Winter Ember

Assassin in the shadows.

In a dark Victorian world, Arthur witnesses the murder of his family. A few years later, he returns as a faceless man to exact revenge on those responsible. This is an intelligent game for fans of top-down stealth. You’ll be sneaking around picking locks and taking out overconfident guards from the shadows, as well as crafting tools and putting your light fingers to work.

Winter Ember

Winter Ember

  • Age

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  • Availability

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  • Players

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  • Playability

  • Developer:

    Sky Machine Studios

  • Publisher:

    Blowfish Studios

  • Copyright:

    Copyright © 2018-2022 Sky Machine Games Studios Pty Ltd

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A little gem filled with tension and suspense, for fans of virtual burglary and anyone who loved Thief… Winter Ember is even better!

In a world that combines medieval, Victorian, and steampunk aesthetics, stealth fans are in for a treat. The game begins with an anime cutscene that's really well done! It serves to immerse you in the game's plot.

Blowfish Studios Sky Machine Studios Winter Ember

You play as Arthur Artorias, the only survivor of a massacre that killed his family, and that was wiped from the history books. Presumed dead, you now emerge from eight years of exile to exact your revenge. But you must remain in the shadows. Luckily, it's winter and there isn't much daylight! The hooded main character is reminiscent of Assassin's Creed, but rest assured: Arthur has a style of his own. The main plot is linear but full of twists, and you'll never get bored with it.

Played from an isometric perspective, the tutorial explains things very clearly, and the gameplay is satisfying. Armed with cape and dagger, Arthur can pickpocket guards, pick locks, and climb (within limits). As events in the game progress, you can craft new tools that will make your deadly work easier.

Blowfish Studios Sky Machine Studios Winter Ember

And the crafting was our favourite part of the game. It will task you with making arrows, each with different abilities. Arrows with a rope attached let you climb certain cliffs; arrows with blunted tips destroy barricades... and that’s just for starters. In Winter Ember, your bow is the key to solving almost all of the game's puzzles, but you're free to work out exactly how. The game never dictates what you have to do.

As you might expect, not every kind of arrow is available from the outset. Thankfully, you can buy some of them on black market stalls. And this is where looting comes into play.

Blowfish Studios Sky Machine Studios Winter Ember

Arthur can steal items from NPCs, or by picking the locks to chests. These items can then be sold, with the proceeds used to fund your criminal activity.

We loved the extremely satisfying exploration, with plenty of little details to discover on different playthroughs: secret passages, chests to open with a code you found earlier, plenty of dwellings to plunder on the map, and multiple endings depending on the choices you made in the game.

But always make sure you don't get spotted, because Arthur's swordsmanship leaves a lot to be desired! Worse still, if you get injured in a skirmish, you'll start to bleed. This means trouble, because enemies can follow the trail of blood, making staying hidden hard work.

Blowfish Studios Sky Machine Studios Winter Ember

Our tip? Guards tend not to search dark areas, which introduces a bit of strategy. When you enter a room, extinguish all of the candles as you make your way towards a guard, and then hide his body in the shadows. And your job is done!

We loved this game for adult gamers, and we're sure that fans of stealth and sneaky kills will love it, too.

Winter Ember

Winter Ember

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