The Wind's Disciple Review

Title: The Wind's Disciple
Release date: 2018-01-09 (v1.0)
2018-05-11 (v1.2)
Developer & publisher: Pixel Games

Hallelujah! Can it really be?! Is it really a Patreon-funded adult visual novel that doesn't use a crappy 3D rendered art? Is that even legally allowed? I thought every Patreon creator that tries to make their own art for a video game gets whisked off to a secret government prison and has car battery cables attached to their nads for good measure....

In all seriousness, a Patreon-funded adult game, and a visual novel to boot, whose creator hasn't given in to the recent fad of 3D rendering, is indeed a rare and welcome sight. For that visual novel to be finished, is like finding a snowman in hell... On the other hand, if we go by Mr. Alighieri's rendition of Hell, the aforementioned snowman might actually feel quite healthy in Cocytus... but I digress.
Is that her surprised look, or did she open her mouth in order to gobble his cock?...
The visual novel starts with our protagonist Janna, an orphan from the city of Zaun, getting kicked out of her orphanage, after she has reached the age of majority. What's a poor, naive girl without any notable skills to do? Find the cheap accommodations, of course, and the two friendly hobos Ronald and Roxanne, slumming in an abandoned house, are very accommodating. They gladly allow Janna to take one of the rooms in the house without any payment out of the goodness of their hearts. Now Janna only needs to find a sustainable source of income and she will be golden.

However, "The Wind's Disciple" is not some sort of a job simulator. Rather it's a VN focused on sexual corruption, in other words it's fun for the whole family. It's quite obvious that our cute innocent protagonist won't remain quite so innocent for very long, though the game differs from other eroges with a similar theme by it's presentation. In TWD no one seeks to forcibly corrupt Janna, rather every single character we meet (and probably many of those we don't) are fucking unashamed perverts. They indulge in their perversions in close proximity to Janna, who through cultural osmosis absorbs those new experiences and slowly gets more and more sexual by day.
Warwick knows how to compliment girls.
For example, Janna witnesses her housemates indulging in some healthy stress relief activities, the mayor's secretary fellates any male who wonders her way and the friendly neighbourhood werewolf indulges in public masturbation. Janna sees all that and gets more and more curious. Hence it might actually be inaccurate to call "The Wind's Disciple" a corruption game, rather the term "sexual growth" should probably be applied. With the probable exception of Valentine the clothing store owner, who is a real octopus with his hands, everything Janna does is out of her own free will after her curiosity gets the best of her. She grows from a very closeted and prude young woman into a sexual goddess... almost literally in this case.

If the character and place names haven't clued you in, the game is actually sort of fan-fiction to "League of Legends", with some of the characters making an appearance. As I have never indulged in this particular addictive substance, I know nothing about LoL, other than the fact it exists, hence I cannot tell if there is any noticeable connection between those two games, other than the borrowed setting. However, I can make an educated guess that there is no other connection and I'm somewhat baffled why the creators felt the need to borrow the LoL setting, rather than creating their own world. Laziness?
That's a funny jab at the original game being an RPG.
Anyway, the characters in this game are not particularly well fleshed and sometimes (read: most of the time) it seems that their only defining characteristic is that they are perverts. The only one who has a tad more depth is the tavern owner Katrina, who shares her romantic story about her love life with Janna. Janna herself is also a pretty weak protagonist, as most of the time she is simply characterised by how uncomfortable and at the same time intrigued she is by all the sexual activities surrounding her. The one thing that actually separates her from the crowd is her ability to cast magic and her talking invisible familiar Spot. Spot might actually be the best character in the whole damn game, as he constantly banters with Janna and is quite funny, though it bears to ask how no one comments on the fact Janna is constantly talking to thin air? After all, it's not like she is communicating with her familiar telepathically.
Yeah, dressing sexy is a good career move...
As for that tiny fact that Janna is a mage? It might as well be forgotten, as it barely plays any function in the plot. Though I would have to ask: "What plot?". In essence "The Wind's Disciple" lacks payoff. It doesn't have a coherent journey for our protagonist to travel during those 6-8 hours it takes to complete the game. There is a beginning, but there is no peak and no climax. Rather than ending on a significant note, the VN sort of tappers out. One could say that the game concerns itself with the journey of Janna's sexual awakening, but again - there is no payoff. The game ends with Janna going away to have lots of fun. That is literally what the ending screen says, and it leaves a wrong taste in one's mouth, as if you have ordered a beef stake for dinner, but then got served soy... and the waiter splooged all over your meal for good measure.

