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Wintermoor Tactics Club

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 11 - 2020

A boarding school-based tactical RPG visual novel where after-school clubs battle it out for survival in a family-friendly way.

 
When it comes to turn-based tactics games, a lot of emphasis can be put on the games difficulty. Often times, a game can be criticized if it is too easy, while a game with a stupidly high difficulty will only demand that the player get better. Sometimes though, players may not want to flex their tactical muscles too much, or new players may want to be slowly and simply introduced to a new genre without being laughed off the PC for failing their first mission. EVC’s Wintermoor Tactics Club not only offers that level of simplicity that would be a perfect introduction to turn-based tactics, but it also combines the genre with the laid back progression of a visual novel. Sure, it may not suit everyone, but the quirky premise should be enough to get players through the door.

 


 
The entire game takes place in a 1980s boarding school where the after-school clubs are pretty much the most important part of every student’s day. There are a strange selection of different clubs at the school, but the most important is the club to which the player belongs – the Tactics Club. The Tactics Club is run by Alicia and, along with her two friends, revolves around tabletop fantasy gaming. Rather than D&D, at Wintermoor they play C&C, but you get the idea. With other clubs ranging from the Equestrian club, the Young Monarchists and the Psychic Detectives, the overall tone of the game is easy to pick up.

 
But everything takes a dark turn when the Principal declares there will be a snowball tournament and all of the clubs will have to take part. It will be an elimination competition, with losing clubs being disbanded and only the overall winner being allowed to continue. Obviously, this is devastating news to Alicia and friends, but their experience in playing tabletop games will surely allow them to achieve victory.

 


 
As already suggested, the game comes in two parts. Perhaps the most important is the actual battling. Through the course of the game, the player will find themselves on many a grid-based battlefield as they move their characters around to do battle with whatever they face. Fans of the genre will be quite at home here, with the small battlefields that represent either snowball fights or adventures at the club. Everything is somewhat simplified, with very obvious options for each character, and small in scale. As the player progresses, new members of the club will give access to new ways for them to work together, but that is pretty much as complex as it all gets. While achieving the highest accolade in each battle will take a little more skill, Wintermoor is incredibly forgiving to the player and thus accessible to both younger players and newcomers.

 
While the battles are the highlight of the game, the visual novel side of things that takes place outside of the battles is equally well done and simplified. The school is a great place to explore, talking with the various students and building bonds of friendship. The narrative is well written without being too overwhelming, which is often a problem with visual novels. The puzzles don’t get any more complex than fetching things or talking to certain characters, which can lead to a bit of back and forth around the school but nothing too taxing. The story itself is fun and light-hearted, definitely aimed at a younger audience, and has a certain amount of charm. There is no sense of threat to the game, even in the battles, so the game really is suitable for younger players.

 
Visually, the game carries that charm through, with some really nice use of cel-shading and a simple colour palette. The character portraits don’t always match up with the characters on screen, but they are easy to identify and look good overall. Everything in the game is nice and clear, all laid out to be easy for players of all levels.

 


 
Accessibility sums up Wintermoor Tactics Club quite well. It is an odd game with plenty of charm. The battles are fun and the narrative outside of battle is easy to follow. The game is by no means difficult, but then players who really need it can find some extra challenge. Anyone looking for turn-based tactics in a boarding school filled with strange characters will find Wintermoor Tactics Club to be the ideal extracurricular activity.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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