Intro: What if you could kill the stepmother? Marry someone besides the prince? Get revenge on all who harmed you? This is not the Cinderella story you thought you knew.
Released on steam by MoaCube for $19.99, this is one of the most stunning visual novels to date. Cinders is no longer the innocent young girl unable to say no to her stepmother and sisters. She is aware of the fact that this is an era where women have nothing in store for their lives unless they marry, but that doesn’t mean she has to obey.
This is a visual novel, and as such, there is no gameplay other than making choices. There is no voice acting, but this does nothing to detract from the experience. The game feels like a picture book brought to life with gorgeous illustrations and a lush soundtrack. But don’t let that fool you.
The topics and themes discussed in Cinders are subtle but sharp. It’s a little too mature for younger players in some aspects, considering some of the violence that can occur, as well as the striking fact that women were treated like accessories.
It’s a very poignant commentary on what life was like for a woman and serves to show that even these “fairy tales” were just painted over to be seen as romantic. And Cinders and her stepsisters all realize this.
All of the characters are brought to life so that even the stepmother can be seen in a sympathetic light. That the sisters aren’t just cruel human beings. And that the heroine herself isn’t just some damsel. You decide what you want her to become:
A blood thirsty tyrant queen
A murderer on the run
A fair queen loved by all
and much more.
Not only this, but you can decide who Cinder marries. Does she snag the prince at the end? Her childhood friend? Or a rugged assassin?
I had a blast reading through this. The choices you make instantly change the course of the game and the outcomes can be surprising. I suggest you don’t use a guide and see what you get for the endings. And the one of the coolest parts of this game is that for every ending you get, you are rewarded with items that are placed onto Cinder on the menu screen.
Considering the impressive length of this game with all the choices, outcomes, characters, and paths, it’s worth the money. If you find it on sale, don’t hesitate to pick it up.
And remember: a fairy tale is only what you make of it.
What did you think of Cinders? What was your favorite ending?
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