Autumn’s Journey Review ( Nintendo Switch)

Game: Autumn’s Journey
Genre: Adventure, Simulation, Role-Playing
System: Switch
Developers | Publishers: Apple Cider|Ratalaika Games
Price: USD $4.99 | UK £4.99 | EU € 4,99 
Age Rating: US E 10+ | UK 3+
Release Date: US December 11, 2020 | EU November 11, 2020

Thank you to Ratalaika Games for the review code!

Dragons always interest me. Whether it’s Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins matching wits with Smaug, the mythology of the Fire Emblem series, or any of the many other novels and stories featuring the fantastic animals, they are intriguing creatures. Include a dragon in your story and it just got ten times more interesting. Why do I bring this up? Autumn’s Journey has two dragons! So let’s not waste any more time finding out if this game is worth your hoarded gold…I mean…hard-earned cash!


Autumn's Journey. Auralee and Ilmari are reading on a bench. They look like love may be in the air.
Auralee and Ilmari reading a book and looking Instagram ready

You play as Auralee, a heavenkind from the town of Berri in the world of Ishtera. She has been training all her life to be a knight just like her famous mother. One day she runs into a dragonkind named Kerr who has been temporarily transformed into a heavenkind and tasked with learning about the heavenkind race. Kerr needs Auralee’s help, and the help of the dragonkind Ilmari they meet along the way, to complete his mission and return to dragon form. How will they accomplish this? And will Auralee become a knight like her mother? You’ll just have to play to find out!

Gameplay and Controls

This is a very simple otome visual novel. There are a handful of branching choices and mission selections that lead to three basic endings. The controls are good with the exception of the skip function which is wonderfully fast…when it works. I couldn’t get it to engage sometimes, and then when it did engage it would disengage randomly. Of course, this is annoying when you’re playing through for different endings; otherwise it’s not a bother.

I would like to point out that this is the first visual novel I’ve ever played where you could set the speed fast enough to be a comfortable reading speed for me on autoplay. My thumbs very much appreciated the rest!

Any Other Issues or Features worth Noting?

The previously mentioned issues with the skip function. There were also missing chapter headings. Not a big deal just looks unfinished without them.

This game offers the option of OpenDyslexia font that is supposed to be helpful for readers with dyslexia. I found it much easier to read with the small text size.


Autumn's Journey. A scene of birch trees by a lake. Colors are vivid and look blended as if in a painting.
I just love this background

The art is beautiful. I especially loved the background art in this game. The colors are gorgeous and blend beautifully. The characters are cute in a typical anime style.

Autumn's Journey. Auralee and Kerr as chibi characters by a fire. Auralee is poking Kerr with a stick.
This game is the first time I’ve seen chibis in a visual novel

This game has something I hadn’t seen in any visual novels up to this point: chibi art! And now that I’ve seen it, I wonder why I don’t see more of it. The chibi versions of these characters are ADORABLE and I loved their scenes.

As you play you unlock both regular and chibi scenes from the story in the extras gallery.

Music and Voice Acting

Autumn's Journey. All three character lying down in a sketch form. This is part of the storyboard art.
The three friends hanging out in storyboard form

The music variety is pretty impressive for a game of such short duration (2-3 hours for one playthrough). As you play you unlock the music selections in the extras menu. I especially enjoyed the end credits song “Thank You” by Jason Chen, which plays over a collection of story board art.

The voice acting is sparse but good. Just some exclamations used here and there. I was a bit surprised at how often they used “What the hell?!” as an exclamation for Kerr, especially given that the game got a 3 rating in the UK. It’s less the fact that the mild swear is used, but just that it’s repeated so much. 


Autumn's Journey. Kerr and Ilmari sleeping against a tree. They look very cute.
So cute!

Autumn’s Journey is a short, but well-written visual novel that would be a great choice for people who enjoy a fantasy story with some cute, anime style interactions and flirting.

The game gives the impression that there is significant backstory for this world in the minds of the creators, and has an ending that leaves space for a sequel. I would happily play another game set in the world of Ishtera if given the chance.

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot!

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