A unique adventure, a stunning scenario to discover in one season!
User reviews: Mixed (128 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 29, 2010

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Notice: Winter Voices’ episodes are not playable as stand alone. Each episode must be played in order.

Buy Winter Voices Prologue: Avalanche

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Packages that include this game

Buy Winter Voices Complete Pack

Includes 7 items: Winter Voices, Winter Voices Episode 1: Those who have no name, Winter Voices Episode 2: Nowhere of me, Winter Voices Episode 3: Like a Crow on a Wire, Winter Voices Episode 4: Amethyst Rivers, Winter Voices Episode 5: Overflow, Winter Voices Episode 6: Falls

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Recommended By Curators

"Very unique art style in a very uniqely themed RPG. Very slow and undeservedly overlooked, but it demands a lot of time and patience."

About This Game

A unique adventure, a stunning scenario to discover in one season!
Winter Voices is a narrative-driven, episodic, role-playing game set in an imaginary and timeless world at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Players control a 24 year-old heroine as she deals with the death of her father. She must journey through the heart of Winter and battle her worst enemies – her own personal demons.
The first season of the Winter Voices series is comprised of seven downloadable episodes, each unraveling new elements of the character’s tale.
Winter Voices combines “point and click” real-time gaming with strictly defensive turn-based combat. As the game alternates real-time dialog and world exploration with combat, players will experience turn-based psychic warfare.

Key Features:

  • mature and creative narrative, exploring human consciousness and immersing in an evocative and chilling role-playing experience
  • sophisticated and thought provoking gameplay: the player engages in “defense of the mind” mechanics, as the character is overwhelmed by memories and fights against her own inner demons, fears, voices of illusion, guilt, madness...
  • tactical... with a twist: strictly defensive turn-based combat
  • wondrous and unusual world: an imaginary and timeless world at the start of the Industrial Revolution
  • dynamic soundtrack: keeping to the theme of self-discovery, haunting melodies guide the player, setting a dark, intriguing mood to match the character’s cold journey and mysterious past

Winter Voices Prologue: Avalanche

A drama is unfolding in a tiny village buried in snow, lost in the depths of a Three-River Principality valley. A sudden death, a now-hostile home, new sensory capacities rising like a storm and the departure towards the unknown, the only means to escape besides death, has become inevitable...The newly-orphaned heroine is pushed to leave her father’s village by the voices of her unconscious mind. The long journey to find answers will lead you through many events to overcome anger, sadness, pain and fear and finally unveil what is whispered by the voices of Winter.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3GHz / AMD Athlon 64 3000 +
    • Memory: 1 Gb (2 Gb for Vista)
    • Graphics: 128 Mb, 1280x720
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 500 Mb
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c
Helpful customer reviews
28 of 30 people (93%) found this review helpful
28.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
This is a game worth at least trying out, as it shows you an entirely different way of thinking of the whole notion of the RPG as more of a physics puzzle game based upon a skill tree than any standard dungeon grind.Many people criticise this game for its slowness and they certainly have a point, and most of it seems to be flaws with Adobe AIR, the game's poorly-chosen engine.However, part of the slowness is also deliberate. It's a deeply psychological game, built around a core of the sense of loneliness and isolation, even from those who should be friends or even family.Winter Voices is also buggy especially because of Adobe AIR and some levels can seriously take minutes to even start the mission just because the engine is so inefficient, it can't even load the map. The game has an unforgiving side, as well. Skills bought on the skill tree are permanent, and the game likes to spring surprises on you where suddenly, some skills are disabled, and a build that was powerful before suddenly fails.The strong points of this game are story and gameplay. The story is amazing. The protagonist is one of the most relatable characters in recent memory and the dialogue is very well written.The gameplay is very original, I can honestly say I've never played an RPG quite like this. Pretty much every aspect, from the battles to the stats and abilities are a means to drive the story forward. This is definitely not a game for everyone. However I would strongly suggest it to RPG fans and people looking for something new and unique. Overall 8/10.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
48.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Winter Voices is one of those odd games that you play and don't actually have any fun doing so. You play for the feel of it, the atmosphere, the music, some quirk that intrigues you; but you can't exactly call it -fun-.

