Fall into the magically complicated world of Overture as the three main characters embark on an adventure that will shake their lives and the world around them. Will they fan the flames of the growing revolution, or will they be the key to extinguishing it?
User reviews:
Very Positive (111 reviews) - 94% of the 111 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 27, 2015

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June 9

One Small Fire At A Time - Less than 24 hours to go!!

The prequel to An Octave Higher is nearly here!

In less than 24 hours, you can get One Small Fire At A Time.

Join Janis as she suffers from a disability that is shunned in Overture, the inability to use magic.
In a city that is all about magic, no one can cure her of this, and her "madness" drives her to the edge, vulnerable to others.

When Woolf comes into her life with a mission, his presence brings more than anything anyone ever expected.


Make sure you check it out!

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“Because of the excellent writing and world building, An Octave Higher is not only enjoyable, but it creates a hunger for more.”
8.5 – RPG Fan

“Throwing all typical Japanese stereotypes out of the window, this was a refreshing experience.”
7.5 – Visual Novel Tea Party

“This visual novel is one that fans of fantasy stories should definitely give a try!”
8 – Legion of One

About This Game

Welcome to Overture – The capital city of a great empire that has discovered and uses magic in its daily life. Dive into this unique visual novel where you explore the workings of this magical and fantastic city.

But, in a world where magic defines your status, rumors of a revolution are stirring, and the city is uneasy. Already there is unrest and talks of a rogue faction, determined to bring order and equality to the classes.

Follow Elise, Franz and Frederic, all from different walks of life, working towards their different goals, but brought together by one aspect: A broken piano.

In Overture, it's well known that healing magic can’t be used on inanimate objects. So when Elise seeks to do the impossible, a journey of faith, compassion, courage, willpower and intelligence thrusts everyone down an unexpected path.

Is this the beginning of a new magic? Will they reach their goal? And will everyone survive the hidden turmoil of the brewing revolution?

Open yourself to the world of Overture and explore the captivating tale of 120,000 words and 6 different endings. Follow your heart, believe in the strength of hope, and unlock the one true ending.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7
    • Processor: Intel
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04+ or equivalent
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (111 reviews)
Recently Posted
8.9 hrs
Posted: August 28
A very enjoyable VN. 3 Hours for first play through. I very much enjoyed the art style and story. A ending are based on making a couple choices throughout the story.

All-in-all very high quality novel (no voice), more good music and options to save and fast forward.

The world building was done well and the characters were relatable. Pretty much the story follows a couple of teenagers of different classes of society (magic / steam punk). As far as politics the story touches on capitalism taking advantage of labors. But just like in real life the story lets you pick choices that can largely keep you out of any direct involvement.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.8 hrs
Posted: August 28
only negative, which has a positive: there is a chance the VN will crash during "Fast Forward" mode. but there is a "continue" option when you relaunch the game.
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16.3 hrs
Posted: July 14
You know, you are reading reviews and wonder if they are not exaggerating a little.
Then you play the game and actually think they were still under the truth.
What a great surprise ! Characters, story, background, music, graphics...
Everything was good and smart. Nothing to throw.
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8.6 hrs
Posted: July 13
I have very mixed feelings about this game, and those feelings are pretty distinctly centralized around each half of the game. It's difficult to boil this down to a short list, but I'll try to make a TL;DR version for those who don't want to read my full opinion.

Long version:
This game has six different endings, all of which are mutually exclusive. Three of these are based on characters maxing out their relationships, and the fourth is a generic ending if none of the others are triggered. These are all what I call "first half" endings, in that they are endings received when the second half of the story is not triggered.

