Visual novel and anime-inspired point-and-click adventure games are still niche these days, but Cherrymochi‘s Tokyo Dark might stir up things a bit.
The game about Detective Itō who tries looking for her missing partner and discovers a legend about a door in Tokyo’s sewers where people are lost forever was crowdfunded on Kickstarter, but it was later added to the Square Enix Collective roster (which has become the go-to for indie developers with some pretty cool titles so far). I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of it at this year’s Gamescom and even had a very nice talk with Maho Williams from the team and Amy Graves, the Square Enix Collective community manager (something I still need to put into words and a work-in progress Gamescom overview that hasn’t materialized yet due to time constraints).
While the idea to combine visual novel narratives with classic point-and-clicker puzzles isn’t new, the S.P.I.N (which stands for Sanity, Professionalism, Investigation, Neurosis) system sounds intriguing, as every decision the player makes doesn’t only change the way how NPCs react, but also how the main protagonist’s character changes. Going by the trailer and an 18+ rating, it’s certainly no children’s game, but more of a psychological horror ride with some beautifully realized locations and cutscenes that will appeal to all fans of the anime style and maybe those who appreciate artful imagery no matter where it comes from. 11 different endings, including a NewGame+ exclusive ending), promises to be more than a short experience. I’ve had a few dabbles in the genre, e.g. having reviewed The Ace Attorney (Phoenix Wright) series, Apollo Justice and Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, but it’s maybe time to try out something more sinister (although 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors was a tense and cool experience I unfortunately haven’t had time to write about) and cover more visual novel and Japanese games, especially from indies.
The game is now available on PC with a 10% launch discount that ends on 14 September, so if you’re up for something a little different and maybe get into the mood for the upcoming month of Halloween movie and gaming goodness, then this is for you. There’s also a lovely collector’s edition that includes the digital soundtrack and an art book. Buying them together gives you a 11% discount on both items.
Buy the standard game for PC on
Buy the collector’s edition upgrade for PC on
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