- Cinders's personality is up to the player via dialogue choices
--> Consistency is rewarded, while random personality choices don't serve as well
- The art is beautiful, from the backgrounds to the characters
- Morality is ambiguous, unlike what you expect from fairy tales
- 4 different endings, all with many variations
- The dialogue flows well and is interesting to follow
- The stepsisters and stepmother are relatable, vulnerable people with real problems
- Branches in the storyline feel like they matter for the events that happen no matter what
- Two different forces of magic can help Cinders for the ball
--> Both have a connection with Cinders's mother and provide different background info respectively
- All the characters have issues to work out, the relationships Cinders makes from the player choices feel like they develop in a realistic way; nothing feels forced, like in the fairy tale
- 3 different goals for Cinders, not just marrying the prince and living happily ever after
- 3 different love interests
- Can re-watch endings and variations after you unlock them, very high replay value
- Skip function for dialogue you have already read
- No tedious stat building!! :)
- Cinders's name... It's a bit difficult to take a scene seriously sometimes when characters call her "Cinders"
- The game doesn't tell you what personality you have stacked or what progress your relationships are...so sometimes it's hard to know how to progress and confusing if a certain dialogue option doesn't work
--> Leads to lots of trial and error
- Failing to get the variation you want can be a bit frustrating for completionists
- The music isn't too memorable
- No homosexual romances, all 3 love interests are male
- No customization of how Cinders looks
- No voices
This is a wonderful, extensive visual novel and possibly one of the best I've ever played. I've always criticized Cinderella as a character for being one of the most passive protagonists in the history of fairy tales, but in this game you can make her to be the woman you always wanted her to be. She also doesn't always have to marry the prince and sometimes the ending isn't going to be happy. You could even die and have no one mourn over you. The possibilities are vast, giving it lots of replay value. All the art is gorgeous to look at as well so oftentimes I just stop reading and take in the scene.
The developers were right in advertising this game as a "mature" take on the fairy tale, as all the characters are ambiguous. You can never truly figure each of them out and most of the time, they will surprise you. The game does a wonderful job of consistently claiming that no one is so simple as "good" or "evil" and even the kingdom is going through a metamorphosis if you pay attention to the Prince's plot. Speaking of which, the writing is downright brilliant and atmospheric since it is a western visual novel. There are unfortunately no voices, but little nuances in what the characters say give your imagination plenty to give the characters voices of your own.
If you enjoy visual novels with emphasis on dialogue choices, protagonist identity, relationships, and no stat building, definitely buy this game. I hate tedious stat building myself and much prefer making decisions through dialogue. All relationships are accessible provided you have made the choices to develop them; they don't rely on you being "cute" enough or "intelligent" enough. Despite my glowing recommendation however, Cinders is by no means perfect and I eagerly await anything else the developers have building off of this amazing genre.