Now, I think of this first half as entirely distinct, as the tone and the focus is entirely different from the second half. The first half is fairly slow-paced, with a lot of worldbuilding, character exposition, and other introductory fluff. It can be a bore to read, but it's an interesting take on steampunk magic which I haven't seen before (though I'm hardly an expert). The characters are great in the first part, I think. It's a fairly short first arc, but there's enough personality that I kept going just to see more interactions between these characters. There's a fair amount of comedy, and it was pleasant and lighthearted for the most part. I wish that the first four endings overlapped more (They're relationship-based. That's this game's best part. You can't tell me that they couldn't have done more with this.), but I did appreciate how casual the endings were. We got a snippet of life after the story, and it was more than the usual "happily ever after" stuff. I just wish that there was more to this whole arc, both in the story and the endings. It cuts off fairly abruptly, and the conflict of the first arc is solved maybe five minutes before the end, leaving the last bit feeling incredibly rushed. But to be fair, that's probably because you're meant to continue past that, onto the "true" endings.

And that's where the story falls apart. The single choice that sends you onward to the last two endings takes the cheery tone and chucks it out the car window, then backs over it for good measure. There's one word that comes to mind for me when I see the transition: edgy. Someone's hands are cut clean off with a butcher knife, which seems unrealistic and doesn't really fit other than as a reason for the characters to act the way they do in the second half. In fact, everything changes in the second half. The characters aren't nearly as likeable, and the game makes the mistake of making an antagonist of the more likeable of the two characters involved in that spoiler, and the one you'd expect to be the antagonist becomes the closest thing to a protagonist. By that, I mean that no one's really a protagonist. There are just a bunch of morally grey people who barely resemble the characters we grew attached to in the first half. I'm convinced this part was written by a teenager, because it's less competently written and it's unnecessarily dark and the tonal shift was violent enough to give me whiplash. To be honest, I only finished the second act for the completion bonus. I didn't really give a damn about anyone by this point, because they were all so bland and lifeless compared to the first arc.

All this said, I still really liked the first arc. I don't think this game is worth full price (hence my rating), but if it's half-price or less, it's worth considering. I bought it at half-price, IIRC, and I'm not sure if the second half ruined it for me or not. If I had played just the first half, I would be satisfied with paying the $6 or so for it. Whether it's worth purchasing even then is your call, and it depends on what you want from a visual novel. If you like solid character dynamics, I'd recommend this. If it takes ten hours or more of enjoyable story to get you to part with your cash, then this is probably not for you.

-Good first arc
-Interesting worldbuilding
-Good character dynamics and interactions
-Fair amount of comedy
-Lighthearted tone
-Fairly satisfying endings (even if I wasn't really invested in the last two)

-Crappy second arc
-Feels little like the first arc
-Characters act very differently
-Dull, drab tone in an attempt at bleakness

Bottom line:
Probably too short for full price, but might be worth it at a discount if you're interested. I recommend the first half; play on at your own discretion.
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2.1 hrs
Posted: July 12
a magic explained by science
an intriguing story based on 3 ways perspective
and Indonesian reference on the story

10/10 gonna seize the mean of magic again
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11.4 hrs
Posted: July 2
Quite the retort to anyone who says "visual novels are just fanservice and crappy story".
Helpful? Yes No Funny
10.9 hrs
Posted: July 2
I am definitely a fan of this game, it has a great story, a great soundtrack, very diverse characters, and overall it's just absolutely amazing.
You know what I don’t understand though?
How come such an amazing game such as An Octave Higher gets so little mentions.
I have been having so much fun with this game, (so far I got 2 endings, and I am so pumped for more), and it had just been really disappointing to find out that it it isn't very known in the media.
So if you're thinking of whether or not to get this game, I absolutely recommend it!
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6.1 hrs
Posted: June 27
Sad/Happy story?
Mostly sad but a little happy.
My emotions are confused.

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Luv Yan
6.7 hrs
Posted: June 22
Was pretty good on all counts, could have been more tho
8/10 Would give that movie an oscar
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9.8 hrs
Posted: June 12
You can experience the story in three viewpoints- Franz, Elise, and Frederic. The Overture world is connected with magic, science, and social inequality. I really like the magic concept in this visual novel, but it can be complicated. It’s clever how the people summon spells using faith, compassion, willpower, and intelligence based on their traits. The music is soothing. There are 6 endings, but one of them is heartbreaking. It’s a well-written story.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
A very enjoyable VN. 3 Hours for first play through. I very much enjoyed the art style and story. A ending are based on making a couple choices throughout the story.

