I had high expectations and honestly they were exceeded! First off, superb execution of the visual/stylistic elements: the game looked and felt cohesive (not to mention gorgeous, both with the art and the music), the characters were interesting and varied, and the writing was descriptive and had such a nice voice/flow.
I thought certain elements of the UI worked very well too. I loved that you only had to waive over the mirror to see the enemies for the night. And I loved the events at the end of the night, they really kept me engaged. I did not initially like that you had to manually feed each character but I actually grew to appreciate that as it encouraged careful management of the characters.
Gameplay was extremely fun and enjoyable. Just like Moonlight Fortress, I loved how the player is made to learn the game as they play, and has to rely on their own judgement for the choices they make. Not knowing if taking a villager in is indeed a good choice or wondering what the use of an item will be before you buy it increases the stakes and gets the player more invested in what happens next. I especially liked the inclusion of the quests as it offered some variety and some gameplay with specific goals in mind that weren’t just to survive.
My only critique is that I think the game needs to increase in difficulty over its course more than it currently does. It remains at the same level during the middle and at the end; the characters seem far too overpowered than the enemies they face. During my entire playthrough, I only had one character die (the priest) and this was during the beginning of the game where I felt the difficulty was more appropriate. I think the difficulty started to level out around the time the Legendary Warrior character appeared, and the game was definitely too easy when the Monkey King appeared. (The Monkey King, I think, was far too OP, especially given his ability to save another character from dying. This pretty much made it impossible for any character to get killed after he joined my party. You are also kind of forced to accept him given that accepting him is part of one of the quests - ‘offer of service’). I also think that too many characters are requesting to join towards the end of the game in the span of a couple of days, but this may just be for the demo. I liked instead when you could only accept one of two characters- this only happened during the ‘earth or sky’ question. I think this could be utilized more especially as it creates unique playthroughs and encourages players to play the game again to choose a different result.
Overall I loved the game and I will also definitely be replaying this demo! Please let me know if you want me to specify anything that I’ve said earlier as I’d love for this review to be useful to you.