STAFF REVIEW of Cinders (Xbox One)


Tuesday, December 1, 2020.
by Kirsten Naughton

Cinders Box art Cinders is based off of the classic Disney movie, Cinderella. Being that Cinderella is one of my favourite Disney classics, I was beyond happy when I saw there was a visual novel videogame adaptation of it. Irregardless of how its narrative differs from the classic Disney's storyline, I was on board with giving Cinders a shot. I'm always willing to give new things a try, and to be honest, I don't have much experience in playing visual novels so this was all pretty new to me, unsure what to expect.

Cinders is in the visual novel genre, straightforward question selection and quite a simple UI to make the gameplay come across as smooth. The baseline of Cinders is very similar to Cinderella. She has a stepmother and two step sisters that aren't too fond of her. Cinders wants to find her Prince and fall in love. Bippity, boppity, boo... well not really. I would rather not give much more of the story away as there are different avenues and I'm not the 'spoil the story' kinda chick.


I feel like I have to clear the air before I can talk about the good. I don't normally start off a review with negative and then get into the positive, but this time I am making an exception. I feel like if a visual novel chooses not to have voice acting, it certainly needs to excel at every other area. I do completely understand that visual novels often do not have voice acting and I completely respect that, however, it would have brought more depth to the story and gameplay itself if it had said voice acting. Just my personal opinion.

Another issue I feel can't go unnoticed is when you choose your answer for the dialogue, Cinders and the other characters don't necessarily respond the way you'd logically think and assume. Have you ever told someone something rather exciting and they respond in disgust like you just called their little sister ugly? That's how Cinders' dialogue seems to play out quite frequently, constantly making you wonder what the reactions will be.


It's quite frustrating when you're trying to build relationships with people in the game and what you intended to say doesn't get projected well, making it feel like you constantly have to walk on egg shells or try and predict outcomes. Should I choose this option? Should I not choose this option? I'm aware that negative responses have negative consequences, such as does life, but this glaring issue Cinders has somewhat ruins the gameplay for me. I want to be able to relax and play through without worrying too heavily about what choices I make. Food for thought, I guess.

I know not every video game is perfect. However, Cinders got one thing perfect, and that's its art style. I tend to steer towards games that have visual aesthetics like these. It's gorgeous, full of beautifully drawn works of art. There's no denying whomever was the lead artist on Cinders loved what they do, as you can see it through all aspects of gameplay. I'd play Cinders again just to enjoy the gorgeous backgrounds and characters over and over again.


With the vibrant, colorful choices, the art style gives off a very positive, happy vibe to a narrative that unfortunately seems to be a mix of Cinders' feelings, both negative and positive. It's nice to see that throughout gameplay, the art style stays consistent. Cinders is a true work of art. Even with a few hiccups along the way, I'd recommend Cinders to anyone that finds visual novel games even remotely appealing. Cinders clearly is made for a certain audience and bravo for their merits. As for me, I'll keep looking for my Prince Charming and explore some more.




Overall: 6.5 / 10
Gameplay: 6.5 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10

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