All-in-all very high quality novel (no voice), more good music and options to save and fast forward.

The world building was done well and the characters were relatable. Pretty much the story follows a couple of teenagers of different classes of society (magic / steam punk). As far as politics the story touches on capitalism taking advantage of labors. But just like in real life the story lets you pick choices that can largely keep you out of any direct involvement.

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
only negative, which has a positive: there is a chance the VN will crash during "Fast Forward" mode. but there is a "continue" option when you relaunch the game.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
59 of 62 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2015
A really good genuine VN made by my local developer.

+ Good & Engaging Story
+ Different Ending
+ Different POV in between 3 main char
+ Nice artwork
+ Nice music

- Voiceless

AOH is a really good VN with its story. I do reccommended this game to all of you.
The story is good, full of unexpectation, intrigue, betrayal, and friendship.
For all of you who loves VN then it's a must to play, and it is good for all of you who want to start playing the VN genre.


Finally finish the game with 100% achievement.
All of the Ending is so good, even though the other ending beside 'true ending' very short, but it's unexpected.

You will get a lot of fun from trying and finishing each ending. Highly reccommended to get all of the ending.
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32 of 34 people (94%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 7, 2015
This is a fantastic game with a fantastic story.
It's a long visual novel, a single playthrough with the non-canon ending was three hours, and it's not like most games (even most visual novels that I've played) in that you make very few decisions. I believe, on my first playthrough, that my first decision didn't take place until about 45 minutes or an hour into the game.

Which brings me to my larger point: this is a game for people who like to read and really enjoy a story. Decisions are fundamental to the game and many of them directly impact which ending you're going to experience, but you won't be choosing little things all the time. You'll be making big decisions, the narrative will be allowing the characters to make the small decisions.

That said, and it's said simply to inform so as to help those who might buy the game to avoid any confusion or frustration with the style of the game, and as I said before: the story is fantastic. There was a great deal of care and consideration put into the writing of this work, there are moral and social quandaries and complexities which are shown to the player and, depending on player choices, the player gets to see the difficult (and not wrong) decisions and opinions formed based entirely on the perspective of the character.

As one character says in the game, in a battle there are no good guys and bad guys. We all go through life convinced that we're right. Those of us who fight do so because we believe we'll get justice. Gilligan suggested that all violence is created by people seeking justice who believe they deserve something which they're being deprived of: be it respect, objects, or any number of other complex social equations. Violence is the attempt to replace feelings of shame and inadequacy with pride and worth. The writing in this game is good enough that it successfully creates multi-faceted characters who always have reasons for whatever violence they might create, and the game creates such a complex social tapestry that it's easy to see how the individuals (on both sides of the conflict) are, in their own way and with their own limited perspectives, right.
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29 of 30 people (97%) found this review helpful
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 27, 2015
I think that it's best to go into this VN blind, that's why I'm putting part of my review in spoiler tags. These aren't really spoilers but rather surprising things.
An Octave Higher is an interesting VN, I could recommend for anybody, mostly because it's not a dating sim, it's not lewd, it's not gory or depressing, nor silly.
It is a branching story about people, music, magic, science, revolution, betrayal and life.
It has multiple main characters, or rather story is told from point of view of several characters, what's unusual for a VN.
There aren't that many choices, but most of those matter. As the story is branching, there are several endings.
A game is accompanied by classical music, what's also somewhat unusual. Music is definitely strong part of An Octave Higher.

It's rather long, takes about 10 hours to finish.
Visual part is weak, though. While backgrounds are nice and detailed, characters are somewhat simplistic and don't go well with those backgrounds, also there is certain lack of variety here.
OTOH writing is not bad, even with some mistakes there and here.
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56 of 75 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2015
Video Link to my Let's Play #1 (approx 28 min):

About 1.5 hours into the game at the point of this review.. and I will update my review as needed as I get further into this visual novel game.

The game lets you save your progress at any point it seems, I've never had a problem saving or loading anywhere.

