PLAY JUNIPER'S KNOT BEFORE YOU BUY THIS GAME!
Juniper's Knot is another game created by the same people that made Dysfunctional Systems, and is legally free to download for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS at Dischan's website
. It's pretty short, and should give you a good idea whether or not you'll actually enjoy this game.
You'll probably notice that there was no sort of interactivity involved in playing Juniper's Knot, aside from clicking to progress to the next line of text. This is more or less how Dysfunctional Systems plays, except this game actually has moments where you get to choose from a short list of options what you (Winter) should do. However, there aren't many times you actually get to do this, and it is actually possible to play through the entire story by only making a single decision. All of the choice moments in the game are placed together around half-way through the game, and they only lead to two endings. The ending you get is determined entirely by whether or not you can convince your mentor (Cyrus) to listen to what you have to say, and not do what he initially decides he should do in order to solve the problem he's given. I wouldn't consider either ending to be a "good ending", but I suppose that's why this is only the first episode in the series.
As for how the game looks and sounds, the artstyle is similar to Juniper's Knot's, and you can listen to the ost on YouTube, so you can decide for yourself if you like those parts before you buy the game. If you really like the sountrack, you can find all 18 tracks in both flac and mp3 format in the game's files.
This game is short. I'm not a fast reader, but I played through this the first time in only about two and a half hours, then about another hour to get the second ending. You can get more playtime by going through all the routes for the achievements for a little extra replayability, but there's a guide on the game's community hub that'll tell you exactly what routes you need to go through to unlock all the achievements.
As of today (January 5th, 2014), it is unknown when/if the second episode will be released. In fact, it was recently announced that Dischan is halting development of the game due to poor sales of the first episode. Because of this, do keep in mind before buying this game that not only are you not getting the complete story, but that it may never be finished. However, aside from the short length and lack of a "good ending", the game still stands on its own well enough that it doesn't need another episode, though it would still be nice to see what happens next.
Posted: January 5th, 2014