In this elaborately plotted-out interactive adventure, “past life regression therapy” sends a modern teenager back several centuries to collect hunky guys while getting in touch with her inner self.
With her therapist’s guidance, Rose breathes deeply and wakes in medieval Heart’s Home to meet various characters—notably four eminently eligible men—and to gather clues to the mysterious death of her physician father. In the static illustrations, figures digitally rendered from photographed models pose in photorealistic settings, changing expression or position slightly. Above, lines of printed dialogue (“What is it you want?” “Just a kiss would do. Failing that…the dagger on your hip.”) scroll into and out of view one at a time, and bland music tootles monotonously in the background. At intervals, readers are presented with a choice of some sort: A box opens with two or more possible ways for Rose to respond to a conversational sally, or a puzzle must be finished to move on. Periodically, Rose returns to the present for some therapeutic analysis, or a map/playing board appears to chart her progress along a twisted, branching path. The board also includes tables that tally accumulated strength points (based on the aforementioned responses) for Rose’s four budding romances as well as her levels of Kindness, Wisdom and three other characteristics. Though multiple games can be saved and the board, when open, allows quick access to past encounters, there is no way to skip ahead or to cut scenes short.
Occasional passionate snogging aside, all the physical action’s offstage in this touchy-feely outing. (iPad game app. 14 & up)