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The story is good. I saw some complaining that there was not that much "werewolf stuff", but it made sense due to very short time span of the story. And the build up and anticipation of the first change (which was obvious, from the start) was quite good. I think in terms of the story my only real complain is that in my ending there was a mention of 2 characters not dying as a win, but neither of them were in much of danger, so it felt off. And maybe the fact, that there needs to be a proper sequel.

I would complain a bit about gameplay and... art as part of it.

  1. There were traits, that then got replaced by other traits as part of the story, but if the initial traits were used and opened some of the options, the new ones did not bare any meaning in the gameplay. Personally, I would have kept the original ones as well and continue utilizing them for some of the choices.
  2. I do not like that you need to use mouse. I don't expect gamepad support, but at least keyboard support would be nice.
  3. And this is complicated... I do like the art, at times it really helps with the mystic/spiritual elements of the story. But it really lacked the character art that would properly "stick" with the characters in the text. If you check Coteries of New York or Shadows of New York (or other visual novel games with graphics), they almost always show either "you" or another character, the one that's talking, sometimes showing change in facial expression even.

While that approach adds quite a few more clicks, it can help you envision the character and their reactions to the world better, they can make those characters more believable and even add more depth to them. In "Heart Of The Forest" all those characters seemed... Mostly like a blur. Yes, some of them had been drawn at one point or another, but it just was not enough to "connect" with them or even "connect" them to the letters on screen. Considering significantly shorter story (at least in 1 playthrough) some more art of the characters could have made the overall story more memorable.

This is not to say, that it's not. There was definitely some research done into respective real-life events and places, that were nicely incorporated. And I learnt a few new English words and even got some ideas on how to implement interactive elements in my own stories in the future.

So this will be a good purchase, if you choose to buy it. Even at full price. Even better at full price, since I do want a sequel.