Harmony The Fall of Reverie is a glimpse into the

Harmony: The Fall of Reverie is a glimpse into the future. review

Played on PC

Although the games in the Life is Strange series are third-person adventures, they are loved for the stories rather than the gameplay. Apparently, that’s why the Don’t Nod team decided to turn their new project into a visual novel, where the gameplay is even less, but there is much more emphasis on the narrative. The story in Harmony: The Fall of Reverie is not only compelling – it also inspires you to play the game again, since the unique choice system here offers so many story paths.

Not life but a dream

We play Polly, a girl who arrives on her (fictional) home island in the Mediterranean ten years after her departure. She is busy searching for a mother named Ursula, who has disappeared and abandoned a large estate where all the creative people of the area once gathered. In one of the rooms, the heroine finds a glowing necklace that flies towards the bathroom – Polly decides to follow him and is transported to a mysterious world called Reverie.

    It's hard to imagine another appearance of a deity named Chaos

It’s hard to imagine another appearance of a deity named Chaos

It turns out that Polly has become an oracle who can move between the two worlds and act as a kind of link between them. The dream is in grave danger – locals say it is on the verge of destruction. And apparently the disappearance of Polly’s mother in the real world has something to do with it. In the dream live the so-called Aspirations – deities who urge Polly (they call her Harmony) to make certain decisions. With their help, and thanks to real-life friends and relatives, we’ll try to figure out what happened to Ursula and how the MK megacorp everyone’s talking about is involved.

It all starts very simply: in the first chapter we are not so much told about the essence of the game as something about the characters. They give enough attention to both Polly’s loved ones and her aspirations, of which there are only six. Among them are the cheerful girl Bliss, the gray-haired thug Power, Chaos, who outwardly lives up to his name. Polly is uncomfortable next to these deities because she doesn’t immediately understand their purpose but quickly joins the company – also because she has no other choice as the deities can return to reality with her.

    Violence is better, of course, so as not to upset

Violence is better, of course, so as not to upset

After the first chapter, when the exposition is more or less over, the game starts to open up better and its main game mechanics get new “chips”. The bottom line is that decisions here aren’t made in the middle of dialogue, as is the case in many visual novels – in episodes like this you just click on the lines and can’t influence anything. Action choices are made between dialogues, and the tree of choices and consequences grows larger with each chapter.

Connections are everywhere

As soon as the next conversation ends, the player gets to a menu with a beautiful scheme consisting of dozens of interconnected circles. If you move the cursor to one of them, the title of the episode will appear on the right, giving an indication of the content of this or that fragment. If other similar games have the so-called “fog of war” that doesn’t allow you to see into the future, then here the main character sees it – so you make decisions at the beginning of the chapter based on the desired consequences in the future.

    Many scenes (e.g. this encounter with Chaos) can be skipped if you don't study all the branches carefully

Many scenes (e.g. this encounter with Chaos) can be skipped if you don’t study all the branches carefully

Of course, it is impossible to study the entire decision tree at once – some circles are blocked. But many of them are visible and the structure of the entire tree of a given chapter is recognizable. Therefore, players will approach the “creation” of their story in different ways: someone will look for clues about ideal developments and strive for them, someone will choose the longest branches to lengthen the passage. Sometimes you decide to change the plan when the decisions didn’t quite lead to the expected result, but that doesn’t happen in the first few chapters, but rather in the middle of the game.

It’s about striving. Most of the choices you make are related to the deities whose crystals you get for selecting specific circles on the tree. Sometimes these crystals are simply given to you for certain decisions, and sometimes the desired decisions cannot be made because you have to spend a crystal that you don’t have. That’s why it’s so important to explore all the branches of the tree instead of blind clicking. For example, you want to get to the distant circle, for the activation of which you need a crystal of strength – you need to see which path to take in order to get at least one such crystal. Or you need several crystals at once, of which you have to give up a few forever.