The game is totally linear, with only one possible outcome, but there are some optional encounters that can be skipped or missed along the way. Moreover, some of the scenes can only be reached after the game ends. Indeed, the ending doesn't drop you to the main menu, but back on the city map, with a few specific encounters unlocking during this time. Not that it's particularly hard to find them, but some people who are not aware of that might think the game is over and simply turn it off, without trying to play on the map. There is an internal hint system within TWD, but it only concerns itself with the main storyline and is completely unhelpful for finding optional content. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing. After all, mucking with the game and searching for hidden secrets is its own level of rewarding.
Double attack...
Now let's talk about the thing that initially attracted me to this game - the art. At first glance it's really quite good; Chica Pixel is credited as the artist for the game, and the art looks to be a lovely hand drawn affair. That is until you start noticing inconsistencies. However I think about it, there must have been more artists attached to the project, even if they are not credited. It takes a few moments, but soon it becomes clear that character sprites employ at least three different drawing techniques that visually clash with each other. It doesn't immediately attract the eye while the sprites do not appear on the same screen, but once they do... Oh, boy! The moment Ronald's and Sue's paper dolls stood side by side, the uncanny valley effect clobbered me with a two-by-four. The style is so different, that these sprites quite literally couldn't have been drawn by the same artist, then take into account the character of Graves, who uses another different style, and a question arises. What happened? Has the team had an artist who left in the middle of the project and they simply decided not to redraw the sprites that were already done? Frankly, I don't know.
Look at this horrible inconsistency.
Another issue is the backgrounds. Some of them (like the city map and the tavern) once again use the lovely hand-drawn style, similar to the adventure games of ye olden days. However, other backgrounds are simply photoshopped photographs. The City Hall is the worst offender - nothing could produce a more jarring feeling than visiting it directly from the city map. It's like it was a temporary stock art work to be replaced with a real one at the later stage of the development... Holy, Molly! I think I'm onto something, but first let's talk about H-scenes and CGs.

Anyway, the sexual content in the game is quite good and fap worthy. One of the things I really appreciated about "The Wind's Disciple" was the progression of the character's corruption. Most of the time with such games I feel that the corruption aspect is simply too fast. One moment we have an innocent virgin, the next one she is already taking dicks into all three holes; not so with this VN. Janna's curiosity and her innocent desire to experience the same pleasure all the people around her are feeling are understandable, and her journey is quite believable, even if, as I have already mentioned, there is no real meaning or payoff to the said journey.
I'm missing some background here.
The sex Janna (and others) is having is quite hot, with HCGs being well drawn, and, for once, consistent. On the other hand, I was missing variety, as the actual count of the sexual CGs is unfortunatelly low and the same images are reused for different scenes. The same CG is used for blowjobs, no matter who actually receives the blowjob, the same CG is used for sex and the same image is used for prostitution in the alley - the only difference is the text, which changes occasionally, as Janna gets more sexually mature. One could say that the developers did the best with a very limited number of images across multiple sex scenes, and that TWD was probably never meant to be a large project with a lot of CGs, however, there is one unfinished CG, that still remains just a sketch in the finished game. Add to it the inconsistent sprite and background art and the lack of CG variety, and I think we are looking at an unfinished project. Or rather one that was finished in a haste, leaving some things that were intended to be smoothed out or replaced with better images, in the game.
I'm sad this crazy bitch is just a very minor character.
If I had to find one word to describe "The Wind's Disciple", it would be "inconsistent". The art is outwardly good looking, but inconsistent and lacking variety, the characters and the storyline are lackluster at best, the sexual aspect is quite well done, but the ending is very weak. Not to mention, there are a few minigames scattered throughout the City of Zaun, but beating them doesn't reward you with anything of significance. They are there seemingly just to extend the playtime or something like that.

Consistency is lacking in some of the writing too. For example, post coital shower scenes seem to progress together with the protagonist's lewdness level, but they frequently do not correspond correctly to the scene that preceded them. Namely, Janna sometimes describes the feel of fresh cum in her pussy... even if the previous sex scene didn't actually have any intercourse. I do understand it would have been very difficult to apply the shower scenes correctly to all the sex scenes, but it's just weird reading something that directly contradicts what I have seen portrayed visually.
That actually looks really cute.
Additionally, the player might get lost in the game and need to go to multiple places looking for a new event, or need to grind for some money to purchase an item to proceed. Such mechanics are more prevalent in simulation games than straight-up visual novels, but TWD is definitely not a simulation game. For that matter, I would have preferred if it were even more linear, as all the floundering around served little purpose and it probably would have been better to remove or streamline the map movement and simply lead our protagonist by hand from one encounter to the next.

To sum up, I feel that "The Wind's Disciple" is somewhat of a missed opportunity. It started well and immediately attracted my attention, but I admit that the only thing that really kept my attention after some time was "the lewdz" and the desire to see how the game ends. Oh, and the conversations with Spot, because Spot is the best wingman ever... :-)

Links of Interest

Visual Novel Database
Download the game from the developer's blog
Developer's Patreon
Step-by-step walkthrough

Final Verdict: 55%


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