Title: Vera Blanc: Full Moon
System(s): Windows PC (Also Mac and Linux
Release Date: July 1, 2010
Publisher (Developer): Winter Wolves (Winter Wolves)
ESRB Rating: N/A, I’d say probably 13 and up, since it does deal with investigating a possible serial killer.
Pros: Unique comic style graphics, lots of sound effects, can check the clues at any time, quite a few different mini-games, lots of save slots, can read minds to get information,
Cons: Vera seems a bit too “perfect,” spot the difference puzzles are incredibly challenging and the background music isn’t terribly appealing.
Overall Score: Two thumbs up, 91/100, A-, * * * * out of 5
The name Winter Wolves should be quite familiar to indie game fans. The company is responsible for many computer games, many of them visual novels and dating sims. Its latest game, Vera Blanc: Full Moon is quite different. First, it’s a mystery adventure/visual novel. There are plenty of mini-games, but no dating sim elements. It also looks quite different, turning towards American comics, like those from Marvel or DC Comics, to inspire the visuals.
From golden girl to perfect, telepathic detective!
Vera Blanc had an absolutely perfect life. She was a beautiful child prodigy from a rich family. Her dad was rich, and her mom was a model. Unfortunately, that ended when she developed brain cancer. Her father then spared no expense to save her life, though that meant her brain had to be rewired. This in turn made her even more perfect, as she became much smarter, able to remember practically everything she would see or hear and developed telepathy. Despite all that, she wanted to go back to normal since she couldn’t use her new abilities. So her father introduced her to the private paranormal detective Brandon Mackey, so she could help make a difference in the world.
Detective Mackey and Vera then head to Wolfach, Germany. A werewolf is supposedly plaguing the town, and Mackey has taken the case to find out what’s really going on. Mackey isn’t sure what he believes, but Vera is incredibly skeptical about the idea of a werewolf actually existing.
Prepare to do a lot of reading and mini-game solving.
The key to finding the truth in Vera Blanc: Full Moon is paying attention. You need to read closely to know what’s going on in Wolfach, and be ready to read minds, talk to important people and solve mini-games in order to find the best ending. Vera’s actions determine what you’ll learn about the case, so you have to be careful.
Mind reading is a guessing mini-game. You will usually have only a few opportunities to read someone’s mind, and then you’ll have to decide before you do if it’s worth it. You could end up reading the mind of someone with no pertinent information, which would mean you’d miss out learning crucial information that could lead to an important revelation that could bring you to the true ending. You click letters to try and see if they are in that person’s thoughts. If you miss a certain number of times, you don’t know exactly what was being said and could miss out on important information.
I also found the art style in Vera Blanc: Full Moon quite appealing. Most visual novels tend to favor Japanese manga and anime art styles, so Vera Blanc: Full Moon really stands out. It fits the situation as well, since it makes you feel like you’re reading an old noir or detective comic. This may give some visual novel fans pause before picking it up, but I think it may actually help Vera Blanc: Full Moon become more accepted by general adventure fans, since it stands out.
There were only two ways in which Vera Blanc: Full Moon didn’t stand out. The first is the music. The sound effects are used well, and there are a few tracks that successfully help build suspense and ambiance, but for the most part it’s rather bland. The other part is Vera herself. She does have some interesting abilities and lines, but there are times when she comes off a bit too perfect. In a way, that’s sort of a common failing among heroines in these kinds of supernatural mysteries – Sookie Stackhouse, from the True Blood TV series and series of novels is the same way. It just makes her seem a tad unbelievable at moments.
Mystery fans will want to get telepathic with Vera Blanc.
Overall, Vera Blanc: Full Moon is an appealing new mystery visual novel. It stands out due to its unorthodox presentation and its supernatural mystery. While the character of Vera may seem a bit too good to be true, the story that players get to investigate is quite intriguing, especially since your choices effect what kind of ending and result you’ll find. If you’re looking for a mystery adventure with a bit of substance, you may want to check it out. Just remember to save before making decisions or deciding to read people’s minds, just in case you make a mistake or choose to eavesdrop on the wrong person’s thoughts. Vera has a tendency to die if you aren’t careful.
Site [Vera Blanc: Full Moon]