Hundreds of video games strive to make a realistic representation of some lifelike scenarios. Doki Doki Literature Club is something more akin to a visual novel. At first glance, one might assume it to be an innocently cute game with anime characters more appealing to adolescent girls. Doki Doki provides very few clues that this is going to be an...[read more below]
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Hundreds of video games strive to make a realistic representation of some lifelike scenarios. Doki Doki Literature Club is something more akin to a visual novel. At first glance, one might assume it to be an innocently cute game with anime characters more appealing to adolescent girls. Doki Doki provides very few clues that this is going to be an intense game in the horror category, other than the content warnings. Oddly enough, presented with an aura of a romantic novel, this game is a new twist on gaming nightmares. Team Salvato, an independent development studio, masterfully uses psychological distortion to create a frightfully exciting gaming experience.
Once players realize that Doki Doki Literature Club goes far beyond a cute anime teenager game, there is an immediate understanding of a sinister plot is going to unravel. The game has five primary characters, Monika, Natsuki, Sayori, Yuri and Protagonist. The Protagonist is the only playable character of the main five. One interesting concept Doki Doki developers included was the ability of the Protagonist essentially to erase his memory from one act to another. The protagonist will have no recollection from one act to another of the other four members of the literature club. Our protagonist has self-focused ambitions, but he clearly has an affinity for cute girls. This is why he decides to join the literature club in the first place. Doki Doki Literature Club uses some familiar horror game concepts, perfectly entwined with horrific metafiction. The surprise will be in how different this game plays to how it first appears and it earns 4 out of 5 stars for this engaging play on the concept.
The use of anime characters is not a new concept in gaming. While the Doki Doki Literature Club cast of characters follows this anime model, they are colorful and engaging, each presenting a unique visual personality. Players will need an operating system of Windows 7 or newer to play the game. The graphics are integrated and need 300MBs of free space. A 1.8GHz Dual-Core CPU is the minimum requirement. Each graphic appears to lead you to a neatly organized progression of stages. However, blended with poignant audio, players soon realize that Doki Doki begins to control the outcomes. For a free-play game, graphics are expressive and vivid, matched with engaging audio. Doki Doki Literature Club scores a solid 4 out 5 in this category.
Doki Doki Literature Club has posted content warnings for good reason. The game navigates through a series of horrific twists. It will tear at your heartstrings with the untimely and emotionally wrenching death of one of its characters. Hang on, because you’ll soon be diverted on a dark and nightmarish adventure through the supernatural. You need to keep a keen eye on what happens moments after this character dies. Doki Doki presents the illusion that some outside force is changing the game’s world. During the different acts, the Protagonist can write poems to the other characters, poems that the player can use for ulterior motives. These poems are a game key. Each girl will react differently to different words. These reactions are shown by tiny character images at the bottom of the screen. During these mini-games inside the main game, the main character can enable new situations involving the girl to whom he directed the poem. The gameplay is perplexing, ultimately giving a sense you have lost all control of the game. As a free-play game with an obvious twisted plot, Doki Doki earned 4 out 5 stars for gameplay.
The characters in Doki Doki Literature Club are trying to prove that their little book club merits being an official school organization. What at an initial glance appears to be an innocent game with anime characters, something to attract young players quickly leaps into a psychologically charged thriller. Be aware the game plot pokes fun at various types of unstable mental health. Doki Doki developers applied a masterfully entertaining dialogue with excellent graphics and audio. It’s an engaging and entertaining game that is even more enticing because it’s free-play. Because of the unique and mystifying game plot, any top-level free-play strong free-play game is worthy of 5 out 5 stars for replay value.
Do not be fooled by the cute manner in which Doki Doki Literature Club is portrayed as an innocent dating SIM, because you’ll soon be witness to a nightmarishly different reality.
What follows is the official description of Doki Doki Literature Club!, from the developers.
Hi, Monika here! Welcome to the Literature Club! It's always been a dream of mine to make something special out of the things I love. Now that you're a club member, you can help me make that dream come true in this cute game!
Every day is full of chit-chat and fun activities with all of my adorable and unique club members:
Sayori, the youthful bundle of sunshine who values happiness the most; Natsuki, the deceivingly cute girl who packs an assertive punch; Yuri, the timid and mysterious one who finds comfort in the world of books; ...And, of course, Monika, the leader of the club! That's me!
I'm super excited for you to make friends with everyone and help the Literature Club become a more intimate place for all my members. But I can tell already that you're a sweetheart—will you promise to spend the most time with me? ♥
This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.
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