It's a fantasy novel of rich magic users and the poor living in rags and how they cross paths into each other. It isn't a plausible story with all of its sorcery and magic spells, but also seems to be a lot less fantistical then the sort of dragon and giant spider fighting fantasy stories you might expect as well.

So far, the writing seems well done, and the art work is really nice. I am impressed both visually with the art and the writing so far, about 15% through the game. (You can check your progress at any point from the main menu)

Considering I am reading this story for my YouTube videos so far, and I am pace for about 10 hours, most people not reading the dialogue aloud will probably read at least twice as fast. I'd guess this is a 3 to 5 hour game for most people, which will depend greatly on the user naturally with how fast they read or 'skim over' the writing.

Be advised at I just barely got into some pretty mature and very sexual-in-nature content at the 15% mark. I was kind of surprised by this and the fact that there was no mention anywhere that I saw that this game/novel included sexual or adult content. No nude art as of yet, but pretty mature sexually natured dialogue, and I can see that it might get much more graphic in the near future. I will update this as I play through, but BE ADVISED THAT THIS GAME MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN/MINORS ESPECIALLY YOUNGER CHILDRED UNDER THE AGE OF 14 OR SO.

So far, I have enjoyed it, so at this early point I will give it a thumbs up with the understanding that I may change this entire review and even my recommendation at any time. But right now, with the amount of content, the quality of the writing, the entertainment value, and the really nice artwork, I'd give this a thumbs up to anyone who enjoys this kind of game and/or novel.

At this point 15% in, there has been NO choices, and NO gameplay at all. It's just reading and clicking the screen to move forward. This is fine for me, as I'm sure choices will be made at some point, but I realize this might upset some people, which is why I have pointed this out.
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20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
An Octave Higher is a visual novel that takes place in the fictional world of Overture where magic exists and a person's place in society depends on if/how they can use magic as well as that person's financial wealth. Imagine that the setting of this game is similar to the US in the 19th century Industral Revolution except that magic actually exists and you'll get the idea of the premise here. Basically, you play as three different characters-Frederic, Franz, and Elise-and they are rotated accordingly in the story. As this is a visual novel, choices do matter. Depending on the choices you make, you can find yourself aligned with certain characters. For example, if you play as Franz, you can make decisions that align him closer to Elise or to Aretha, Franz's friend. Also, decisions regarding whether Franz and Frederic get along determine whether more of the story becomes revealed (and thus, the true path gets told) or it ends. Although the first half of the story reveals this, the second half reveals it even more-that there is huge class disparity between the aristocracy/bourgeoisie and the proletariat-and magic plays a role in this class division. That's basically all I will say without revealing more although I will say that the true path is the most tragic so be warned.

There are a total of 6 different endings although one of those endings doesn't show up as a Steam achievement. The art is beautiful and I especially love the music in this game. I'm a huge fan of music from the classical and Romanticism eras and the selected pieces fit really well at certain moments. Of course, there is original music as well and it was equally enjoyable.

Overall, I would highly recommend this game if you're a fan of visual novels and love a good story. There isn't really any romance in this game but the story is so good that it isn't necessary. After all, all visual novels don't need to have romance to make them enjoyable. Also, I'd recommend getting the soundtracks (in DLC format), as I found the music tracks very enjoyable and soothing to listen to. I'm certainly looking forward to the prequel-One Small Fire at a Time-and hope to be able to play it in the near future. ^^
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21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 15, 2015
This was truly a big surprise. I like visual novels despite that a fair amount of them have weak storylines, but this visual novel's story was not weak at all. It was surprisingly well-done and just awesome. Honestly, it could've made a decent storyline for a RPG, but I know indie companies don't always have the money for that.

The point-of-view switches between three different characters. I like this because it allows the reader to see from different story perspectives. It also doesn't cater to one character's biased interpretations of events. After playing through the game a lot, I must say that I think Elise is supposed to be the main character of the three.

The achievements for this game comprise of 5 endings and 1 easter egg. There is also a 6th ending that doesn't yield an achievement (because it's neutral/generic). The easter egg is hilarious, by the way.