    In the right corner of the screen you can see how many crystals you have collected and who owns them

In the right corner of the screen you can see how many crystals you have collected and who owns them

Which crystals you get and which ones you need to advance in a particular branch is closely related to the way you solve problems. If a crystal of strength is visible on the circle, then the heroine will show assertiveness in a conversation. Since Happiness is a funny girl, she tries not to get involved in conflicts and resolve everything as peacefully as possible. It is true that he obviously prefers not to keep secrets and to achieve the desired frankness in conversations. Eventually, the pursuit you turn to most often will become what is called the “heart of humanity.” Therefore, those who want to achieve the (for them) ideal ending must not only steer the story in the right direction, but also monitor which goal will emerge victorious in the end.

This all sounds very complex and cumbersome, and constantly popping up windows with hints only reinforce this opinion – sometimes circles with timers, sometimes some opaque icons, sometimes you are often afraid that some branches will be unavailable forever. But you can understand all this very quickly if you study the trees and choose the most beautiful paths. And if the chapter doesn’t end the way we want, you can always restart and replay it completely before its conclusion. The only thing that tires such an interesting game mechanic is the regular jumps from story episodes to the decision menu. Still, all too often you have to decide what to do next, and you end up getting a little tired.

    If in a dialogue a name, a name or a term is spoken, one can open the local encyclopedia and read a lot of interesting comments and explanations.

If in a dialogue a name, a name or a term is spoken, one can open the local encyclopedia and read a lot of interesting comments and explanations.

Nonetheless, the story is still fascinating. And there are interesting twists and turns here, the topics covered vary widely – from family issues to corporate criticism – and the characters are likable. In the real world, Polly is surrounded by friendly, personable people with whom she wants to form relationships. And in the dream, the heroine meets completely different deities who solve problems in different ways. So immediately after the finale, the desire arises to play through the game again and make different decisions – unless, of course, you restart individual chapters.

The Harmony also looks good, although the modest budget is hard to ignore. The backgrounds are mostly used in the same way – the second chapter, for example, takes place almost entirely in one place. And the characters are well drawn. These are not just static images that change depending on the emotions, as is the case in many visual novels – here the poses and facial expressions change fluently, which makes the characters a little more alive. Well, one can’t help but commend the game for the full dubbing – while not everyone involved sounds like professional actors, at least they try.

    If the sight of this man makes you think of the King of the Hill animated series, you're not alone

If the sight of this man makes you think of the King of the Hill animated series, you’re not alone


Considering how smoothly the release of Harmony: The Fall of Reverie went, not everyone could appreciate the innovative decision tree system. The game turned out to be imperfect, and in terms of gameplay, even Life is Strange fans may not like it – there is nothing in it except choosing the next actions and clicking on the replicas. However, if the story is more important to you than the gameplay, you’ll probably disappear into Harmony for a few evenings – you’ll be looking with interest for answers to the questions that appear in each chapter and trying to figure out what to do with those answers .


  • an exciting story with cute characters from two different worlds;
  • sprawling plot tree with many forks;
  • the ability to look to the future and plan how to get the results you want, even if it’s not always that easy;
  • An interesting solution with animated portraits of characters that make them more alive.


  • Switching between story episodes and decision tree at the end of the game starts to get annoying;
  • There aren’t enough unique locations – often the action takes place in the same setting for an extended period of time.


The setting rarely changes, but that’s forgivable – the game looks very nice, thanks in part to charming characters from both worlds.


The music was written by the talented composer Lena Raine – not her best work, but the compositions complement each scene beautifully. The characters are well voiced.

single player game

A visual novel with a large number of branches that will make many people want to play the game at least twice.

Estimated travel time

8 hours per playthrough.

collective game

Not provided.

general impression

An exciting and unusual story in which you can look into the future and find out which direction you want the story to take. A lot remains a mystery until certain scenes, but the ability to plan things in advance is quite unusual for the genre, so “Harmony” feels very vivid.

Score: 8.0/10

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    About the author

    Alan Foster

    Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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