VN Game Den was provided with a review code for The Heiress of Sorcery.
The Heiress of Sorcery is a new otome visual novel about a young woman who works in a small town as a healer. Although many townspeople are grateful to her for the help she provides, others accuse her of being a witch. Their suspicions aren’t entirely off-base—while she’d never hurt anyone, she does in fact possess a limited amount of magical power that she must constantly hide to protect herself from the Inquisition. Unfortunately, when a strange disease begins spreading through town and rumors claim it was caused by magic, the Inquisition arrives to hunt down and condemn anyone accused of witchcraft.
There are three love interests in The Heiress of Sorcery, two male and one female. Across the course of the story, choices you make will determine whose romance route you end up on and whether or not the romance is fulfilled. A couple endings are also available with no romance at all. While the majority of the story follows the same beats regardless of your route, there are a few key points where the story branches, resulting in different paths to the next section.
All three of the romantic interests, as well as the protagonist herself, are well-developed characters, and their relationships felt as though they formed naturally based on the choices I made. While the romantic moments are noteworthy, however, the real focus in The Heiress of Sorcery is the main story itself.
In some ways, this visual novel is a perfect choice for 2020—but on the other hand, some players might feel it hits a bit too close to home right now. The epidemic sweeping through the town is a major part of the story, and it gets fairly grim at times. The story also touches on a lot of dark themes related to the Inquisition and their hunt for witches, especially as people turn on the protagonist even though she’s never done any harm. Don’t think this means the story is strictly realistic, however. Not only does the protagonist secretly have magical powers, but the epidemic itself has been caused by a demon. The fantasy story here is the most exciting part of the plot, and there are some great action scenes heightened with sound effects and CGs.
There are a few typos and awkward turns of phrase, but nothing that ever took me out of the story. A more annoying problem is that the visual novel can’t seem to settle on what to call its magic users. Some variations would have made sense; I was willing to believe that townspeople might use the term “witch” or “sorcerer” while the actual magic-users themselves might have a different term, but so many different terms are used (particularly for Darius, the sorcerer love interest) that I feel it might have been a translation error. Nevertheless, those are minor quibbles about a story that otherwise reads just fine.
Most of The Heiress of Sorcery is told in an ADV format, with sprites for all major and minor characters aside from the protagonist, and a smaller picture for her that appears alongside her dialogue. It switches to NVL format for sections that are particularly narration-heavy, usually when the protagonist is thinking to herself or providing a summary of events that aren’t shown in moment-to-moment detail.
Although there is no voice acting, the music does a great job of bringing the scenes to life, especially the more exciting or tense moments. As I mentioned earlier, sound effects also help, although there are a few—such as a sharp gasp supposedly from the protagonist that felt out of place every time I heard it—that don’t seem to quite fit.
Meanwhile, the art is absolutely beautiful. The characters and backgrounds are well-made, with a surprising number of variations for the character sprites. The CGs stand out the most, though, because they’re especially nice. There’s a fair number of them, too, with images for important story scenes as well as multiple CGs for each romantic interest.
Overall, The Heiress of Sorcery is quite an enjoyable read that should take you a few hours to complete. It’s a serious story, but one filled with exciting and romantic moments. If you’re looking for an otome game with a fantasy plot, this is definitely one to look into.
You can purchase The Heiress of Sorcery from Steam.