A unique adventure, a stunning scenario to discover in one season!
User reviews: Mixed (164 reviews) - 61% of the 164 user reviews for this game are positive.
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

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

 

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
27 of 40 people (68%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2015
I'm sorry, but I can't do this again.

It's an artsy little game that appears like it may have some interesting storytelling going on, but before you can really get into it you have to face the gameplay. The gameplay is this kind of turn-based... thing on a grid that just isn't very fun. Now, i've played good story games with unfun gameplay before, but the game has so much of this bad combat in the parts I managed to get through that I just lost interest. I didn't want to go through those annoying battles anymore.

So i'd drop the game, then a few months later I would try it again... and quit because the combat system bored me to death. And on and on it repeated itself.

And now, seeing this game in my library, still not even really touched after so many years... no. It's past time to get tossed into the bin. A game that has lost my interest multiple times when I am trying to get into it, no matter how good it might get later, is just not worth it for me.

I might be missing out on a great story, but... I just can't do those damned battled again. Sorry.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
50.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
Winter Voices is an indie text heavy RPG a bit akin to Planescape: Torment, but also very different. Its strongest point is its fairly linear psychological and existential story centred on some of the darker aspects of us humans, but ultimately it's an experience of struggle, development, hope and growth; made with psychological insight. Next its "combat" encounters and its weakest the free roam hub-sections like the starting village. The game has a lovely artistic vision and ambience created by its hand-in-hand art direction, soundscape and writing. Which all have a wonderful poetic feel and are tied into the "combat system" beautifully. Plus if you are fond of metaphorical writing in works like "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Nietzsche, then you're bound to find the dream sequences interesting, as they employ metaphors to great effect. That said the English translation can be a bit iffy, so play it in its native French if you can.

The game is set in a fictional universe at the start of an industrial revolution in a Western country. The plot unfolds in a little remote, primitive and snowy mountain village, which lives by and practices a variant of Old Norse religion, whether the game is set in a Fantasy setting, or employs Magical Realism is up to interpretation, though it isn't at the core of the narrative outside of the dreams. You play a young and fragile twenty-four year old woman whose father has just died, it fairly quickly becomes apparent that you, the protagonist, have an abnormally hard time dealing with this death (wink wink), which propels you onwards on a journey of self-discovery within your dreams and the real world.

RPG mechanics

There are three classes to pick from Huntress, Weaver and Völva (a shamanic seeress). All of which favours one the six stats (Humour, Willpower, Memory, Perspicacity, Charisma and Intuition). These stats represents your strengths and weakness in your psychological profile. You get, primarily, XP points to level them up from completing quest, "combat" and speaking with people. Separate from this you also gets Skill Points as you level up. You can use them in a giant 2D-snowflake-formed Skill Tree with a total of 90ish skills to choose from enveloped by twelve different main paths (Negation, Metamorph , Pride, Social, Support, Composition, Ex-nihilo, Acceptance, Resilience, Resistance, Protection and Dispersion. ) to pursue, as you start out in the centre of it. You won't be able to learn all the skills in one play-through. Each of the twelve paths represents different ways, more or less gamey centred, human beings can deal, reflective or not, with grief and loss, whereas the "sub skills" are mixed between human traits such as creativity, perfectionism etc., and more culture specific things on the other hand such as: Song: Voluspa and Void Walker.

"Combat" encounters. The combat encounters take place in the dreams of our protagonist. Troubled dreams that portrays her struggles to come to terms with her father's death and her past. They are turn-based puzzle-like encounters on a grid that represents her fight with her inner demons. Overall I found the combat encounters interesting and varied enough in their different puzzles in my play-through as a Völva. Though an occasional freezing bug of the entire game was annoying in some of the longer key encounters, especially as you couldn't save in between them.

In fact it made me put the game aside for around a year before returning to it once again. Though I am glad I did, as I really, really loved certain parts of the narrative :D
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2015
A very well written story combine with an interest mix of puzzle and RPG in the combat--which depicts abstract struggles in the protagonists mind. I love it. There are some negatives in that the story (especially in the first episode after the prologue) isn't paced particularly well, and it takes so very long for the protagonist to walk across the screen.
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63 of 64 people (98%) found this review helpful
49.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
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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68 of 75 people (91%) 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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