Back in the 25th century, Earth launched a generation ship into deep space, with the goal of establishing the first interstellar colony. It dropped out of contact and disappeared, never reaching its destination.
Thousands of years later, it has finally been found.
I picked this game up on Steam during it’s recent sale (still on-going at the time of posting), I’d never head of it before i saw it on the spotlight page and given how cheap it was i took a gamble. Overall i think it paid of big time.
This seems to be the second in a series of games created by Christine Love, though the first, from what I’ve seen isn’t related. But you can download it for free from her website. It feels more like a proof of concept rather than an actual game.
The version i bought came with the soundtrack, and i highly recommend that version since this game has some really good music in it. Which is great as this game has no voice acting at all, it’s purely music driven. If the music was even slightly bad it would have ruined the story. I actually found i would stop playing the game just to listen to certain parts of the music, which is always a good thing IMO, since i bought it I’ve had the OST on quite a bit.
The art style is very anime, which is really awesome, and i love the character designs of the two characters. While there isn’t a lot to the visual aesthetics of the game, what there is is really well done. The console section looks just right, and there’s just enough background stuff to make it interesting and fun to use, though admittedly you’re not there for very long. That’s pretty much all i can say on the art style, due to the minimalistic style it has, which does work will in this style of game.
The aim of the story is to find out what happened on board the ship you do this by reading the logs of some of the people involved, and questioning the AI. You do this by reading the log and click on the show message icon. this will result in some additional info being given, possibly the AI asking a question, and ultimately more logs being added to the list for you to read.
The thing about this is that if you don’t like reading, you won’t like it, in fact i can see it being hated. Unlike a lot of visual novels this one doesn’t have a lot of variety in settings, it’s literally the two, the main screen and the console. It works for this game since it isn’t to long, in fact it took me just 2hours to complete the play through.
While it is a short game, since it has multiple endings (five in all) it does have a lot of content to explore. However since a lot of it will be repeated, my concern is that it will get rather tedious after a while.
The story itself is really where the main focus is, as you’d expect, and frankly Christine has nailed it IMO. Taking real life history and giving it a sci-fi twist is always a gamble and this time it pays off. For my first play through i went with *Hyun-ae and i loved the way she reacted to what i was reading. Her personality is well fleshed out, and the facial expressions and posses she uses throughout the story are amazing and show the emotions she’s trying to pass off. The same can be said for *Mute, though i only had a short time with her this play through.
A DLC was added after it’s original release adding costumes for *Hyun-ae, which add some variety and spice to the story. I also liked how Christine melded the costumes into the story, gave them a genuine reason for being there and used, rather than just tacked on.
Despite how much i love this game it does have flaw that can cause some frustration. That is how the game handled certain events. For example a disaster occurs and you have to avert it, but there’s no explanation given on how to do it so you’re left fumbling in the dark. Reading a lot of the comments on this game that seems to be the biggest flaw, with a lot of people turning to walkthroughs for help.
There’s one part which a lot of people claim is a bug, but it’s not, it’s just a really well done puzzle and shows who has really read all the info provided and who hasn’t. I actually rather liked that one.
However the bit that really got to me was when i reached a part and then hit a wall. You get to a point when *Hyun-ae has nothing left to tell you, but your no where near the end of the game. You have to switch to *Mute, but there’s no sort of indication that you have to do this, On my first play through this caused me no end of problems and in the end i had to read a walkthrough to find out what i should do.
That said, it was a minor niggle that i got passed past and didn’t have anymore issues afterwards.
Overall i really loved this game, and it’s the first in a while I’ve actually finished and will replay. I usually get bored and move on. The game is currently available on Steam for 75% off, making the normal version £1.24 and the soundtrack version £2.37. You can also buy the game directly from the website, though not the soundtrack version. the normal price for the game is £6.99 for the normal and £9.99 for the soundtrack version. Both are reasonable prices for the amount of game time you’ll get from it, and at the sale price on steam it’s a steal. the sale ends on Monday 26th November, so not long left. But it is a game i can and will highly recommend
There is a sequel in the works which is due to be released in January 2013, it’s one i will definitely pick up on release.
Addendum: I forgot to mention, this game is in both English and Korean.