The Lion’s Song is a thought-provoking story about artists, their inspirations, and the connections that tie people together.
The Lion’s Song
Platforms: PC (reviewed), Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
MonsterVine was provided with a PC code for review.
The Lion’s Song is a difficult game to describe in some ways, because although all of its events are connected, it doesn’t have a clear overarching plot. Instead, it feels almost like a frame story for three smaller stories, each of which has its own plot.
The game is spread across four episodes, all set in early 20th century Austria. Episode 1 follows a young composer who travels to an isolated cabin in search of inspiration for her new song. Episode 2 follows an artist skilled at seeing people’s “layers,” but who has trouble seeing his own depth. Episode 3 follows a mathematician struggling to prove her theory in an era when society believes women can’t be mathematicians. Finally, Episode 4 deals with new characters whose paths have crossed with the previous three.
These three characters are quite different from one another, but they also have a few things in common: they’re all artists or creators, they’re all trying to find inspiration, and they’re all struggling to understand themselves as well. It isn’t afraid to touch upon serious subject matter, and it also demonstrates how things that seem inconsequential to some people can provide critical inspiration for others—and how artists sometimes perceive the world differently.
Although The Lion’s Song is an adventure game, it might be more apt to consider it partly a visual novel. The first episode, which can be played for free, has the simplest gameplay, as you click objects to help the character find inspiration. The later episodes give the player more direct control and add more point-and-click mechanics, but the majority of your time will still be spent on dialogue and making choices that will influence how other events play out.
These choices play into one of the most interesting aspects of the game. The stories are separate, but all connected. Characters or items from one episode might appear in the others, and it’s entertaining to notice these references and see how your decisions have had an effect.
Surprisingly the fourth episode feels the most disconnected from the rest, despite being the one that ties them all together. It is titled “Closure,” and that really is its purpose—rather than flesh out the new characters introduced, it provides an outsider’s look into the lives of the other three characters. It doesn’t connect things as fully as I would have liked, although it still has its memorable moments.
A single playthrough of The Lion’s Song can be finished in about four hours, but those four hours are filled with likable characters and strong writing. It feels like a series of short stories, and they are short stories worth experiencing.
The Final Word
The Lion’s Song is short, but its characters, connections, and choices make it worthwhile for anyone intrigued by the idea of a story that follows multiple characters in their search for inspiration.
– MonsterVine Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 – Great