Tue. Feb 20th, 2024

[Review] Hermitage: Strange Case Files – Nintendo Switch

By Elly Oak Jan 24, 2022
Developed By: Arrowiz
Published By: Giiku Games
Categories: Adventure, Puzzle, Visual Novel
Release Date: 10.26.21

The bookstore Hermitage is home to some interesting secrets. It’s strange, but then again, it’s patrons are equally as strange.

The first thing I thought when I started Hermitage was how the game is just so full of style. In a game where you’d be reading a lot, it helps when it looks good. The UI is unique, there’s a nice sun and moon transition I really like, and there’s a surprising amount of variety to what you’d look at.

With Hermitage, you are going to be reading. A lot. It’s an incredibly wordy game, so it’s a good thing that the writing is good and doesn’t just feel like filler. But for those with little patience, you might want to avoid. Characters will explain something in depth, you have an option to see the lead’s thoughts on a certain event, there’s questioning sections. With all of that, it’s good to pay attention.

Gameplay is more like one of those Ace Attorney-like visual novels/adventure games. To an extent at least. You’ll be doing a lot of research. This could be from spoken testimony, or by doing some research. Perhaps that’s in the large variety of books you have. Maybe it’s on the internet? It was rather weird to have Tumblr namedropped in a game released in 2021. You do all of this to confirm certain suspicions you have one the current case you might take on with the person in need. Of course, through the process of all of this, make sure you say the right words, or it could end poorly.

Lets discuss a bit of the story, or at least the first part of the game as to not get *too* spoilery. For games like this, the story is the most important part. Our story begins with a young women, meek, a bit nerdy. She nervously goes into Hermitage looking for something. Our lead, the mysterious man who runs the Hermitage manages to dig info out of her. She’s been having these odd, haunting dreams. Death, events that happened in the past that she shouldn’t be aware of. You find out things about this terrible accident, a certain incense, drama at her art class…is it related?

Outside of our lead, who if you ask me, is frankly, kind of a prick, I like the cast you see. The way they’re written feels natural, even the lead. There’s very little in “cliche anime archetypes” I saw. It’s pleasant to have a visual novel lacking in that.

Hermitage is an interesting game, in both it’s plot and general style. It’s always pleasant, especially in games of the genre, where you’re going to just be sitting reading so much. It’s stuff as small as the UI looking nice, to the time of day transitions have their own unique look. Sometimes the game’s Lovecraft influence even seeps in. This keeps me drawn in. I want to know how far things go, I want to know the oddities the characters will display. I can complain how wordy something can be, but if it’s interesting at the end of the day, it can’t be too big an issue.

4/5

Buy Now: $19.99

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*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review

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