Developer: Wirion

Publisher: Valkyrie Initiative

  • Price: $9.99
  • Release Date: Feb 1, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: T [Teen]
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    For digital novel fans this blend of beauty, futurism, organic technology, and a fitting soundtrack should have appeal

    Over the years reviewing titles from a wide variety of genres, I’ve slowly learned to come to appreciate the majority of them, even ones like survival that I wasn’t always so keen on. The one exception to that rule has been digital novels, at least in the case where the emphasis is more on long-form storytelling and not on giving the person playing it enough agency, or ability, to take an active part in the story. While CEIBA does have many strengths that should appeal to fans of creative sci-fi storytelling, the ability to be involved in meaningfully changing what is happening is limited.

    The story is told in a very different time and space, on an lush alien world and with you surrounded by artificial beings called Artifices, in this case with each one of note being female with quite different personalities. Unsurprisingly there’s an inevitable potential for romance here with each of them, so you’ll end up wanting to spend time talking to them and getting to understand each of their unique perspectives and hang-ups.

    There’s no question that both in terms of the art style and soundtrack the game has an appealing otherworldly quality. That does help give it an immersive quality overall, so if you’re sucked in by the game’s melange of sci-fi and futuristic themes and elements it should help it all go by pretty quickly. One issue though is that early on, aside from being a bit overwhelmed by getting up to speed, it feels like you’re asked to pore through quite a lot of text, and it can get a bit dull until you begin to see the story moving forward.

    In the end this is very much a take it or leave it proposition, depending on your tastes. If you’ve never been bitten by the digital novel bug this won’t likely be a turning point. That said, if you dig the somewhat unusual “biopunk” sci-fi vibe, the art style, and the generally chill atmosphere of it all you may find it enthralling.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Good [7.2]

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