I took a chance on this one because the premise sounded different and interesting, and I'll admit it delivered on that, but I somehow still feel disappointed. When I look at this game again without my original expectations it's still a quirky piece that feels more like a book rather than a game. The only reason it's a game at all really is to explore the different ways people deal with grief. And maybe that was the whole point to begin with.

Basically you're playing as a girl that's not only dealing with the death of her father, but the loss of herself in an incredibly tiny little town. In many ways your story is already written for you before you start playing; the people in town already have a set idea of who you are, something your character isn't really comfortable with. Fights aren't really fights so much as emotional puzzles; you're not actually playing to win just playing to survive. There's this feeling of inevitability and hopelessness that colors the entire game; making it feel more like a study in depression and mental health issues rather than a game. The actual game mechanics themselves are painful in a lot of aspects. The font is tiny, the movement awkward, the system unintuitive, and the gameplay itself is rather dull and boring.

However; the story is a beautiful and dark one. You genuinely feel lost yourself, combating these ghosts of your own making and fighting against the perceptions of your fellow villagers. The dialogue is moving and intense, and some of the puzzles are complex and took me more than just a couple of tries. It is definitely a unique experience.

In spite of everything I found myself picking this up time and again just to hear the next bit. Like a book so painful and so raw you can only read a few chapters at a time, and although you can't say it's a joy to do so there's this draw to it because it speaks to you somehow.

I suppose in short if you're looking for a game to play Winter Voices probably isn't for you.
If you're looking for an interactive view into falling down the rabbit hole of depression and feeling uncomfortable the entire time, then yea pick this one up.

I debated for a long time whether or not I could honestly recommend this, but in the end it does deliver what it promises; an experience unlike any other. Just leave your expectations at the door, and if you do plan on getting this make sure you do it when there's a sale and it's nice and cheap so you don't feel like you lost out if it ends up not being your cup of tea.

Rating this as a 'game': 2/10
Rating this as a different experience: 8/10
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
25.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
I'm a bit of a masochist in that I'll try a game even if it's broken as long as it has a few redeeming points; Winter Voices does have a great story, but right off the bat I found it better to play in French since the dialogue was written in that language, and it just flows better that way. The English translation unfortunately suffers from many "bugs" (translations that don't flow well and don't always make sense). The voice narration also doesn't quite correspond to the written text (the voicing dialogue is better), which was enough to bug me by itself; I wish there was a way to hide the text completely in some instances.

I'd seen on the developers' website that they planned/plan to provide a fully bugfixed version... I don't know if that's still happening given the state of their team, but I recommend waiting until that happens, or at least that you be prepared to save your game every 5 possible minutes in case the interface stops responding in any useful way (or you get stuck in a dialogue after the interface has already disappeared.) It feels as though devs skimped on having too many state checks to allow/disallow clicking, and the way I naturally interact with the interface just interrupts the game and forces me to reload too often.

Beware, this also happens in places where narration immediately precedes a fight, removing any option to save. If the interface bugs out during those, you'll spend long minutes getting back to where you were if you die / try again. This is made worse in spots where 3, 4 battles are chained. There's no relief for me as this happened in every episode.

Pathfinding also has issues where your teammates block the way out of a screen, and there's no way to control them or get them out of the way (you have to reload a previous save).

Don't look for many keyboard shortcuts, this is a 97% mouse-driven experience, although it feels like the keyboard was forgotten rather than purposefully omitted.

And finally, don't expect to have story options that lead you out of the main character's comfort zone, unlike many modern RPGs the point is not to cater to the player's tastes and provide many options, but really to tell a specific story.

