Hm, another day, another review. I’m thinking of starting to update this site on a MWF schedule, meaning Monday-Wednesday-Friday for those not aware. It’s more likely, though, that it’ll be WF, though, since my Mondays can be kind of blah. Anyway, I’ll stop wasting space here and get on to talking about this visual novel.
Real, a visual novel by Hakura0, employs an…interesting art style. Instead of drawn character sprites, every character is represented by photographed dolls. As far as I know, the idea is pretty original to the world of OELVNs. Each ending didn’t take me very long to get through, so if you’re planning to stop after one ending then the game is supremely short. I think the most time an ending took me was three or five minutes.
You play as Kera, a girl whom, fresh after a tragically flamey event, wakes up to find herself a doll. She is helped up by a fellow doll, a man named Teirn. The game goes on from there, with plenty of choices that can steer the game where you want it to go. I’m not going to spoil the plot by providing the backstory here, but what it was was interesting.
The story is pretty short, as I may have mentioned before. Each playthrough doesn’t take very long. To get all of the endings (there are five), it took me about fifteen minutes. Maybe, ten for a faster reader. It really didn’t take long. I don’t remember any jarring grammar or spelling mistakes.
What I wished could’ve happened was something to amp up the creepiness of being a doll. Something to really spell it out for Kera that this could be her fate forever, or she could leave and try to escape. Like….it is mentioned in the visual novel that dolls “freeze” when any “giants” see them. It would’ve been cool if the owner of the dollhouse came by and thus, “froze” Kera and Teirn mid-conversation. All sorts of horrific realizations could’ve come from that.
Another scary thing that could’ve made things a little more creepy would be to find broken dolls scattered over the ‘house. Something like that, something to really make her want to get the hell out. Oh well. What it had was good, even though I had some difficulty feeling Kera’s fear and such.
The version I played had no sound.
One error. After the “yeah…very weird” choice, one of Teirn’s sprites overlays another one of his sprites. Other than that, no graphical errors to note of.
All of the characters are dolls, which adds an eerie atmosphere to the visual novel. The backgrounds are basically plain, probably to emulate a wall. There’s one another background when you meet up with a certain other character, but it wasn’t breathtaking.
No special effects, either, and the visual novel comes with the standard text box.
Dolls are freaky.