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This is a PC/Steam game based on the best-selling role-play game Werewolf the Apocalypse

❖ Genre: Visual Novel, Adventure, RPG
❖ Tags: Indie, Visual Novel, Interactive Fiction, Story Rich, RPG, Narration, Dark, Atmospheric, Werewolves
❖ Release date: Q4 2020 ❖ Platform: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
❖ Languages: English,
❖ Links: differenttales.com/werewolf/
❖ Discord: discord.com/invite/worldofdarkness
❖ Developer: Different Tales
❖ Publisher: Walkabout Games

 

Short description & plot: Do you hear the roar? It raises from within you. Thrown into an eternal struggle between nature and humanity, you will turn your rage into a weapon and uncover the secrets of your ancestry.

Welcome to a narrative adventure game based on the legendary role-playing system Werewolf: The Apocalypse. You play as Maya, a woman in her twenties from the United States, who is searching for clues about her family in the last primeval forest of Central Europe.

What she doesn’t know is that she will find herself in the middle of a conflict between forces beyond her understanding.

 

Characters:
Maia, the protagonist. A young American woman with Polish ancestry. She is haunted by strange dreams and vaguely aware of the mysteries that surround her family. Maia comes to Bialowieza to learn the truth about her origins, and about herself.
Anya, Maia’s friend from Norway, a fellow student who came to Poland to study medicine. She’s an activist.
Bartek. Maia’s Facebook friend, son of an influential local businessman. Knows a lot about local history.
Daniel. A local tourist guide. He knows the forest and its legends better than anyone. Daniel is a nice guy, but Maia can’t help but feel there’s something wrong about him.
Kornel. A German eco-activist who came to Poland to save the Puszcza from deforestation. Ex-military who chose to abandon violence.
The Puszcza - (?)

 

Game Mechanics:
When playing through the game, you need to mind your statistics as they determine your available choices and influence the overall presentation of every scene.
Rage is your main resource. The higher your Rage, the more go-getting and aggressive you become. However, this makes your perception quite binary, and you become unable to see all the shades of grey. Low Rage brings empathy and openness but also makes you fearful and less willing to act.

Willpower is the resource you need to control yourself, and also to not get carried by your Rage. If you let it drop to zero, you won’t be able to deal with many problems and situations. You gain Willpower by exploring the world, becoming better acquainted with it, and understanding it.

Personality describes the kind of person you are in the game world. There are 5 auspices available, which determine the ways you can approach any character, obstacle, or situation.

 

Early in the game, your personality will be shaped by your natural choices. Later on, you will have to choose your auspice and determine your true nature.

New Moon: A child born on the new moon is destined to be a master of stealth, trickery, and guile. Such werewolves are known as “Questioners of the Ways,” and they are granted latitude to break — or at least bend — the rules of Garou society that other werewolves are not. A new-moon werewolf is called a Ragabash.

Crescent Moon: The wan light of the crescent moon illuminates the spirits and the riddles they tell. Garou born under this moon are ritualists, spirit-masters, shamans, and mystics. Such Garou is called Theurges.

Half Moon: The werewolf born under the half-moon is a judge and balancer. Caught between extremes — man and wolf, Garou and human, adaptation and tradition, spirit and flesh — such Garou have to be able to make wise decisions on behalf of their fellows. Such a werewolf is called a Philodox.

Gibbous Moon: The ample, but not quite full, the light of the gibbous moon shines on the Garou destined to be storytellers and lore keepers. Such werewolves are renowned for their memories and their creativity, and among the People, are called Galliards.

Full Moon: Garou born under the full moon are spirit warriors, the deadliest and most vicious of their kind. A werewolf born under the full moon is called an Ahroun. 

 

Why we chose Puszcza Bialowieska as the setting:
The Bialowieza Forest, also known as the Puszcza or Puszcza Bialowieska, is one of the last primeval forests in Europe, located in Poland. It’s a special place where nature exists in its most primal form right next to the big industry.
The Puszcza is a vast area full of myths and legends, which you will also find in our game. The first people settled here 2,000 years ago, but their presence remained relatively limited. This makes it a perfect setting for a World of Darkness story.
The forest is where the wild survive in large part because of human influences, as in the light of the changing climate care and protection are absolutely crucial for the ecosystem. In recent years, large protests were held in the Puszcza against deforestation. This lets us ask questions that have always been relevant to Werewolf: The Apocalypse.

Where should our interference in nature end?
Aren’t we morally bound to interfere?
How far would you go for a good cause?