I have lots of spare time and am curious enough to play through the entire thing (on ep. 5 now), as I found the story captivating enough for that even despite the issues, but technical issues really are that frustrating throughout. I hope this gets fixed so I can update my review!
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
just started. in-game pathfinding and interface may not be the best, but overall atmosphere is deep, dark and depressing. storyline feels unique and has a lot of mystery in it. was very surprised by whole storytelling style.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
I really wanted to like this game. I really did. But there's nothing here to like. The story is pretentious, nonsensical, and not interesting in the least. The "combat" is boring and slow. And the RPG leveling system is completely broken, with certain powers being effectively required to progress in the game, but of course the game doesn't tell you that. Oh yeah, and it's glitchy. One stage in particular repeatedly put me in a position where it was impossible for me to win, and impossible for me to kill myself so I could try again, forcing me to reload my save. That's the point at which I stopped playing. And of course, now that the developer disbanded, it's looking like the story will never be finished. Stay far, far away from this one.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
I've only played Winter Voices for less than an hour but I find it very imaginative and unique.
It holds a lot of mystery and seems to be quite different than any game I've played before.
I like the choices and the gameplay.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 17
Ive just begun to get into it and for me it is amazing but my sence of good and bad is unique i favour the poetic feel and the water color art amomg the other things that make me love this game.
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55 of 58 people (95%) found this review helpful
37.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2013
A very poetic, melancholic and narration-driven turn-based strategy-RPG with some beautiful art. I wish my character would move a bit faster, the combat works with it but exploring areas outside of it takes a pretty long time because she can't run but walk slowly only. Probably part of the design idea of being a melancholic, semi-dark game, but I am sure this will drive off numerous less patient players.

The combat is very interesting. The area you are in is turned into a grid-based field you can walk turn by turn. You try to achieve certain goals like reaching some point on that grid, survive for X turns or protect allies. That alone isn't all-too-new - the unique thing about it is that it is strictly defensive from what I've seen. All your skills are focused around averting, immobilizing or pushing around enemies, sustaining combat, spawning "minions" to protect you, regenerating energy and whatnot. You can change between two sets of skill descriptions in the options menu, one set tells you what the skills do in a narration-fitting way, the other gives you more concrete numbers for those who care. Every combat scenario and goal is merged well with the narration. Sometimes you are even supposed to lose the fight because your character's mind and the narration wants you to do so. Even if you fail this initial, sometimes "twisted" goal the game still allows you to continue the story. I haven't seen a "game over" screen yet. I like this idea. Should certain combats be too difficult you are not forced to retrack and reload stuff, the story and narration keeps flowing.

There is no money and inventory, at least I haven't seen any thus far. Your character levels up with XP. XP is earned by talking with NPCs and by achieving the combat goals as best as possible. When leveling up you can activate passive and active skills on a skill tree resembling a snowflake. And you increase your attributes. They increase your combat stats, and one attribute - humor - is supposed to give you more humorus dialogue options. Most of the time there are at least three dialogue options: You say something in a cold/stoic way, in a sad/whining or in a funny/ironic/sarcastic one. I haven't examined the ways they change depending on my "humor" attribute, nor if things would turn out differently if I had chosen other lines. My impression is that things won't change too much, but I will update this review in case it should turn out I'm wrong, I'm not too far in the game.
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42 of 49 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2013
This is going to be a hard one to review. This is not my type of game. I played it for about 2 hours before I gave up.

It's a game similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, with more narrative and less combat. The setting is interesting, and the way the delivery is handled is very good.

The artwork is decent. The writing is amazing. But the game is slow-paced and there's a lot of minor things that doesn't grab me. I definitely recommend the game to someone who enjoys adventure games with light combat. If you're into visual novels - a game where the story is 90% of the game, then this is for you.

For me, this is like giving a sports game to a nerd. I don't know how to appreciate it.
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27 of 30 people (90%) found this review helpful
51.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 11
A great and mature story combined with an absolutely interesting turn-based combat system make for a great formula of a game.
The drawback? The game has its share of slow moments, especially in the Prologue, and mainly in the engine (Adobe AIR) and the quite large share of issues you'll likely have with it.

