Ages ago, humans lived alongside a magical species of cat-like folk known as the Felizes. Everything was all flowers and rainbows for awhile, but as you might have guessed, something eventually went wrong. A great war broke out, with humans driving the Felizes away and banning all forms of magic. But love conquers all, or so the saying goes, and despite the animosity between species, a woman falls in love with a Felize. It seems like things are just starting to get good when a group of hunters appears, guns raised, ready to rid the world of the werecat you love.
Forest Legends: The Call of Love is a casual adventure title created by the well-known Alawar Stargaze team. The game weaves a tense plot that centers around a forbidden romance, placing you in the heroine’s shoes as she rushes to save her beloved. The forest is filled with all kinds of strange creatures and enchanted beings, everything from a bug that beeps like a pager to a scarecrow tree that is guaranteed to give you nightmares. No matter what magical corner of the woods you’re poking through, however, Forest Legends is a gorgeous, easy to play game.
Forest Legends does a nice job giving you room to explore, spreading things out over a handful of scenes instead of boxing you in place. Puzzle solutions often require items found half a dozen screens away, creating a collect-stash-experiment mentality that encourages you to stay on the move. Also, collectible items and clickable points of interest blend in well with the background. To find what you need, you have to click on just about everything. It’s a little unconventional, but oh-so-satisfying thanks to the game’s luscious visuals.
There are no standard hidden object scenes in Forest Legends. Instead, the game is stuffed with mini-games and puzzles that sit outside of the normal flow of the adventure. Each time you plug an item into something you’ll need to complete a mini-game. These diversions are easy to understand but difficult to solve, presenting familiar elements mixed in unique ways. For example, you might stumble across what looks like a traditional Towers of Hanoi swapping puzzle. The pieces move in the same manner, but to actually solve it, you have to make a logical leap to match tiles with pictures surrounding the board, not just swap them all in place. It makes perfect sense the moment you look at it, but getting it done still requires some work.
Forest Legends: The Call of Love stumbles a little when it comes to story and voice acting. Both are a bit on the saccharine side, cheesy enough to make you roll your eyes but not so cringe worthy that you can’t keep playing. Certain audiences will eat up the forbidden romance angle, but for others it won’t be enough to hold their interest. Fortunately the game itself is a solid piece of puzzle solving entertainment.