A Foretold Affair is an upcoming steampunk fantasy romance visual novel from indie English developers GB Patch. After getting a glimpsing their own future, Abnormal, Buffalo Seer, will leave home on a journey to locate their intended spouse! But, the road to the future they foresaw won’t be smooth sailing, with enemies all around, Buffalo Seer will have to keep their wits about them. Upon it’s release the game will be available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and Steam for ONLY $12.99.
There’s less than a week until the game’s official release on Janurary 30th, so I figured it was high time I wrote a review of the demo, just in case any of you guys are still on the fence about the game! The demo covers about thirty minutes to and hour of gameplay for each of the potential love interests and includes some interesting features and extra content.
In this barren world of endless deserts, almost all live their lives upon large fractions of land floating above the surface.
Here there are two types of people: Normals and Abnormals.
Buffalo Seer is an eccentric Abnormal who wants nothing more than to use the magic ability within them; future seeing. However, even within their society where everyone has a special power, future seeing is considered dangerous and advised against.
Unable to be swayed, Seer finally gains permission to look into their own future, only to receive an unbelievable revelation. Not only have they left Abnormal society, they’re married to someone they’ve never met before.
With visions of happiness in their mind, Seer leaves everything behind and ventures to the part of the land fraction where those without magic live; Normal society.
Seer is going to convince this stranger that they are meant to be together no matter what it takes, even if it means tagging along on an adventure.
In only a few days Seer will learn just how far away that pleasant future is.
–Synopsis (GB Patch)
When I first saw this game a few months ago I was still on the fence about it, sure the artwork was nice and the premise was unique, but I just wasn’t completely sold on the overall concept. I honestly don’t know what to tell you guys, but this didn’t seem like a game I’d be all that into, so like most games I come across, A Foretold Affair was put into the black hole that is my backlog while I moved on to other projects. So when I finally decided to revisit the demo a few days ago, let’s just say I was none to enthusiastic about it, but after playing through the entire demo in a single sitting, I’m big enough to admit that I couldn’t have been more wrong about this delightfully charming visual novel!
So, after reading the synopsis, I was expecting the demo to be a bit dense, full of exposition dumps and convoluted world building character dialogue, but, that wasn’t the case at all! Instead the demo gradually reveals subtle hints about the world at large, in small digestible tidbits and the dialogue is so much fun that the player doesn’t feel like they’re getting hit with too much at once. The plot is told through the characters and their interactions with one another, now, of course there is some narration from the protagonist, Buffalo Seer, but their dialogue is so sassy it reads more like hilarious commentary than exposition.
Now, I really enjoyed the social aspect of the game, with the dynamic between the Abnormals and the Normals. While the demo doesn’t really reveal much in the way of histories and current social systems, we do get a basic cursory understanding of the two groups. Normals are just regular everyday people that live in the cities, while the more secretive, Abnormals live in the Walled Sanctuary, where they learn to foster their unique abilities. It’s a fascinating idea that could lead to some interesting plot developments, in fact some of them are even touched on in the demo! I don’t want to spoil it for you all, but one of the potential love interests is not what they seem… I’m curious to see how that particular plot point will play out in the final version of the game!
Of course it only makes sense that the characters of the game would have to be extraordinary in order to fit in with such a unique premise. Each of the potential love interests has an air of mystery that drives the plot of their individual routes. Kea is an uptight undercover police officer that likes to keep business and pleasure separate; Piper is a strong, independent young woman, with an affinity for machines; and January is timid Duke on the run from bounty hunters. Oh, and let’s not forget the most mysterious character of them all, Buffalo Seer, a snarky little spitfire on a quest for love. I’m not going to lie, but it took me a minute to get used to Seer, or as I named them, Bo…they have a very interesting way of dealing with people, especially anyone that is NOT their intended spouse. This character switches between demure lovestruck mooning and blunt, shade throwing rapscallion at the drop of a hat, and honestly I found it rather amusing. It’s about time we got a protagonist with some bite to them!!
As for the love interests, they’re all pretty well developed, though I must say that I’m most interested in Piper, especially since she’s a strong female lead. But, after playing through January’s demo route, I’m also more than a little interested in him too, there’s just a lot more going for him than I originally imagined. But, poor Kea… I dunno about that one… I need more time with them!
Okay, so there are a few things that set A Foretold Affair apart from the rest and that lies with the way the portagonist can identify themselves and in the diversity of the potential romantic partners. Now, my memory is a little hazy, but I can’t remember if there are any visual novels out there that allow the player to choose which gender identifiers (they, she, or he) they use (if there are some out there, please feel free to correct me). In continuing with the inclusive nature of the game, each of the protagonists come in various shades and hues, and as a person of color I love it when I see melanin in my games! As if to mirror the gender fluidity of the protagonist, each of the potential love interests also align with one of three identifiers: female, male, and agender.
Last, but certainly not least, the features and content… As a whole, I was impressed with the overall quality of this game, this game is step ahead of the rest! The steampunk design of the GUI is clean and easy to maneuver, and the character designs are well done! Each design fits well with the overall characterizations of the characters and I really appreciated the underwear clothing option! 😉 I also really liked that the sprites and some of the backgrounds featured some animation (ie. eyes blinking and moving clouds). There were also several facial expressions and poses added in to help the characters feel more life like… However, some of the scene transitions were a tad bit annoying, they reminded me of the PowerPoint presentations I did in middle school, but they were few and far between.
Like most visual novels there are a few choices scattered throughout each route that advance the plot in some way or another, and of course *drumroll* a lot of reading. But, for the most part all of the choices I made during the demo seemed relevant to the story and the writing is witty so I have no complaints there.
Overall, I am impressed with the quality of GB Patch’s A Foretold Affair! I love the inclusive story and characters, and I wish more game developers would take note from GB Patch and add more diversity to their games. I definitely appreciate how progressively inclusive this game is not just for the target visual novel audience, but for casual players as well, it definitely expands the game’s overall reach.
This is just a really well made game, and I can’t wait to see what the final release has in store for us! I can’t believe it took me so long to get around to playing the demo, but at the very least, I won’t have to wait long for the official game release on January 30th!! Don’t forget to snag a copy of the demo from their itch.io page, HERE!
You can also contact GB Patch on Social Media through the following channels:
Are you as hyped for the game as I am? Let me know what you think of A Foretold Affair and the demo in the comments section. Don’t forget to let the developers know what you think about the game as well! As always THANK YOU for reading!!!