Friday, June 20, 2014

Review : Dusk's Secret

Apologize for our recent inactivity! Well, real life stuffs kept on coming every here and there, which amounts negatively to our free time. Worry not, though! As our 'token of apology', we'd like to deliver something that we haven't done for a while - a peek at a visual novel project!

...speaking of which, we haven't wrote anything about an external visual novel, have we? Well, it's about time - yes. Please welcome Litto & Tobi - Dusk's Secret, which is the very first digital work of a newcomer independent game developer entity named Littobi Visual. Beforehand, we'd like to inform that this very post on our blog is made possible thanks to Elma Nandira // rikukiko, which (somehow) serves as a connection between us and them. Established a year ago, this newborn circle had produced contents not only limited to games - some interesting short stories are also available to read on their Facebook page.

And, uh, yeah - much less, that's the background behind the working team. Onwards to the main point, how was the game, then?

Comedic atmosphere is laden in this blitz-quick visual novel, which somehow works well with the heartwarming string melodies that accompanies the main scenes. At the main menu there were no hint at all that the take on this visual novel would be a comedic one, though - it's a pleasant experience discovering the somehow clandestine connection between one funny dialogue and another. Take this one (which is one of our favorite punchline), for example:

Some of them were even frustrated and did extreme thing : jumping from a 200-floor building. Oh My God.
However, they amazingly survived...

It makes you wonder 'What will happen next/how could it be possible', doesn't it? Well, just seconds later, a twist of fate happened.

...because they were just jumping in place.

Not an entirely new joke, we know - but in the gameplay, it's perfectly timed. It's more than enough to make us elicit a smile, in the end. There are more comedic punchlines later in the game though, but it's best for us not to spoil things out too early and let everyone out there interested to seek out and explore this surreal, out-of-the-box dimension by him/herself.

The biggest surprise, after all, though - is the ending. This game effectively applies the 'less is more' principle by using a 'magical' three-letter word as their ending statement. It's majestically hilarious, really.

Still, there's still a lot of spots for improvement that this game can fulfill. One of the most noticeable 'downfall' of this game is - undoubtedly - the lack of the main menu theme song. We personally visualize that an happy ambient loop music (a Newgrounds song perhaps?) would do best in providing an enrichment to the current cheery, pastel-color-templated main menu screen. Some more proofread may be proven worthy for this game, as there are still some minor grammatical and punctuation error(s) but overall we're satisfied with the choice of words used. Not to mention that the illustration and (mainly) the background images can still be greatly improved, though.

What should we say as our final words toward this short game, then? It's simple, relaxing, entertaining, mind-bending... Well, as their primordial game project, it's not that groundbreakingly exceptional but still it's pleasing enough to play/read. People who are interested in trying out the game can assess the download link through their official Facebook page, to whom it may concern. And yes - there are various interesting trivial facts about the world of visual novel on their page as well, which is also worth checking.

- Nivalyx

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