Forest Guardian Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Forest Guardian
Genre: Simulation, Role-Playing
System: Nintendo Switch
Developers | Publishers: Top Hat Studios
Price: US $10.99 |UK £8.09 | EU € 8,99 
Age Rating: US T | UK 16+
Release Date:  US November 12th, 2020 | UK December 11th, 2020

Thank you to Top Hat for the use of the review code!

I’m always on the looking out for good Yuri games. I was intrigued when I saw Forest Guardian listed as upcoming in the eshop, and jumped on the chance to review it when asked! So did it live up to my expectations?


Forest Guardian Anna is getting ready to leave the village. A villager warns against traveling through the woods.
Wow. Ominous much?

Forest Guardian follows the tale of Anna, a traveling merchant. Having acquired goods that would allow her to make the largest sale of her life, she makes the decision to cut through some woods of which the locals are afraid. The reason? People were murdered there! In her attempt to make it to port before winter sets in, Anna collapses in the woods and wakes to find herself in a shrine being cared for by a woman with fox characteristics (aka a kemonomimi) named Mayu. Who is this woman? And what really happened in the woods all those years ago? Forest Guardian reveals these answers and more.


Forest Guardian Mayu gazes out the window. She looks contemplatively at the moon.
Gazing out of the window

This is a visual novel in the strictest sense. You don’t do anything but advance the store by clicking next.  Unfortunately, despite being a game with such a heavy emphasis on text, the log only shows the last 3 dialogue boxes. So I missed a little bit of the story when I accidentally selected auto advance a few times. Other than that minor issue, no complaints on gameplay.


Forest Guardian Mayu has fallen on top of Anna. The scene is awkward.
This looks quite…ahem…different in the uncensored version.

Players should know that this is a censored version of the 18+ game available on Steam. Any suggestive pictures have tastefully placed lens flares. In researching this review I saw some of the unedited screencaps and I have to say I prefer this version. The uncensored version definitely would not make it onto this site. I am unsure if the story itself was edited since I have not played the original myself, and I can’t find any mention of this online.

Any Issues?

The advertised length is 3-5 hours. I finished the entire game in 2 hours. I did set the text speed rather high as normal speed in visual novels is quite slow for me, so this may account for the difference. Still, it’s a fairly short game.

The text when playing in handheld mode is almost unreadable. In addition to being tiny, they did a sort of textured font that increases the issues I had with focusing on the small text. Ultimately, this was the game that pushed me to the point of grabbing a pair of reading glasses, which solved the problem, but I really shouldn’t need reading glasses to play one game. I wish more developers would consider handheld when developing for the Switch and allow font size adjustment. 

Art and Music

Forest Guardian Anna is in the woods. The colors are absolutely gorgeous fall shades.
Gorgeous fall colors!

This game is BEAUTIFUL. I loved the background drawings in this game, and the characters are well-designed. What the story lacks in length it absolutely makes up for in visuals. This game does not allow screen caps. I wish I could share some of my favorite scenes, but that wasn’t possible.

The music is also charming enough that I never got annoyed with it even though there aren’t too many selections cycling through the scenes. The soundtrack is available on Steam, and honestly that’s tempting.


Forest Guardian Anna in the shrine. There is a large statue in the background.

This is a brief, but touching story, about two women finding each other. There are a few parts that are a little hokey, but other than that I enjoyed the world-building and characters quite a lot. Other than the font, my only complaint is that it’s a bit short for the price. If you grab it on sale I’m sure you’ll have no regrets at all.

Final Verdict: I Like it!

I like it



  1. Hi I’m the developer of this game so sorry about the font size issue was not aware this was a problem I’l make a note of it so it can be fixed if I get the chance to sort it out or at the very least next time. I didn’t personally get to self test this element. About the dialog log will have that improved in the future or the next title if i can manage. Some of the scenes in the switch version are new because I replaced the adult scenes with whole new art and had the dialog of the scenes changed so there was no less content.
    The soundtrack is part available on steam with 100% of the revenue going to to the author of that half, the other half of the music is free on soundcloud I made a post about it on the steam forums. This was just based on the desire of the musicians that worked on the project.
    I would love to fix some of these minor issues but my original programmer ended up very sick and was unable to continue working with us and having someone take over someone else’s code is quite tricky and taxing. So its just easier to work on something new with fresh involvement. That’s not to say stuff isn’t being done for the title I have translations works in progress and some minor update plan but I have no guarantee on timelines and if people drop out I might not be able to finish certain goals.

    Regardless thanks for the review I was googling my game today to show to a friend and saw your review.

    1. You made a good game! I remember this one fondly.

      Sorry to hear about your programmer. I hope their health recovers.

      Frankly, a lot of developers seem to forget that handheld mode on the Switch is a thing and adjust their text accordingly. It’s fairly common to have issues reading text. I mention it because I play exclusively handheld (Switch Lite) so it’s something for the readers to consider. For this one the story was definitely worth using the reading glasses.

      I hope I get a chance to play your next game. Good luck with your future projects!

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