Steam Rating: 10/10
Genre: Visual novel
Developer: Team Salvato
Artist: Satchely, Velinquent
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
Warning, this review contain a big spoilers. If you didn’t play this game or didn’t completed yet, I recommended not to read this review!!!
On the last day of 2017, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Watching anime? Bored. Watching movies? Bored. So I wanted to find something more exciting to spend this New Year’s Eve than going out. So, Doki Doki Literature Club is the answer. This game is so long I can’t play it again and I’ve heard some people’s opinions about this game. Do you know the result is? I had a very deep nightmare about this game. Even until now I write a review of this game, I’m still scared to death inside. For those of you who haven’t played this game or haven’t finished it yet, I recommend not to read this review before you finish this game because you will not get a surprising impression about this game.
“Doki Doki Literature Club,” tells about the protagonist who was invited by his childhood friend Sayori to join in literature club on his high school. The protagonist will meet other members of the club, Natsuki, Yuri, and the president of the club Monika. The protagonist spends his time at the club with activities such as writing and sharing poetry. Everything went happily and pretty normal until one day, the player realized that this game isn’t about it.
Here it’s, a psychological horror game that I want. Even the atmosphere in this game is still hurt in my head and sometimes I can’t sleep because I always remember it. Even when I write this article, sometimes someone is watching me. This is serious, dude. I am not kidding. However, what’s presented in Doki Doki Literature Club is an experience that you will never get in other games or visual novel. I don’t play too many visual novels, but maybe this game makes me interested to play visual novels. The gameplay that’s presented in this game does have an impression that looks common to a visual novel. The protagonist who has a childhood friend, surrounded by anime girls, and it looks normal early on. Initially, the player just has one goal of this game that is to make a poetry every day and share with each other in the club. At first, the impression presented here is not so bad and ordinary for me until you will find something you will never forget. I know some of you guys have been playing this game before me but, I’m sorry to make you remember this game again.
For two years, Dan Salvato and his teams wrote this game privately. He doesn’t tell us about the trailers nor information about this game. Until September 22, 2017, the game was launched for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux. This game is also launched on Steam on October 6, 2017. The experience of enjoying this game is like you see something sweet but not as you expected. Remember when I reviewed an RPG game called OneShot where the characters in that game know our real name and talk to the player or essentially breaking the fourth wall? The same thing as this game did but, breaking the 4th wall here isn’t what you think. I was also surprised at first seeing this game which has a psychological horror genre but the screenshots that are presented are not horror. The characters that can break the 4th wall is Monika the president of the literature club. There are so many plots twisted especially when you meet the incidents where Sayori’s the protagonist childhood friend suicide and glitch sprang up everywhere. Of all the scenes I saw, Sayori’s suicide was the most disturbing thing I ever saw. As you watch this scene, a text appears in the game directory where Monika talks to ‘you.’ At that time, this game will show ‘END’ and return to the menu. However, the difference here is Sayori has been removed in this game by Monika. And you will start the beginning of the game without Sayori’s character.
So essentially, whatever the player does Monika will always be there. Like for example, you choose Natsuki, Monika will delete it. Choosing Yuri, Monika will delete it as well. Along with Sayori. Until all nothing left, Monika will set up her own program while calling your real name and chatting while staring at the player. Yeah, the most creepy and disturbing nightmare to start your new year. I don’t know what I want to think about this game anymore. This game is actually as if the player is free to choose the heroine like other visual novels. You will choose this heroine based on the poetry they like. For example, if you want to choose Natsuki, the player must choose a variety of words that look sweet. If you want to choose Yuri, the player must choose a variety of words that look creepy. And if you want to choose Sayori, players should choose a variety of words that look normal. For Monika, nothing at all. The words that player chooses also describe the personality of the heroine like Natsuki who looks childish, Yuri who looks embarrassed and shy, and Sayori that looks hyperactive every time. Monika also has a female nature but you will see it in the ending of this game.
Overall, Doki Doki Literature Club is a visual novel horror game that shouldn’t be judged by its cover. This is a clickbait where players want to find a warmth that ends in a pain. The artwork is fairly cool and detailed, sometimes has a touching story despite many plot-twist, the piano music that sometimes invites cheer and happiness, and Monika is the MVP of this game. A game that brings its player into an experience that will always be remembered and I recommend that this game is not suitable for those of you who are easily disturbed and afraid of jumpscare.