Lovewood is a short and sweet fantasy tale recently released by LadyIcePaw. Take the role of Liebwald’s new healer as you try to make new friends and possibly find a date for the Midsummer Celebration.
A full playthrough of Lovewood will net you around two hours of content, depending on how quickly you read. This is a solid amount of content if you’re looking for a game to finish in a single sitting, though with the number of routes you may want to come back for more.
In Liebwald, everyone is an elf with furry ears, an endearing and interesting design concept that lends itself to further establishing the game’s fantasy world. There are some characters who are proficient in magic, including the player character, who is an exceptional healer and has the power to manipulate light. Other characters take the role of town tailor, traveling merchant, alchemist, blacksmith, and more.
Perhaps what’s most interesting is the way the characters use their powers or curses throughout the story. Aleth, for example, is a traveling merchant who is afflicted with the liar’s curse. Throughout their route, Aleth communicates by using a blackboard, which actually changes the textbox.
There are six characters you can romance, each with a unique design and personality. You’re encouraged (and actually forced) to spend time with characters aside from the one you intend to romance. I only wish that in the romance endings, the time you spent with other characters was reflected as well.
Unfortunately, the story feels a bit rushed. Because of the length of the game, you find the protagonist and the other characters giving up information about themselves rather readily. By the first date you have with the character of your choosing, you feel like you know almost all there is to know about them. I’d have loved to spend more time with this interesting cast.
The art in Lovewood is really nice. We get a lot of hand-drawn sprites, backgrounds, and even CGs. I really love the fact that there are so many CGs in the game for various different scenes. Sometimes the CGs are used to further illustrate the text, such as your classic romance image between the two characters. There are also CGs used as animations meant to show a moment passing, such as two characters talking.
The UI is simple, yet fits the game’s aesthetic rather well. There are some game screens, such as the calendar (which shows what day you’re on) as well as the screen to choose who to hang out with, which are really nice and straight forward additions.
The music in Lovewood isn’t intrusive or loud. Rather, most of it is subdued, including the happier-sounding songs. It gives the game a nice relaxing atmosphere. LadyIcePaw puts great emphasis on representation and accessibility in Lovewood. The player is able to choose their name and pronouns right at the beginning of the game. The game features several characters of color. There are three boys, two girls, and one nonbinary love interest.
Lovewood is a short game with a decent amount of content. If you love fantasy-themed games, be sure to check it out. With so many interesting and diverse love interests, you’ll be sure to find someone to take to the Midsummer Celebration!
You can download Lovewood for free on itch.io.