May 29, 2017 Last Updated 11:00 AM, May 29, 2017

Highway Blossoms Review

Published in Adventure
Read 1523 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

AlienWorks is an up and coming developer who decided to publish an interactive game as their first project. 

Highway Blossoms is an American heart-filled story, drawn in the style of Japanese anime and with simple game mechanics. It's not a point-and-click, and it's not a ‘choose your own path’ type of game.

It doesn't have to be.

It simply is a relaxing read, that emphasizes visual aids and sounds to pull the reader into the story. Because its publishing house is no one other than the Sekai Project, the folks behind the Sakura franchise (see our latest Sakura review here!), I had high expectations toward the art style and visual design. I wasn't disappointed. The beautiful artwork coupled with such a story line, not to mention the technical ease at which the camera moves instead of watching still frames, Highway Blossoms is one of the best visual novels I have had a pleasure of reading. A lot of thought went into this story and the extra attention to both the writing and the programming shows.

The story is about a girl named Amber beginning her adventure through New Mexico. I won't spoil it for you; instead I'll try and explain the writing style with which AlienWorks went about narrating. First, it's clear that a lot of work went into making words words flow. The writing is descriptive to an extent it almost feels like it's been pulled right out of a novel from John Steinbeck. At times a bit slow in capturing the reader's interest, it's a ‘Yuri’ story set in a gold rush era (close, close away?), and in comparison to the Sakura games I've played, the writing here feels a lot better. It's still a game though, and might fall short in meeting expectations of the aficionados for soft cover books. Still, the dialogue flows and praise ye AlienWorks, isn't interrupted by anime clichés to see through the fanboy's desires.

In short, if the writers ever attempted to write a book, I would buy it in a flash.

Reading? Great, but animation you ask? Ha! That's the gem of this novel, and I applaud the developers for their achievement. Instead of still frames, as one might expect from a visual novel, each character moves and reacts. In tune with the backdrop. Expressions switch, characters move, each time the narrative wants them to edge closer or run away. It feels dynamic, it feels alive, it's a breath of fresh air. It might be a tad ambitious, but I do hope competing studios will observe this (needed) attention to detail. Maybe even implement them in their own games. The fact is, animation helps introduce and develop characters in a more attaching way. Combined with the art style which sure, isn't unique, but is nonetheless well done, we get vibrant close ups and witness emotions in a variety that is key for us to connect.

8

The Verdict

Highway Blossoms is a relaxing play, with great mechanics and storyline, and best of all, attention to detail. No clouds in the sky to transition between slides on this one lads. This is a story, with down-to-earth characters that feel, well, like actual human beings. If more visual novels were built like this, I would play more of them.

Image Gallery

Antsel Gladdish

A mysterious figure walks down the street reading a book in one hand, a radish in the other and listening to 8-bit music through a pair of headphones which are concealed underneath his favorite fedora hat. That is Mr. Gladdish in a nutshell. Gladdish is a novelist and slam poetry award winner who works in the genera's of fantasy, fiction, and historical fiction. He has published his first historical fiction novel, Unsolved Mysteries, and is currently working on his new fantasy series. After three years of traveling, Gladdish decided to set his career on entertaining people with his words and creative stories. He is an active gamer of RPG's, enjoying both Uncharted and Witcher series. As a person who watching Soul Eater, loves snowboarding down the Alps and enjoys a nice pot of cheese fondue in the winter, he is definitely one of the few people you meet that will always have a story to tell.

Related items

  • NIS America Announces Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA

    NIS America announced that Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA will be arriving on Steam in North America on September 12 and Europe on September 15. The game will also include dual audio (English and Japanese) as well as in-game text in English and French.

  • SAMURAI WARRIORS: Spirit of Sanada Review

    Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is superb and easily drags you into the gameplay, with the ability to train multiple characters and play as them, along with the replayability of the stages. Spirit of Sanada comes highly recommended to fans of the Dynasty Warriors series, or fans of hack-and-slashers, RPGs, or strategy titles, especially ones with a historical theme.

  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

    Komaru Naegi has been imprisoned inside a mysterious apartment for over a year. Her rescue is derailed when hundreds of Monokumas suddenly attack. She teams up with Toko Fukawa to survive the rampaging Monokumas, escape the crafty Monokuma Kids, and uncover the secrets of the city.

More in this category: Hiiro Review »

Latest Shows

MyWorld Early Ac…

MyWorld – THE Action RPG Maker! Unleash your imagination with MyWorld and create, share and play amazing 3D adventures with our growing community. Claim glory and treasure as you c...

Dawn of Andromed…

Dawn of Andromeda is a pausable, real-time 4X space strategy game providing an accessible, fun and immersive experience, introducing fresh ideas to the genre. Build your empire, co...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

DIRT 4

DiRT 4 is all about embracing fear. It’s about the thrill, exhilaration and adrenaline that is absol...

Hot Plates

Discover the future world of cooking! The Chef of a space-restaurant needs to know all about managem...

Danganronpa Anot…

Komaru Naegi has been imprisoned inside a mysterious apartment for over a year. Her rescue is derail...

Nex Machina

Nex Machina is an intense arcade style twin-stick shooter from Housemarque. Taking hints from both R...

SAMURAI WARRIORS…

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is superb and easily drags you into the gameplay, with the ability to train multiple characters and play as them, along with the replayability of...

Faeria Review

Faeria's gameplay shines, and what it lacks in narrative it more than makes up for in strategy. While Faeria won’t appeal to some casual players and viewers, players that enjoy del...

Farming Simulato…

The price point of the Farming Simulator: Big Bud DLC is pretty high for the content that it includes. While the models are fantastic and a cut above mods of the same machines in e...

Impact Winter Re…

Impact Winter may have just a few too many issues now, but the real reason it isn’t a must-buy is that it would be much more fun if you were just a lonely man wandering the wastela...