About an Elf is a very, very strange visual novel. It’s probably one of the strangest games I’ve ever played in my life. It’s hard to put into words about why it’s so strange and it’s much easier to show it but I’ll definitely try my best here.
About an Elf is a visual novel about an elven princess named Dam recounting her adventures to her friend Dido. Her adventures center around bringing about something called an Elftopia. What exactly is an Elftopia you ask? Well Dam herself does not really know either! The game has a rather silly and wholesome sense of humor.
As Dam proceeds in her adventure, she meets and befriends a cat on the condition that the cat promises not to eat her, as cats have a tendency to eat diminutive creatures such as elves and gnomes. Apparently gnomes are different from elves in that they give cats a tummy ache. Dam pretends to not hear this and she makes her merry way with her newfound cat companion to defeat the monsters and bring about the Elftopia.
The game’s writing has a nice flow to it. It feels very much like a child telling a grossly exaggerated tale inflated by an overactive imagination. There’s a wholesome imagination and flight of fancy to the narrative that is upbeat and charming. I found it to be engaging but it definitely wont appeal to everyone.
The game’s art style is memorable as well. It seems to be a mix of photos of real life actors and objects mixed with computer generated images. It looks very surreal and cartoon like.
As for how the game plays, other than reading dialogue and occasionally selecting responses, there is one simple combat mechanic of choosing one of three elements: fire, water, and electricity. The game will show a short video clip that represents one of the three elements and you must pick the correct one. For example, in one of the combat encounters, the game may show you a short video of candles. You then pick the fire marble and win the combat encounter. It’s pretty simple and straightforward for the most part.
Overall, About an Elf is a very, very strange game. It’s still a visual novel so there’s a lot of reading to be done but the overall tone, aesthetics, and feel of the game are very unique. It won’t appeal to everyone but once you play it, the game will definitely leave an impression.