Developer: Mother Gaia Studio
Price: FREE (first chapters are free; final chapters for $2.99)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★ 
User Interface Rating: ★★★★★
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend. A successful scholar who, dissatisfied with his life, makes a pact with the devil and exchanges his soul for unlimited knowledge and worthy pleasures. The legend of Faust has been retold throughout history via many forms of media, and has been the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works.

Soul Gambler is the remake of the original free unfinished interactive visual novel inspired by Goethe’s famous German tragic play, “Faust,” that has had a complete revamp; and with the success of its Kickstarter, has been made into a fantastic-looking interactive graphic novel that combines the art style of comic books with playable mechanics most commonly found in video games.

IMG_0219Soul Gambler tells the story of an ordinary man called Faust – an accountant unsatisfied with his tedious life who is confronted by a mysterious witch that gives him the chance to change his life around by selling parts of his soul off for simple wishes. In the role of Faust, players must make various choices throughout the game that will alter his destiny, and depending on the road taken even change the outcome of the entire story.

The game itself is short, dependent on the reading speed of the player and the decisions made. However, due to the nature of the branching narrative playing the game through a number of times gives the player the opportunity to change the whole dynamic of the story, with the possibility of reaching a different outcome entirely.

IMG_0220Without a doubt, Mother Gaia Studio have put a lot of thought into this wonderful remodeling of the Soul Gambler game, and it’s dark but humorous narrative manages to tell a captivating story. The atmospheric soundtrack captures the narrative tone perfectly, and is a great companion to the game.

A few grammatical errors are all the negatives that I have to say about this game, and should players desire to see the new direction Soul Gambler has taken for themselves, there is a short playable demo of the revamped version on the official website. As an added bonus the game is also playable in Brazilian Portuguese. Soul Gambler is a artistic interactive masterpiece that speaks for itself, and is definitely worth investing the time and money into. Though the game is short, its beautiful presentation and incredible narrative will appeal greatly to most players. But I wouldn’t recommend it for the younger audience due to the dark nature of the story.


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