VN Game Den received a request to review the demo for Water Mage.
Water Mage is an upcoming visual novel planned to be released in 2021. It is a fantasy story starring Savay, an untalented magician set to become the village guardian, and a free demo is currently available. After a brief introduction to the world and its lore, the story begins shortly ahead of the vote that will determine whether or not Savay becomes the next guardian as she’s been training to do. However, it’s largely considered a routine matter, so everyone is prepared to celebrate her success… until a dead body is discovered. Savay was the one keeping watch when the murder took place, which puts her future as a guardian in doubt.
The demo is very short and mainly serves to introduce the conflict I described above. Lord Azura, who states his plan to vote against Savay, explains why the dangers a guardian would face make her unqualified for the position despite her training. It’s just a hint of the story to come, and I would have liked to see more to get a better idea of where it’s going. Although the worldbuilding set up at the beginning is intriguing, the demo left me unsure if Water Mage will be a personal story focused on Savay and her decisions, an epic fantasy story dealing with the various conflicts in the world, or something in between.
However, it also introduces several key characters, and it’s shaping up to have a nice cast. Before Savay is summoned to speak with Lord Azura, there’s a much more lighthearted section in which she interacts with some of her friends. While it’s a short conversation, it does a good job of illustrating the characters’ personalities and the way they play off of one another. There’s a bit of humor and banter, and it manages to introduce a few characters in quick succession without feeling overwhelming, which is always a good sign. And while it’s mainly focused on the character dynamics, their dialogue contributes a bit more to the worldbuilding as well.
The demo does not contain any choices, and the full game’s description doesn’t indicate whether or not there will be branching paths or multiple endings. Maybe we’ll take control of Savay’s destiny and decide which path she will follow, or maybe it will be a kinetic novel focusing on one specific story. Right now, I could see it going either way. The demo also doesn’t feature any voice acting, but since there’s a “voice” option in the volume settings, it appears that the full visual novel may include that.
Meanwhile, the backgrounds are beautiful, and the character sprites also look great. I especially like the variation in their poses, as some characters change positions or even turn completely around for certain lines instead of being limited to only a few expressions. The music is good, and the UI also has a nice appearance that helps it stand out. Getting back to the art for a moment, a single CG appears near the start of the demo, and it is also quite well-done.
Overall, Water Mage has an intriguing premise, and I can see the story going in some interesting directions. I only wish the demo was a little longer to give a better idea of what those directions will be.
You can download the demo for Water Mage from itch.io.