Based in Warsaw, Poland
Cinders is a mature take on a classic fairytale with a heavy emphasis on player choice, lavishly illustrated by Gracjana Zielinska.
Cinders is a witty young woman living with an overbearing stepmother and her two daughters, as if she was reenacting a certain well-known fairytale. But unlike its protagonist, Cinders is not afraid of taking fate into her own hands. Even if it means breaking the rules.
The game takes a look at four women and what made them who they are. It’s a story about balancing freedom and dreams with circumstance and harsh reality. About growing up and finding out the true meaning of independence. Distancing itself from the judgmental simplicity of the original, Cinders tries to explore the more complex nature of oppression, responsibility and innocence.
Cinders was the first project officially under the MoaCube's brand. Something Gracjana & Tom have been mulling over for months after playing other indie visual novels. They wanted to take a stab at an established fairytale canon, deepen the side characters, let the player take the story wherever they want, and see what happens.
Due to the shoestring budget of small private savings, development was supposed to take 6 months at max. It took a year and a half, putting the team in quite a few close calls, as they realized they can't handle a 100k+ words script with hundreds of choices without additional writers.Finally, Agnieszka Mulak and Hubert Sobecki, Gracjana's friends with no former experience in video games, were brought to the team and MoaCube was able to finish the game right before Tom's electricity would get cut off for good for unpaid bills.
The game was well-received and enjoyed both artistic and financial success, despited being rejected by Steam at first. Two years later, with the dawn of Greenlight, it managed to land on the service and Humble Weekly, securing the studio financially and funding another visual novel project - Solstice.
- A serious take on a classic fairytale story.
- Gorgeous artwork and soundtrack.
- Your choices actually matter.
- Active and witty female protagonist.
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- "Cinders is not a cut-and-dry morality tale, but rather a story about a woman trying hard to make a better life for herself."
- Becky Chambers, The Mary Sue
- "MoaCube focuses on the women of the tale and what made them who they are. The game is about nuance, is about understanding the motivations of another human being."
- Patricia Hernandez, Kotaku
- "Asides from being delightfully well-written, highly replayable and filled with complex, convoluted characters, Cinders is also beautiful."
- Cassandra Khaw, IndieGames.com
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Cinders OST on Bandcamp
Cinders original soundtrack is available on robwestwood.bandcamp.com.
MoaCube is a small collective of indie game developers, started by two industry vets: designer Tom Grochowiak and artist Gracjana Zielinska.
We have simple goals. We make games. We want them to be good.
More information on MoaCube, our logo & relevant media are available here.