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Fastermind Games’ Icebound is a visual novel brought to you thanks to the goodness of Kickstarter. A visual novel, the game is all about story. It tells the tale of Dougal, an alchemist who finds himself in Permia, an ice covered world. Dougal lost his memory in an experiment and now wants to discover the truth about himself.
Icebound tells a strong and well written story, though there are a few grammatical hiccoughs here and there— grammarians among us be warned. The plot is clever and intriguing and definitely makes you want to continue playing. The fictional world involves all sorts of political skirmishes regarding race and religion. You’ll definitely find yourself believing in the fiction.
The story does suffer from the odd weakness here and there, though. For starters, a few of the relationships aren’t convincing, and character actions sometimes don’t lead to their logical consequences (for instance, some characters seem to end up together despite the fact that the action seemed to be pointing a different way). Thankfully, there are so many plot twists, interesting characters and moments of brilliance that you’ll be willing to look past the couple of questionable moments that occur.
A number of glitches get in the way of enjoying the game. For starters there are moments of lag and the sound seems to fall out of sync sometimes when the game transitions between different events. These aren’t truly terrible errors, but they are a little bit jarring and do suggest that the game could have been better with a little bit more polish. These and other minor problems will hopefully be patched in the near future. Either way, the positives of Icebound far outweigh the negatives. The presentation is excellent, the soundtrack is great and the story truly gets you hooked. Overall, despite the odd hiccough, this is a fantastic visual novel.
OVERALL 4 out of 5