The Lion’s Song Review

What is it like to be a gifted artist? The Lion's Song, a pretty nice looking episodic indie adventure title by Mi'pu'mi Games, aims to answer that question for you. So far, it's doing an excellent job!

Review for The Lion's Song


The Lion’s Song is a story-driven game in which you follow your character through their creative process.
The story of the first episode is about a composer who is trying to write what is to be one of the most important pieces of her career.

The second revolves around a painter blessed with the gift to visually see the different aspects of people’s personalities, but, to his frustration, not quite all of them.

The third, due in 2017, will be about a female mathematician who struggles to find her place in a men’s world.
The fourth and final episode, also scheduled for 2017, will connect the previous three stories and reveal how your choices affected the final outcome.

A season pass is available on Steam for $9,99. Episode 1 can be played for free.

The Lion's Song beautiful Pixel Art


Each episode is a short story about a person trying to find their way in life. The first, Wilma, is a composer struggling to write her music amidst all the noises of a big city. She takes a vacation in the Alps to see if being in a quiet, natural environment will help. The second, Franz, is a painter who feels that he is always missing something essential when he paints people’s portraits and is trying to find out why.

This game has much in common with visual novels in the sense that you’re playing through a story while making choices to influence how it ends. You choose what to do and who to talk to, but all of your options always suit your character’s personality. To me, that’s one of the best parts of The Lion’s Song. In other games, I’ve often come across choices that made me think “But this character would never do that!” In this game, thanks to the great writing, that didn’t happen once.

Dialogues feel natural, and your characters’ reactions tell you more about who they are. The stories are deeply personal, and often touch on difficult subjects like fear, doubt, pride, loss and vanity in a very honest way. This makes characters relatable despite the fact that their circumstances are very specific. You most likely don’t know what it’s like to hear music in the rain outside or see visual representations of people’s personalities, but you will while you play this.  

The Lion's Song: Be a master of Art


While there are some light puzzle elements, most of the gameplay lies in making choices and watching the consequences play out. Sometimes you do this by exploring the environment, other times by choosing what will be said in conversation. You’re not really playing to “win.” It’s more about experiencing who these people are and how they think, and seeing how your choices work out for them. With the ending of the game still unavailable, I can’t say how much your choices matter in the end, but while I was playing, they felt quite important to me. I really wanted my characters to succeed in their endeavors. In my opinion, that’s enough, even if it turns out it didn’t really matter.

Each episode is a story on its own, but they are also connected. When playing Franz, I found out I had done a painting of Wilma, and at a local salon they played the music I helped her write in the previous episode. I also met Emma, who will be the main character of episode 3. This is a nice touch, it makes the world you play in feel like a coherent whole, and I can’t wait to find out how everything is connected.

Another fun aspect of this game is that there are some famous real people in it as well. I met Gustav Klimt and Sigmund Freud, among others. If you know who these people are, finding them here instantly gives you a sense of the time, as well as making you understand how much pressure is on your character. Showing my paintings to someone as skilled and famous as Klimt definitely motivated me to do my very best to help Franz make a good painting.

At the end of each episode, you’re shown what other people’s choices were. I’ve only played each of them once, myself, to preserve my preferred choices for the ending. But seeing other people’s choices tells me that things could have turned out quite differently. This makes replay value high, which is a good thing because the game itself is not very long. It took me only 30 to 45 minutes to finish each story, and while nothing felt rushed, I still would have liked them to be a little longer.  

The Lion's Song: Visit locations the masters visited themselves

sound and graphics

The music has a unique role in the game, as you often hear the music written by Wilma, the composer you play in episode one. This makes you feel like you had a hand in making it this way, which is fun. The music itself is classic, and is used effectively to convey the tone of each scene. There is no voice acting.

The graphical style is very reminiscent of adventure games of the 90s, pixelated and simple, but with enough detail and animation to make the world feel alive. There are only 5 colors, varying shades of brown and beige, a palette that makes things look cozy and feel appropriately old (the setting is the early 1900s).

The Lion's Song makes you face your fears


The Lion’s Song is a solid adventure game that allows you to experience what it’s like to be a creative visionary. It’s an emotional journey within a beautifully crafted world that is interesting and fun to explore. The only real downside here is that it’s quite short. As episode 1 is free, I suggest you give it a try. It’ll be worth your time!

+ Beautiful graphics – A little short
+ Great story – Not all episodes are out yet
+ Very immersive  
+ A lot of replayability because of choices  

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