An unscrupulous man finds himself deceased, and in the power of a goddess he has slighted. He demands to bargain for his soul. She chooses the game.
Follow him as he searches the space/time of the fantasy world of Hiermont, experience reincarnation after reincarnation into the lives of others, searching for his final Fate.
This game is organized around a central puzzle, and twenty five short stories. Each short story has two parts. Solving the puzzle will involve encountering five "first halves" of the stories, each representing one of the Five Fates the protagonist might earn in his game. Solving the puzzle successfully unlocks a final ending- the latter half of one of the short stories. The puzzle itself is a genuine pen and paper puzzle of my own design. You will probably need a pen and paper to complete it. If you are searching for all possible endings, you may wish to track which ones you've found, as there are 25 in total.
Many stories may be extremely sexually explicit. A few barely merit an R rating.
The downloadable version of the game comes with a tutorial example.
The puzzle, which makes up most of the game, is incredibly fun with lots of replay value. I'm an old hand with logic puzzles, so for it to be challenging for me, I try to solve it using as few crystals as possible. I heartily reccomend this to any fan of logic puzzles for the gameplay alone.
As for the story, it has its ups and downs. The intro sequence/framing device was a bit too "kooky" for my tastes, but the endings were pretty good- much better than a lot of fantasy novels I've read. It's not the hottest thing on the site; some endings don't have any sex in them at all, but if you like to read porn where you care who the people fucking are, this works.
Easily in my Top 5 games on the site.
This game is not worth playing. The puzzle is unnecessary, and takes up entirely too much time to figure out. And if you get it wrong ONCE, then all the progress you've made is gone, and the map you WILL HAVE TO DRAW is useless. The work invested and frustration when you fail is nowhere near worth the well-written but utlimately meager payoff. Your time is best spent on any of the other games on this site.
I have to say I didn't want to play this game initially. The concept wasn't appealing to me. "Meh, a puzzle and a couple of stories", I thought. But after seeing Joe's other works and reading somewhere on the forums how disappointed he was with reception of Five Fates, I decided to check it out.
I actually really enjoyed it! The puzzle itself is quite fun, and the writing is great as usual for Joe. While yes it is indeed "a couple of stories" in the same setting, the stories themselves are varied and fun. I replayed the game a bunch of times trying to get the ending for the ones I enjoyed the most, all the while discovering new ones.
I did notice some mistakes like using "you're" instead of your, but those were really rare. Didn't think to write down locations of the ones I noticed.
I wish there was an option to pick the fifth Fate from the ones you saw already, getting the end story that you saw already while hunting for that one ending that you are really interested can be a bit frustrating.
Overall, if you like puzzles you should check it out. If you like reading you definetely should check it out. If you are looking more for a game than for a story- this is a miss. The only part that makes Five Fates a game is one single (albeit interesting) puzzle.
Let's be honest - this is more bunch of fantasy erotic stories, then actual game. But it seems like that was an intention so I don't feel like it's a bad thing. And the stories are actually great! Very well written, humourous, yet still not overly silly, both characters and situations are believable and interesting, world is interesting too and last but not least I see a lot of redacting work behind it. Author has a lot of great ideas and a lot of talent, too. I'm really looking forward to see other games or even just stories from them.
Only thing I would change, if I could would be system of the central puzzle. Giving ten clues at the start seems like a little bit random and can make game overly easy or overly difficult due to randomness. Maybe it would work better to not give any clues at the start and just give player (much) more crystals so they might use some actual strategy when choosing which areas of puzzle to get clues to. It would also add to "gaming" ascpect of the game, I believe.
Catching up on incomplete older reviews. I quite enjoyed where this game finished up with the story being told well given all the branching elements that you come across before you hit the final result.
Yes, the puzzle is still fiendish. But with a bit of trial-and-error it's still not too difficult to get through.
The puzzle can be a bit fiendish, but if you have a pen and paper handy or keep MS Paint open to draw on the map image, it's not too difficult. Think Minesweeper with harsh "no quick-save" penalty to get out of your mistake.
Story-wise, it's already been said that there's the main tale and little side tales to go with it: all of them are interesting and written well from the 14 seen at the time of this review (v0.60). I'm glad the programming has been fixed up on the incomplete ones now so it still allows a beta tester to finish the story arc without it bugging out through a missed sequence.
All in all it's worth a go. Just be prepared for the puzzle as this isn't a quick-pay-off game.