I thought I was finished with buying games until the next big sale… and then some very nice coupons suddenly started circulating. On the plus side, I’ve started working through my ABC plan again.
This is easily the best written visual novel I’ve experienced. It blends mystery, tragedy and romance in a way that kept me fully engaged throughout, all supported by a masterful translation. There’s not much I can discuss about the plot without veering into spoiler territory. I will say that it’s full of twists and foreshadowing, and genuinely surprised (and pleased) me with the direction it ended up taking. I’ll definitely be giving it a second playthrough to see if there are any hints I overlooked. The characters are what drive the plot forward, and they’re written to be intriguing and multi-faceted.
Fortunately the character portraits match the writing quality. Detailed and somewhat eerie, they do a great job at conveying subtle expressions. They’re pretty far removed from the typical anime style, and I quickly grew to love them. I’m less sure how I feel about the background art. I’ve never been a fan of seeing vague, digitally-manipulated photographs used as backgrounds. There’s certainly value in the power of imagination, but I think the art style here could have been used to create something spectacular.
On the other hand, I have nothing but praise for the music. The House in Fata Morgana eschews voice acting in favour of a diverse, emotional soundtrack with over 60 tracks. Many have vocals which fit in perfectly with the mysterious atmosphere. I must admit that a few of them are still stuck in my head.
I’d recommend this visual novel to anyone who likes romance and/or mystery stories, provided that they have a strong tolerance for disturbing content.
I’m not very familiar with the clicker genre, but Forget Me Not’s unique premise and visual novel elements looked appealing. It has an overarching plot as well as a number of characters with their own little sidestories. These scenes are good at breaking up the monotony but too brief to recommend buying the game for. Most of them last for only a few lines of text, and the main story is resolved quite abruptly. I did find the true ending cute but getting it required a massive grind.
The clicker portion involves watering the trees and harvesting their fruit (organs). Animal helpers can be purchased to increase productivity, but they need to be clicked on occasionally when they wander away from their duties. This is definitely not an idle game. It becomes quite hectic once the garden is outfitted with multiple trees, and the available upgrades do little to automate production. The upgrades themselves aren’t terribly interesting. Repetitive music and sound effects end up adding to the feeling of monotony.
I thought Forget Me Not was a cool experience and enjoyed it at times, but the clicker genre is clearly not for me.
A relaxing puzzle game about a young girl trying to save a flooded city. By absorbing light from lanterns and using it to power various electrical devices, she slowly lowers the water level. The puzzles are simple and somewhat mathematical; most involve figuring out how to allocate the limited amount of light in just the right way. Finishing the game isn’t difficult unless you’re going for 100% completion, which leads to the true ending. I liked the style of puzzles and, while short, the game occasionally introduces new mechanics. As made obvious by some of the controls, this originated as a mobile game. There were a couple times where they became a hindrance.
This game caught my eye due to the beautiful artwork. Combined with a mysterious soundtrack, it creates quite a gloomy atmosphere. There’s also a poorly-translated story revealed through diary entries. I didn’t find it at all interesting. That’s probably a good thing, as the endings are abrupt and disappointing.
I’ll likely try for full completion once I’ve made more progress on the backlog. Plus, it looks like the devs were nice enough to add some new puzzles for New Year’s. I should note that the “RPG” tag on the store page is misleading; this is simply a puzzle game.
Short but satisfying. The main mechanic is the ability to instantly switch between red and blue forms. This grants immunity to certain hazards and allows interaction with same-colour platforms. There’s some heavy reliance on twitch reflexes, but not to the point of frustration. The levels are short—most lasting under a minute—with frequent checkpoints. It definitely feels geared towards speedrunners. I found the stages fun, varied, and decently challenging. The controls felt responsive and couldn’t be blamed for any of my (many) deaths.
In addition I appreciated the unique visual style and use of environmental storytelling. While not the primary focus, there’s a neat little narrative taking place in the background.