Gerda: A llama in winter, (sur)living in war

Gerda: A Flame in Winter offers an intimate story in the midst of World War II. The title takes us to a town in Denmark, while its inhabitants have to deal with the German occupation. Fans of narrative games with a historical flavor will love this gem, available on Nintendo Switch and PC.

Copy of the game courtesy of Don’t Nod; pictures of Melanie Boutin-Chartier
Played on Nintendo Switch for review

A fascinating adventure, in the middle of World War II

Gerda’s Story: A Flame in Winter tells what this nurse is willing to do to save her husband from capture by the Nazis. Living in a small town in Denmark, Gerda is well known in her community. She only has a few days to save her husband before he is taken somewhere else, probably to a concentration camp. Tinglev is a Danish town occupied by the Germans. The Resistance also has its feet there, causing palpable tensions. It is February 1945. World War II has been going on for five years and no one knows yet when it will end.

Forging your career through encounters… and a bit of luck

The game is simple to play, it plays like a point and click style adventure. We will find elements in the visited places and we will talk with many people. To save her husband, Gerda will use her influence with key people. With her points of compassion, intuition and insight, the young woman will be able to extract important information from her interlocutors.

The relationship you have with people will also weigh in the balance. Sometimes this level of confidence will allow you to try a slightly more risky approach to turning events in your favor. This fluke will work, or it won’t.

Simple and easy to use game mechanics.

Gerda: A Flame in Winter is for all gamers interested in war stories. Regardless of your experience level, the title is easily earned. We are kindly directed to places of interest to advance the story. There’s little exploration possible, but that’s not a bad thing. Interactive elements display a dot when zoomed in. Discussions often allow Gerda to choose how to respond. With clues or objects collected beforehand, we can try to twist events in our favor. I really liked this mechanic. Also, the game allows us to understand how people can be torn apart. I myself have often hesitated between two answers.

In her journal, Gerda describes what is going on and offers the player the opportunity to add a sentence that more accurately describes her feelings. For history buffs, there is a tab dedicated to describing the war in this region. With supporting photos, this section is poignant and well thought out. My only problem with the Nintendo Switch is that the text is usually very small. Fortunately, it is available in French. Only the narration is in English or Danish, for those who want a more faithful immersive experience. Either way, you’ll be fine just reading. The narration only admits what is written.

I loved Gerda: a llama in winter

Gerda: a llama in winter It is inspired by the journey of the grandparents of one of the developers of the Danish studio Porta Play. Knowing this, the adventure depicted in the game is even more moving. Several decisions will influence the course of events. Some will be heartbreaking and people will be left behind. We are at war, and Gerda’s dual nationality allows her to side with the Danes or the Germans. Also, I found this duality to be a great idea for the game.

I totally immersed myself in this story, told simply. In video games we rarely develop this angle of war. See how life unfolds in these towns occupied by the Nazi army. Nothing is the same as before, although we are still looking for an appearance of normality. The tensions are palpable and everyone is on guard. Wanting to save her husband, detained in these circumstances, will lead Gerda to carry out certain actions that she otherwise would not have carried out. How we play will determine if she is successful in her quest.

The scenario has several possible endings, which encourages its replayability. Once finished, it is possible to return to a chapter to see the possibilities that we would have missed. I like the idea, avoiding redoing everything from scratch. Also, as in the other Don’t Nod games, a stat table is displayed at the end. Of course, I compared my choices with those of other players. Offered at a low price, Gerda: A Flame in Winter is a strong recommendation from me.


#Gerda #llama #winter #surliving #war

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