The artwork of this game is impressive. Although, sometimes the characters look a bit awkward in how they're drawn.

The music is lovely. Quite lovely. This is to be expected considering the title of the game.

I definitely recommend this game for those who like visual novels! It might also serve to be a good game to introduce someone to visual novels, since it's definitely one of the better ones out there.
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25 of 31 people (81%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
(We played this 7.2 hours and 100%ed it on a different account, and not on mine.)

Truth be told, I don't really want to say anything like "stay away from this game, it's terrible, blah blah blah" because it's really not. It's a visual novel with multiple endings (although most of the story is the same between the paths, apart from the true ending with its two paths). There is no additional gameplay element beyond the game being a VN, so don't look for that kind of thing. Of course, that's not a problem. It's a VN.

Anyways, as a VN, it can be judged for its art, characters, story, and music. Art is fine, characters are mostly fine, music is interesting and fairly classical...

And the story had so much potential... And fell so flat on its face. The true path is literally the worst path among all the paths.
However, the magic system was innovative. This game was clearly partly designed by an influence of engineers in its writing, with a magic system driven by applying functions and magic being a series of equations; but also referring to control systems, and really heavy reference to digital logic / digital design on the engineering side of things. It's smart! It's really smart. And then some questions are asked... then Libertad comes in and leaves ALL other questions unanswered, while also leaving their own set of questions unanswered.

Libertad and the revolution literally sinks the story completely. It just doesn't have a proper ending... and it doesn't have a direction. It just has a message, one that doesn't really know where it's going, considering the problem it asks ISN'T SHOWN TO BE RESOLVED. Barely ever have I seen a true path both heartlessly cruel and also unsatisfying due to the complete lack of closure.


--- interesting world, innovative magic system (in terms of world design), in-depth explanation of how magic drives things (how the omnibuses fly and stuff, it's really cool)
--- fancy classical music
--- fun characters (excluding true path where everyone is either too verbose, naive, annoying or just stupid), Aretha is best girl
--- many interesting questions asked with a lot of intelligent facts thrown into the debate, there are quite a few things in here that are legitimately smart.

--- Libertad, anything in the story that has to do with Libertad, and therefore everything in the true path
--- Due to the excessive amounts of Libertad in the story, most other main questions are left unanswered, and the Libertad plot leaves even more questions to be answered that are left unanswered

--- If you like VNs, this one is set in a world that's driven by a REALLY interesting magic system, mostly based on engineering facts and aspects taken from the real world while also merging it the aspect of emotional intelligence. So it's worth checking out just for that.
--- The true ending is sunk by Libertad and is complete garbage from start to finish with no direction.

Overall? Worth checking out... I'd recommend to, actually, just for the magic system. It's an interesting thing to see Amplify(Transform(Willpower)) + Amplify(Transform(Courage)) as a means of casting Meteor.

But the endings might leave you frustrated, without a sense of closure. You ask, "wait, that's it? What the hell was the point? Why did that even happen? Did that achieve anything? Does anything change? Also, what was up with..." and you get no answers.

In the end, while the VN is pretty interesting, this review is a warning that the endings might not be something you like, and might not be something you expect, and you might not get the answers you are looking for. There's a bunch of other cool things here though! So don't be put off too hard by my warning.
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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 8, 2015
Really enjoy my time with "An Octave Higher". Espically a story about flaws of a system that can't easily be change but that is not fair. How you go through the perspective of people living on both sides of the system on where the rich keeps get richer and the poor ends up suffering more and more. How people keep suffering until they can't handle it no more. Also really enjoy the art and piano scores through out the game. If I have to point faults there are a few but my opinion. Sometimes they lose story on spending so much time on one side of the system. There is no window mode as far I can tell. When you hide the text try to take a screen shot the text pops right back up while your doing it. Outside of that would reccommend this to anyone. Plus one of the achievements is misleading the "Happily Ever After" one. Kept going through the game thought there was a dialogue combo I was missing but it was something else completely
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