First of all, this visual novel is an adult eroge with multiple NSFW CGs. For those who don't mind adult visual novels, read on.
This second fantasy visual novel with romance and adult content by Flaming Firefly features a male protagonist Dale who ventures alone into a forest to seek out the source of a corruption. The corruption which is spreading in the forest was thought to have caused his brother and a lot of the human population to become sick. Dale hopes to find a cure for the sickness affecting his brother and many humans inside the forest as an alchemist.
In the forest, Dale encounters the squirrel girl Rika and the dryad Olly where they tried to drive Dale away initially because they were concerned about his safety. Upon seeing that Dale is determined not to leave the forest without obtaining the cure for the corruption and sickness, they become more hospitable and invite Dale to the squirrel village and dryad cave separately. Dale learns that the squirrel tribe and the dryad tribe in the forest distrust and avoid each other and he finds himself mixed up in their dispute.
There are 3 romance options altogether with Olly of the dryad cave, Rika the squirrel girl, and also the leader of the squirrel tribe, Princess Lily.
Having played Flaming Firefly's earlier title Treasures of a Blizzard, this visual novel Forest Fortress is a very good improvement over its earlier title where the game now has animated sprites and CGs to make the game more attractive, while also having similarly great artwork and background music in the game.
The storyline featuring themes of corruption in the forest, suspicion and political intrigue among the squirrel and dryad tribe is potentially interesting. There are still some errors here and there in the English version, although they are understandable and I saw the game had been proofread in the end credits which is an improvement over its earlier title.
As an eroge, this game was nearly removed from Steam on May in 2018 after Steam sent an e-mail notice to many developers threatening to remove games with adult content (also referred to by the commonly known social media hashtag #waifuholocaust). An adult patch is available at the artist's Patreon website for the Steam version. For those who prefer to play the game DRM-free and without the need to download and install any additional patch, this game is also available at JAST USA and Nutaku.
Among the cons, the game ends on an unfinished ending with a plot hook. The source of the corruption is not fully explained or eliminated and might only be revealed in a sequel. There is no voice acting, opening or ending theme song with vocals in this game to make the visual novel more immersive. Hence, all these lead to the game's main shortcoming where it may be too short to justify its lowest known price of $12 after discount at the time of this review as it would take around 3-6 hours to reach all endings and unlock all CGs.
Initial gameplay video on YouTube by NeoGamer
Forest Fortress is a short fantasy visual novel with romance, great artwork, and an appropriate soundtrack.
This game is recommended to those who want to collect the game before it is potentially taken down by Steam, can ignore minor translation errors, can handle an unfinished ending, or those who simply want to support the developer. Currently the price is asking for too much, preventing a buy now recommendation until the novel is discounted or included inside a game bundle.
MangaGamer game page (Contain NSFW content)
Nutaku game page (Contain NSFW content)