When I started looking for “Furry Games” on Steam I had no idea what I was in for. I found action games, platformers, RPGs, and point-and-click adventure games and visual novels.
One of the first games to catch my eye was The Crown of Leaves. There was something about it. Something magical and arcane.
The Mystery of the Crown
The Crown of Leaves is a visual novel with some point-and-click adventure elements.
The game’s first chapter released November 2018 by the small indie group The Broken Horn, with future chapters in the works.
Players take the role of Roui, a Sahash who lives in the fantasy world of Shang-La. What’s a Sahash? They’re a fantasy race created by the developers that look like a cross between a deer and some other mammals:
Roui was at the top of his game…until it all came crashing down. In-Game Screenshot
Roui is a down on his luck dandy who dropped out of college to study and write about the mystic arts. After an incident with the mafia, he lost everything and had to start his life over.
He’s been living in a small settlement named Hill Camp, which consists of farmers. But a mischievous spirit named The Mad Rook starts pulling pranks on his neighbors.
Roui is soon on the Rook’s list, and decides to set out on a quest to find out about this mystic spirit that’ll take him to and from the magical land known as the Flat.
As of now, only Chapter 1 is available to play, and unfortunately we get to see little Mad Rook antics. But, there’s plenty of interesting mystery and seeds sown that has me eagerly waiting for Chapter 2.
A Visual Adventure
The Crown of Leaves has lots to offer for those who want a good lore-filed adventure backed by amazing visuals.
The art style looks beautiful and helps accent the mysterious, magical world the game takes place in. Each area has beautiful, high-quality backgrounds.
Roui visits a shrine that’s nearby Hill Camp. In-Game Screenshot.
The characters themselves have a small range of animations and expressions that help make conversations more kinetic and engaging.
For an indie studio consisting of less than five people, that’s pretty impressive.
There are plenty of items to collect and use as well. These range from collectible items, to usable and even craft-able items.
Some items can even be shown to characters to get more information about it or the character.
You might be able to get reactions from trying to do certain combinations. Try crafting the shovel and cookies together in front of Serban!
To help players keep track of all this lore and info the game has a feature called the Mindscape. It’s an index of all the characters, places, items, and more that you interact with or hear about in-game.
The other great thing is the Mindscape will update as you learn more about items and characters. It seems to even carry over through multiple runs.
That’s great, because you won’t catch everything the Mindscape has to offer on a first run.
A Garden of Forking Paths
I found the concept and plot very interesting, and I find Roui to be a very relate-able character. And the other characters all come off as believable, interesting, and very…secretive.
Flynn loves to throw his attitude around when he can’t get a drink of cider. In-Game Screenshot.
Looking at you, Flynn.
One major aspect of the game is its branching paths. The game does warn you that your actions will affect the plot, but it seems like darn near every choice you make might influence something in the game, somewhere.
Sure, there’s the obvious major choices but even dialogue choices can affect the plot.
For example, at one point your annoying Aunt Brilla may block the way into your house. Depending on how you spoke to fellow farmer Vadner you’ll either end up using a sedative, or a spiked drink.
Even the routes resulting from major choices can have branching paths.
That above example with Vander? That happens if you decide to cut down a Veglamb that’s growing in his greenhouse. The dig out route has its own branching paths too.
And if you want to complete the Mindscape you’ll need to hit up these alternate paths.
You can even see different sides of a character on different routes. I got a wildly different impression of Flynn going down the cut path than I did the dig out path.
Vander’s Greenhouse has been destroyed thanks to an intrusive magical plant called Veglamb. In-game screenshot.
A Waltz For the Ears
The music in the game is no pranking matter, either.
The soundtrack coves a great variety of atmosphere and feeling; there’s the mystical “The Crown of Leaves Waltz” that serves as the title screen music, Brilla’s groovy theme, and the dissonant and unsettling “The Party Murder.”
It really adds to this mystical quest that you and Roui embark on. What’s even better is that (most of) the Chapter 1 soundtrack can be bought for only a buck on Steam. Now that’s a price any Hill Camper could like!
Also remember how the game has branching paths? The music can branch, too. “Inevitable Changes” has both a Bo and Flynn version – and which version plays depends on your choices.
Begin Your Story
The game’s title screen. I wonder who’s wagon this is? In-Game Screenshot.
The Crown of Leaves is for sure a great arcane quest that you don’t want to miss. If you’re a fan of anthro animals, mysticism, a good adventure, or all three, I’m certain there’s something here for you to enjoy.
As mentioned before, only Chapter 1 is available on Steam for $4.99. Chapter 2 is already in the works, and a revamp of the game is being worked on and will be releasing in the future as well.