But overall, issues aside, it's really fun, and there might also be a Season 2 coming. Be sure to let the developer know in this discussion that we want a proper engine this time around!
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31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
77.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
This is a hard game to recommend. Truth be told, it has a fair share of drawbacks. Even with that in mind, this game possesses amazing naration, a deep, innovative combat/RPG system and a powerful story. It touches some very dark themes, and does so with finesse. The psychological allusions fused with the norse mythology work together to build an unforgetable and deeply affecting experience. My advice - play the demo, and if you are not turned off, go for it.
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41 of 57 people (72%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
The gameplay seems pretty decent (and the battle mechanics particularly interesting), but after thirty minutes or so I've had to set this game aside (at least for the moment) because I simply can't take any more of the purple prose, especially given how often it descends into complete doggerel in what is presumably an attempt to sound "poetic." This isn't even remotely funny-bad, as Bulwer-Lytton contest entries, but simply painful-bad, the hail-like slew of obstreperous adjectives hurtling down in contradictory fashion, each a shard of ice with its own unique, cutting edges inflicting a slightly different shape of wound on my suffering literary sensibility, to combine to envelop me in a veil of unseeing mist, muffling prosaic taste with a bitter aftertaste of a poison blade. (On the other hand, if that sentence doesn't bother you, go right ahead and dive in to the game.)
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21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2013
It's not about amazing graphics, quickly delivered catharic release, or overused plot devices. Slow, somber, and sometimes painful -Winter Voices sets it's own tone, and drags you slowly, irresistably down with it. Highly recommended if you have the patience.
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19 of 27 people (70%) found this review helpful
424.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 4, 2013
This game is like no others. Like it or hate it - it's something unique. :) (and it's cheap !)
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23 of 35 people (66%) found this review helpful
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Quick summary: Interesting universe created a refreshing explanation of RPG gameplay; narration/storyline tried a too hard to be deep; story ends up not saying much about the main character; slow-paced game; battles are more puzzle-like than turn-based real time strategy; not enough skill points at times (but can manually reset in .txt log); great atmosphere and music; great art except I don't like the portraits.

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This review is for played Winter Voices: Avalanche, which is the prologue or "Episode 0" of the series. I bought it on sale for less than $5.

I enjoyed playing this game for its interesting story and it's creative explanation of RPG elements such as character classes, character stats, skills, and battle system. The universe of Winter Voices held my attention. Hintings toward magical or spiritual themes made me curious for a greater understanding of this world, but interest alone does not make a game.

I wouldn't recommend this game because I see it as appealing only to a small, niche audience. Here's what you need to know.

1) Text-driven game with heavy reading. Not a problem, just a caveat.

2) Battle system is more puzzle-strategy than tactical turn-based strategy. You don't actually kill enemies, but employ defensive strategies of spatial rearrangement or using decoys. Common goals per battle include surviving, protecting, or reaching a checkpoint. Different maps, enemies, and goals were enough to keep it fresh. Some puzzles were easy; others made me want to throw my laptop out the window.

3) Limited skill points. The snowflake-shaped skill tree is really cool (ba-dum tss), but you only gain one skill point per character level-up. I ended the game at level 7 with 6 skill points alotted. You're meant to develop the skill tree over the course of the series, but completing some challenging battles in the Prologue would have been impossible had I not manually reset my skill points repeatedly.

4) Story is too "artsy." It tried too hard to be deep. This is mostly due to the writing style, which is very flowery and comes off a bit pretentious. I'm all for complexity and poignant commentary on the hardships of life, but many metaphorical comments were lost on me because if the writing style. Sometimes I didn't know what was going on in the main character's real life. Most importantly, her father seemed cold an unaffectionate, so why would she care so much about him? I couldn't understand the premise of the whole plot. These factors undermined my motivation to complete the game.

4a) As for the main character's inner demons, the writing goes overboard trying to be mysterious and grotesque. Still, it's interesting to read and makes you wonder about the main character's mental state and a possible incorporation of some kind of spirit world. But it needs less surrealist sequences and more relevant discoveries to the main character's life, or it starts to lose relatability to the player. Enemy memories are never revealed as specific memories relevant to her life, so we still don't know any more about the relationship between the main character and her father by the end of the prologue.

