endings, 120 decision points, and over 300 choices, Cinders gives you total control over the main character’s personality and how her story unfolds.”
Cinderella is a tale as old as time. The well-known fairy tale has been adapted and retold many times over the years, from the darker storytelling of the Brothers Grimm to the magical animations of Walt Disney. The developers over at MoaCube have managed to create a visual novel that is a grittier, more personal twist on the classic Cinderella story that at times is more grim, than magical.
Gameplay & Replayability
Cinders follows the story of Cinder in a dark retelling of Cinderella. Through the choices you make you discover a deeper side of Cinder and her resentful family. Depending on your choices, you can find out her sisters’ insecurities and the true nature of her mother’s strict rule over Cinder and her step-sisters. This is where the writing and narrative of the story shine and make for an interesting game. The interactions between Cinders and the side characters, however, are less interesting, with many characters following pretty cliched roles. There was a specific character arc with one side character, in particular, that was so cringy that I wanted to skip the dialogue altogether.
The game has four unique endings with a multitude of variations depending on the variety of choices you make throughout the game. Without spoiling too much due to the nature of the game, the outcome for Cinders can vary significantly in rewarding and punishing ways. These endings are shown in the menu, with specific rewards given out to the player if specific conditions are met. The game might warrant multiple playthroughs if the player wants to unlock all of the rewards. The game does give you the option to skip all repeated dialogue from previous playthroughs, which helps to keep the game from getting too stale after you finish the game.
Audio & Visual
Within minutes of starting my playthrough of Cinders, I immediately fell in love with the art style. The picturesque backgrounds and character models that artist Gracjana Zielinska created are stunning. Many of the environments could very well be paintings that I would proudly hang around my house, and I would find myself stopping and just looking appreciating the scenery before continuing the story.
The classical soundtrack fits the setting and is pleasant to listen to, if not a bit repetitive, especially after more than one playthrough.
Cinders is a gorgeous looking visual novel thanks to Gracjana Zielinska, with an in-depth look at the relationship between Cinders and her usually one-dimensional family and story that can change drastically on how you choose to play as Cinders. Some cringe-worthy and bland writing mars cinders in terms of side arcs, but if you have a few hours to spare, or want to see all that Cinders has to offer it, then this game won’t be a waste your time.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Cinders from the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Cinders-1510134.html