Forest Legends: The Call of Love is a hidden object adventure game from developers Alawar Entertainment. Originally released for PC, it now finds a home on the PSN for PlayStation 3. The story follows the tale of a young woman named Eveline who is in love with a werecat. Unfortunately their love is a forbidden one, as humans and werecats are mortal enemies. Before long, her beloved is taken and Eveline sets out to rescue him.
As I originally stated this is a hidden objective game, which means this is all about gathering items and solving puzzles in order to progress through the story. Each locale is pretty much a puzzle and in order to move on you have to search each area within that locale for the specific items you need. For example you may need gem in order to activate a special device, the gem would be in another area. Upon discovering the gem, you find it is unreachable and require another item first, so you must search for that item as well. Many of the objects tend to be well hidden, but properly survey each area and you will find what you need.
Thankfully the point-and-click gameplay mechanics are solid and offer no hindrance on your searches. It isn’t very challenging though but if you are having a hard time finding just what you need or don’t know what to do next, you can always click on Eveline’s cute little baby dragon. The little fellow acts as the game’s hint system and will breathe fire and highlight the current objective, giving you an idea of what to do next. He will need some time to recharge afterwards, but he is always there and if you manage to spot a little glowing orb, clicking it will refill him quickly. There are also mini puzzle games that must be solved throughout the adventure. They are decent and offer a little more variety to the gameplay and while some can be challenging, most are rather easy. Though if you do get stuck, there is an option to skip the mini-games and have them solved for you. Overall the puzzles and mini-games are well designed and are fun to solve. It is unfortunate the game quickly becomes tedious and annoying.
Each location has an ultimate task that must be completed in order to move on to the next. Every one of these tasks requires a potion. In order to make these potions, you need the proper ingredients. So ultimately, the entire game revolves around finding ingredients just to make a brand new potion. It gets a bit ridiculous towards the end as well. You are looking for ingredients for a potion, but you can’t progress any further because a certain area is out of reach. Luckily you meet someone that can help you, but you must help them first. How, you ask? With a potion of course. So now you need to find a potion, in order to help someone help you, reach an area with an ingredient that you need to make another potion. Potionception! Like I said, the game feels tedious and the whole potion thing is down right annoying.
The art style and animations for the characters look rather awkward; lip syncing is completely off and any emotion these characters are meant to project just looks abysmal. The backgrounds on the other hand are beautifully crafted, look and feel alive thanks to the little animations and sound effects for the local wildlife. This is a great thing seeing as the majority of the game will be spent viewing these backgrounds, while you search and click for hidden objects and such. Both the sound design and musical score do a wonderful job of making you feel as though you are within a world of fantasy.
One of the many areas within the game’s enchanted forest.
Sadly, the voice acting is not as impressive as the rest of the game’s audio. Everyone involved, with the exception of the narrator at the beginning of the game does a pretty bad job. The worst offender is a little green pixie, you meet later on in the game. Thankfully his screen time doesn’t last for too long, but you still have to listen to the protagonist for the majority of the experience. You could just turn the voice volume completely off, as all of the dialogue is accompanied with subtitles.
The dialogue isn’t that much better unfortunately, as many characters deliver cringe worthy lines throughout. It kind of takes you out of the story; it gets a little hard to care for what is going on when the main character starts to get on your nerves. The overall plot is a decent affair, filled with themes about love and how far some are willing to go for their loved one. It quickly becomes predictable and cliché towards the end. It is nothing awe inspiring but it isn’t bad either.
Replay Value: Moderate – This is a short game, it took almost 5 hours to complete. Beating it unlocks a bonus chapter that acts as a prologue to the main story and can be completed in about half the time. There is an option to replay the main story again on the expert difficulty, with no tips being offered in case you get stuck but after playing it the first time you most likely won’t need any assistance. Honestly unlocking all the trophies seems to be the only real reason to even replay it.
Final Verdict: Forest Legends: The Call of Love, looks beautiful and sounds (for the most part) just as good. It plays well and offers some fun puzzles, thought they are for the most part a little too easy. If you aren’t looking for too much of a challenge and can look past the predictable story, awful acting and dialogue, and the tediousness then I have no problem recommending this game to you. Otherwise look elsewhere, Forest Legends: The Call of Love is an average experience, nothing more.
Overall Score: 6.5 / 10
Developer / Publisher: Alawar Entertainment
Available on: PC, PSN for Sony’s PS3 (EU / UK), Coming very soon to US
Played On: Sony’s PlayStation 3
Review Copy Info: A digital copy was provided to RealGamerNewz by the Publisher for the purpose of this review.