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Book of Hours Review

Book of Hours Review

Book of Hours Review
Marzzman Gaming

Book of Hours Review

After the relatively successful Cultist Simulator was released back in 2018, Weather Factory the London-based husband and wife team, announced the combat-free RPG Book of Hours. With its emphasis on narrative crafting experiences, Weather Factory is looking to continue its momentum from its recent success into its new IP. Does Book of Hours match the level of Weather Factory titles? Is it worth buying? I give the good, bad and give my rating in my final verdict. Let’s review it!

The Good

The Art Design

One of the best aspects of the game has to be the art style. I think the storybook design of the game does have a cool aesthetic. The entire game is basically written in a book and sections are hidden in smoke that have to be unlocked with a combination of actions, giving the entire region a coat of mystery and feeling like it was an older-era book.

Since it takes place in the 1930s, it really does show how well Weather Factory mirrored the time with the design of the game itself. The Characters, locations and overall art design were on point.

Multiple Path Stories

Even if the story aspect was not massive in scale, one of the cool aspects of Book of Hours is the ability to reach different story areas in multiple different ways. I had experienced two methods to move onto new sections of the map or areas of the Hush House. The given ability to strategize and pick your path definitely was impressive. Finding specific people and using certain items gives you the stats needed to unlock more rooms in the Hush House. It may seem simple, but it definitely can be a challenge at times giving players an emphasis to find their way to progress through the story.

Check out our Hammerwatch 2 review!

Music

The best aspect overall must be the music. The tunes being played throughout the game honestly set the stage so well with melancholy tracks that give the chill vibe the game sets. A sense of wonder and mystery is set throughout the music and I honestly felt it was such a hidden gem when compared to some other games that don’t really emphasize their music. A mixture of chorus and string instruments does give the music life. I think a lot of games do not give the same effort when developing the music of their IP it doesn’t add to the mood of the game. You have to give credit to Weather Factory for going the extra mile in this aspect.

The Bad

No Room to Learn

One of the problems I had with the game was the brutal intro. I feel as though you have no idea what to do and there really wasn’t much of a tutorial to explain the method to success. The basic idea is that you use energy to find particular people and items to help boost stats to progress through certain rooms or boundaries. But even if that’s the case, they don’t really give you any indication of the best path, especially at the beginning of the game. On my first play-through, I was completely lost and actually lost core memories I could have used to progress my game quicker. It almost feels like you are expected to know how the game works without giving any info on how to do so.

Harder for Newcomers

Since they don’t really give you much guidance the game feels more dragging than it should be. I completely understand the combat-free aspect, but they do have some mishaps in explaining the basic way the game works to newcomers to the genre. If they were to give you some indication on the best path, especially in the beginning at least players would have had more practice before hitting the rest of the game. At times the mechanics needed to progress were not clear and for newcomers to the genre that might put them off.

The Story is Basic

Lastly, the story was basic. I’m not going to hate the story itself because there are a lot of things to investigate along the way, but even then it just felt like it could have been more. I enjoyed the smaller interactions between the different townsfolk and the story developed there but felt like there could have been more.  The story is that your goal is to rebuild the Hush House which was a massive library with insane amounts of knowledge. Sounds captivating I know, but maybe you could give more mysteries in the rooms you unlock or in the side characters that give your actions more weight overall. I feel like it was a missed opportunity.

Check out our Remnant 2 review!

Final Verdict

Overall, I felt that Book of Hours had positives and negatives. The art style and music really stood out and make the game feel unique. Weather Factory did a great job at creating an atmosphere that would set Book of Hours apart compared to many other RPG games out there. The bland story and the lack of any guidance on the basic mechanics made the game feel very drawn out. Even with its struggles, Book of Hours definitely hits the combat-free RPG well and gives fans of Weather Factory something to enjoy.

Rating

I am giving Book of Hours a 6.5 out of 10. Some fun aspects to play and once you get the hang of the gameplay you can really enjoy the majority of the game. At some parts, it can feel drawn out but the music really kills it and made me sit back and enjoy the tunes the entire time. If you enjoy combat-free RPG I think it will be worth the purchase.

How would you rate/review the game? Let us know in the comments!

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