Imagine being a medieval monk illustrator trapped in the body of a modern video game enthusiast. If this piques your interest, then Howl, a turn-based strategy game developed by Lion Song and Flower Collectors studio Mi’pu’mi Games, is a must-play. The game introduces a captivating art style known as “living ink,” where the world around you unveils itself on papery maps as you progress. As you navigate through this mesmerizing world, your cursor becomes a quill, the HUD is a display of parchment scraps, and the terrain unfolds with a beautiful wash of swirling colors. The attention to detail and artistic execution make for a visually stunning experience from start to finish.

In Howl, you embark on a journey consisting of 60 levels spread across four chapters. You assume the role of a deaf heroine blessed with oracular abilities, driven by the quest to find a cure for the dreaded “howling plague” that transforms its victims into ravenous beasts. The gameplay mechanics draw inspiration from titles like Pendragon and Into The Breach, presenting players with challenging yet manageable puzzle scenarios. With the ability to plan up to six moves in advance, the key is to anticipate enemy movements and outsmart them. You may strategically push opponents into pits or trap them with clever tricks. Additionally, the game incorporates a unique “Prophecy” system, where completing a level within a specific number of moves rewards you with Confidence points to unlock special abilities.

The art direction in Howl is more than just eye candy; it serves as a narrative device. Much like the enchanting world of Chicory, the game’s visuals gradually transform as you progress through the story. The premise of fulfilling prophecies is vividly represented by areas and stories starting as wet ink and gradually drying out as you conquer each level. This visual representation adds an immersive layer to the gameplay, making it a truly captivating and interactive experience.

Howl is currently available for purchase, and if you’re still hesitant, there’s a demo version on Steam that allows you to immerse yourself in this mystical world before committing to the full game. The combination of the living ink art style, the intricate puzzle-based gameplay, and the gripping narrative make Howl a game worth exploring. Whether you’re a fan of turn-based strategy games or simply appreciate stunning visuals, this game has something to offer. So, why not embark on this remarkable adventure and unleash your inner hero in a world filled with the mesmerizing artistry of living ink?


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