Developed By: Team Salvato Published By: Serenity Forge Categories: Visual Novel, Horror Release Date: 06.30.21
Warning: Doki Doki Literature Club features disturbing content and themes. While I won’t be discussing what they are as to not spoil the game, the game itself can given the option to either turn these off, or have warnings a head of time. If topics related to self harm disturb you, it might be best to not engage.
Doki Doki Literature Club, you’ve probably heard of this game before. Or rather it’s big twists, that is what made it become a bit of a meme or viral game. It’s now on consoles four years after it’s freeware PC release as Doki Doki Literature Club Plus. I was a bit confused as to how they would transfer a PC game that uses certain forth wall breaks on a console, but this is done by having a virtual desktop in game for you to fiddle with.
This in turn lets you do new option side stories, look at all of the game’s CGs as you unlock them, as well as listen to the game’s surprisingly good music. If you don’t make your desktop’s wallpaper your favorite girl, you suck.
So what is Doki Doki Literature Club? Well, it’s a visual novel, a very simple visual novel. You’re best friends with a girl named Sayori and it’s time to join a new club at school, with her pestering you to join the literature club. You’ll meet a few other girls. Natsuki, Yuri, and Monika. These characters are generic as can get. The clutz, the tsundere, the shy girl, and the wooden post. I do like their designs at the very least, which I hope the player does too as majority of the game is voiceless text with the same handful of poses. The main character is kind of a jerk too, so at times it’s honestly really hard to get invested in any character. I also never paid attention to the game during it’s youtuber hayday, maybe that’s why.
If this was all the game was, it’d frankly be a mediocre visual novel. For the first hunk of the game, I found myself incredibly bored playing, with the only real gameplay being the poems you would create each day for the girls. For which you’d then exchange. Each girl having their own distinct style and handwriting. The big draw to the game, especially as a non-dating sim or erotic visual novel, or without having veteran writers is the big twists it takes. The game messes with the player and with plot points takes a hard turn, jerking the player around. It’s shocking in an otherwise clean and cute game. If you’re unfamiliar with this, which almost half a decade after release might be hard, I can see why this would be novel.
I personally found the novelty of Doki Doki Literature Club to be that it’s a lot of people’s first visual novel or first exposure to shocking twists thanks to their favorite youtuber playing it. If everything else wasn’t so generic (is it on purpose? Western visual novels seem to revel in being self aware or ironic), maybe I’d find myself invested in sections that aren’t the shock moments. Maybe I’m missing the point.
The biggest draw to Plus is it’s new side content, it’s console release, and an excuse to put the game on your shelf. If you’re a fan of the original game and want to monetarily support it, then by all means, buy this game. I found myself bored out of my mind and since the premise was spoiled to me those four years ago, I found myself just ambivalent to it all. There are better visual novels on the Switch. I do at the very least adore the presentation. I love how you can enjoy that whenever you want after playing the game. More games need to have music players. It’s a good looking and sounding game, but unless this is your first visual novel, or you’re an existing fan from before, you’re not going to get much out of this.
Buy Now: $14.99 Digital – $29.99 Physical
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*Game Download Code graciously supplied for the purpose of review