 

What real-world legends and events we used in the demo:

The Barrows. This is a real resting place of a tribe that lived in the Puszcza 1,500 years ago and mysteriously vanished.
http://scienceinpoland.pap.pl/en/news/news%2C414046%2Cscientists-discovered-barrows-and-outlines-of-ancient-fields-in-the-bialowieza-forest.html

Kazan the Wolf. Kazan was the most famous wolf in Poland and the symbol of protection over his endangered species. In 2001, he died after caretakers failed to notice he was wounded in a fight against another male wolf. Please see the translated article from the Bialowieza Forest Encyclopedia:
https://translate.google.com/translate?source=osdd&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fww w.encyklopedia.puszcza-bialowieska.eu%2Findex.php%3Fdzial%3Dhaslo%26id%3D214

 

Places of Power. There are numerous legends of Places of Power located across the Puszcza. In the 1990s, diviners from around the world used to gather in the forest and search for these sites of magic. This google image search will show you how they look in real life:
https://www.google.com/search?q=miejsce+mocy+bia%C5%82owie%C5%BCa&source=lnm s&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiAipuI0bvqAhW1w8QBHXSfBssQ_AUoAXoECBgQAw&c shid=1594141840800359&biw=1680&bih=971

What are werewolves and Werewolf: The Apocalypse ?

Werewolf is a mythical creature: a human able to shapeshift into a wolf beast. In the early mythos, wolfmen were believed to be sorcerers using devilish magic to transform themselves into animals. The legend evolved and in the modern myth lycanthropy (the werewolf disease) is believed to be spread by werewolf bites. The transformation is said to occur during the full moon, and the only way to kill a werewolf is to use a silver bullet or blade.

This is not to be confused with a real clinical condition called lycanthropy. It’s a psychiatric syndrome characterized as a belief that one can transform into an animal.

 

Werewolf: The Apocalypse is a legendary role-playing game first released in 1992 by White Wolf. The player becomes a Garou, commonly referred to as a werewolf. Their kind is locked in a two-front war: against the spiritual desolation of urban civilization, and supernatural forces of corruption that seek to bring about the Apocalypse.

The game takes place in a fictional version of our Earth, a secret world, where werewolves, vampires, and other legendary creatures secretly live beside humans. However, it's a dark reflection of our world filled with corruption, apathy, violence, and hopelessness. The setting is also described as Gothic-Punk.

What is World of Darkness ?
World of Darkness is one of the most important role-playing brands, which revolutionized the genre in the 1990s. It was the first to shift the focus from mechanics to narrative and storytelling, and to present the world from the perspective of monsters, portrayed as tragic figures. Games set in the World of Darkness universe soon became incredibly popular and made a lasting impact on pop-culture, changing the perception of legendary creatures.

 

Follow Different Tales:
● Website: differenttales.com
● Facebook: facebook.com/differenttales/
● Twitter: twitter.com/differenttales

About Walkabout Games
Walkabout Games is an independent game studios collective from Central and Eastern Europe. We provide support and guidance while ensuring your creative freedom. Our goal is to help produce and publish fantastic gaming experiences. We focus on ambitious, mostly story-driven and open-world projects.

Follow Walkabout Games:
● Website: walkabout.games
● Facebook: facebook.com/WalkaboutGames/
● Twitter: twitter.com/Walkabout_Games

Games Gazette's View
This is not what I personally call a game. It's a written story book with excellent and atmospheric illustrations . . and questions! Now apparently known as a 'Visual Novel RPG'. Many years back I played numerous game books, like the Fighting Fantasy™ or Lone Wolf™ books and they were enjoyable, mainly because I was travelling a lot and they were portable. On the computer these story-games are often as good, if not better, story-wise, but because they are not truly portable (even if you have a laptop) sitting at a PC in front of your screen, just reading and pressing the occasional mouse button, takes away the play anywhere aspect, and that's a shame.

Please don't misunderstand my not liking this game style on the PC with me thinking it isn't good at all. I like the split screen with the story text in short paragraphs on the left page and specific illustrations on the right side, it gives the impression of a book really well. I find that the story is deep, and written in a style designed to ease you into it smoothly as it unfolds and your new life begins to unfurl, often according to the answers you give to the questions.

For the role-playing aspect of the game your character builds through the story and your answers, though about 40% of the time you have no options to select from (no questions or answers), and all you can do is click on the final 'highlighted' sentence to continue onward to the next page.

This review is of the Demo version that only had the Prologue (Premonition) and the first Chapter (Arrival) with a few simple missions. It tested me personally on a couple of questions, delving into my psyche to understand what sort of person I am (or at least the personna I presented to the game). 

It took me around 30 minutes to complete. At the end I was given a run down of how my character had done and what type of person she had become. My assumption is that she would carry these values through to the next Chapter and so on until the story has been completed. 

For me, this shortened edition was enough, but I can see, though maybe not understand, the appeal of it to players used to playing solo games.

It is due out in the fourth quarter of this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015