5) Slow paced. The pacing of the game is slow in general, so you must have a lot of patience to play. This is largely due to emphasis on reading and point-and-click mechanism. Your character has a very slow walking animation. Because clicks don't redirect, one misclick means you have to watch your character saunter to that point before you can backtrack. Sometimes clicking on the edge of the screen to go to the next area of the map was unresponsive.

6) Art is beautiful, yet the portraits of people are...kinda ugly. They are reminiscent of badly drawn anime. It's just not the style I was expecting from their concept art.

7) Music. No complaints on the music; it greatly amplified the mystic and somber atmosphere.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2012
Wow. This is... unique. I'll say that much. Look. I enjoy it. But I'm weird. I CANNOT in good conscience recommend this to anyone who does not share my unique individual damage. Also, you will fight the Interface. Oh, and it will crash. But by God, there is something... just. I like it. Read reviews and play a demo or something - just like the cigars and hyper-expensive scotch whiskey I like, this is DEFINITELY not for everyone.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
What to say?

"Your Mileage May Vary" seems appropriate.

I got this game in a bundle, they put the episodes beyond what was in the bundle on special. I thought I should buy the episodes, but decided to try the prologue before investing any cash into the episodes.

I'm thankful I did. The game and story seem very interesting. The world that the developers created IS great looking, and I do want to see more of it, but I've given up having any fun playing this game.

The game kinda makes me feel like it's ME who's being tortured in "playing" the game rather then the main character. Most of my complaints seem to echo others who would not recommend this game (and even some that do). Moving around is too slow, the puzzles/combat seems to vary from easy to "this is making me hate my life", I also seem to think that perhaps the learning curve is at least a little bit steep, I don't seem to understand effectively what attracts/detracts/masks you from the enemy memories (something I didn't realize was happening until I got tired of the game) or how that fits into the universe (how does one hide behind a rock from a bad memory?).

Another thing that also puts me way off with this game is the lack of ability to do any kind of actual fighting. I'm all for the game not being violent, but I finally stopped playing when I felt hopeless that all I can do is push these "memories" around, and reduce their damage, while they slowly hunt me down, pushing me, reducing my movement, surrounding me, and finally killing me. If I could lock some of the enemies down by trapping them somehow, or maybe push them so far they stop being a threat. I do wonder if some of those things are options that I just don't understand.

I feel like I've given the developers a few hours of my life, and despite their valiant attempts, all they accomplished is having tortured me.

Having said all that, it might just be something I'm missing, or just not my cup of tea. The developers do seem to be competent, and able, to create something that could be intresting AND fun, they've just created something I hate.
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23 of 38 people (61%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2013
This game has so much potential. The graphics are beautifully hand drawn, the story is superb, the mechanics great.

Unfortunately there are so many bugs, it's virtually unplayable. Steam overlay doesn't work properly with this game and I couldn't even get past the funeral pyre at the beginning of the game as it wouldn't allow my character to move off the screen to get to another part of the map.

Unless the developers fix the major problems in this game - stay well away from it.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
44.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2010
This "game" is more about art-work, music, and concepts than gameplay, but it is one of the most innovative concepts for a video game I have ever seen. The feeling and mood of the game are unique beyond words. This game is definitely not for everyone, and can be very slow at times, but if you are brave enough to try something completely different with an open mind, give it a try.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2013
Winter Voices is an unforgivably uneven game based around some unbelievably brilliant design decisions. The skill snowflake is wonderful, and the story, though confusing due to the developers' native language clearly not being English and some heavy purple prose, lends itself to wonderful atmosphere and genuine intrigue. The baffling decision to design the game around Adobe Air harms it a great deal, as it makes the already-questionable gameplay near-intolerable. The game feels like the worst, grindiest parts of any Spiderweb RPG as written by Björk. Still, I didn't regret my decision to play it in the slightest, and I ended up buying every episode. It is something I feel I will come back to a lot in the future. Ultimately, I do recommend you play it, because I've never had an experience like it before or since. Be aware going in that the game aspect of the game is an utter slog at times, however.
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