Video Game Review – Midvinter

Midvinter is a short point-and-click adventure game where players take on the role of a farm gnome. A new family has moved into his farm and he’s determined to help them out and protect their new baby from the local troll. Players meet several fair folk from Swedish folklore and interactions with them can lead to three separate endings.

Release Date: May 5th, 2016
Developer: Talecore Studios
Publisher: Talecore Studios
Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 25 minutes
All endings play time: 45 minutes

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New humans have moved onto your farm!

Major Pros:

  • Variety of fair folk
  • Nice environment

Minor Pros:

  • Simple interactions
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Spend your time wisely to help your humans as much as you can each night

Major Cons:

  • Short

Minor Cons:

  • Timed elements
  • Strange voice acting
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Can you protect the family from the troll?

The goal of Midvinter is to protect the new family on the farm from the local troll that wishes to steal their baby. Players control the humble farm gnome whom wants to protect his new human family at all costs. The gnome can travel around the farm and neighboring woods to collect tools and fix objects. Interactions are simple and consist of either looking at or interacting with an object. Interacting with tools typically picks them up so that they can be carried to other locations. Interacting with objects that need a task completed will automatically use a tool from the bag if the right one has been collected.

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The troll makes her first apperance

There are two main paths in Midvinter with three possible endings: one ending for each path and one for managing to do both paths at the same time. Players can focus on increasing the gnome’s magic by performing tasks around the farm. These can include repairing buckets, putting back tools, or cleaning up spider webs. Gaining enough magic allows the gnome to defeat the troll on his own. Another way to defeat the troll is to enlist the help of the fair folk in the forest. This will require doing tasks of their choosing, and in exchange they will stand against the troll. Completing both paths in a single run allows the gnome and other fair folk to team up, defeat the troll, and reach the best ending.

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One of the fair folk from the forest

The setting of Midvinter is an old Swedish farm during winter. The environment is peaceful with still trees and quiet snow. I found this very relaxing and enjoyed visiting all the landmarks on the farm. The fair folk also looked interesting, but I found the voice acting for them strange. The voice actor seemed to be putting all their effort into sounding like the creature and there were no tone changes as is typical for speech. For example, the gnome sounds the same when he’s excited as when he’s angry or relaxed.

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Peaceful environment

Midvinter is a short game, there are two in-game days before the final confrontation with the troll. There is also an unusual time mechanic. Players have a limited number of location moves per day (but unlimited actions at each location) then the day ends and they are forced to rest. This means maximum efficiency of actions is required to complete both the gnome and fair folk paths to get the best ending. I found it very hard to tell how long I had left in a day before I’d be forced to rest, and on my first playthrough I felt frustrated that I was being discouraged from exploring. It certainly feels like players need to already know all the locations and what interactions are done there to make use of their time.

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If you don’t already know where the tools are, fixing this well might take more than a day.

Overall I found Midvinter to be an enjoyable look at Swedish folklore. The fair folk were interesting and the environment was relaxing. I enjoyed getting the different endings and figuring out how to use all the tools. I was sad that the game was short and found the time restriction bothersome on my first playthrough, but I think that players looking for a simple point-and-click game will enjoy Midvinter.

Find this game at the publisher’s website or on Steam.

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