So I found out the least intimidating VN on my list of things I seriously wanted to read actually supports hooks (supposedly wasn’t the first time I looked). I’m actually going to drop the template here for future voting periods.
Developer: LYCORIS / aiueoKompany
VNDB Play Time: 25h (~35 votes)
VNDB Link: Fatal Twelve | vndb
Fatal Twelve - Retail PS4 - Game Trailer - YouTube
Shishimai Rinka was a highschooler who ran a small café named Lion House in place of her grandmother. She lived her life much like any other person her age, but one day, she was caught up in an explosion while returning home on the train alongside her friend, Hitsuji Naomi. In an attempt to save her friend’s life, she shields her on instinct the moment the explosion goes off, losing her life in the process. However, before she knew it, she was back at Lion House, happily chatting with her friends as if nothing had happened in the first place.
A few days later, she found herself in a strange world. Here she met Parca, an odd girl claiming to be a goddess. It turns out that she had somehow become a participant in Divine Selection, a ritual carried out over twelve weeks by twelve people, which allowed them to compete in order to undo their deaths. What shocked Rinka most of all, however, was the presence of her friend Mishima Miharu amongst the twelve.
In order to make it through Divine Selection, one must eliminate others by gathering information regarding their name, cause of death and regret in the real world, then “electing” them.
This turn of events would lead to her learning about the truth behind her death, as well as her own personal regrets. She would also come to face the reality that Miharu was willing to throw her life away for her sake, as well as the extents to which the other participants would go to in order to live through to the end.
Far more experiences than she ever could have imagined awaited her now, but where will her resolve lead her once all is said and done…?
Steam has Japanese support and a demo version
I’m not sure to what degree the mystery tag is relevant, but a death game setup is usually good for drama and suspense. The game itself has something like 20ish choices with two different endings and bad ends depending on what people pick (there’s a guide on Steam for endings/achievements). The game runs on a 12 week schedule with a popup in the corner that shows date changes, so it might be possible to plan ahead with a bit of effort.
As for the personal part, this is actually super high up on my Steam wishlist because of their other game Sound of Drop - fall into poison - which was a pretty goofy horror VN set in an aquarium which actually won over my heart. One of those situations where it just happened to be the right game at the right time with a pretty sweet ending.
Also, the bad end screen was hella adorable
Despite being made by what is apparently a 2 person team for writing/art there was a lot of effort put into that game and Fatal Twelve looks to follow. Not to rag on Loopers, but there’s more variety in the environment and character art in the ~35k character demo than the entirety of Loopers… albeit at an arguably lower quality. I’ve put a good number screenshots below that hopefully demonstrate what I mean by this.
Pros and Cons for the Book Club
- Dialog is voiced
- Supports Textractor
- Steam and Switch versions
- Independent title, not a part of a series or episode 1 type situation
- Averages 7.6/10 on VNDB (~600 votes)
- Not a known/popular developer
- Character art is probably hit or miss
- Moderately large at 470k characters
- Potential violence
- Choices in narrative
- Per chapter/week/day character counts not known in advance
Screenshots from demo
How much effort would you need to read this VN?
- No effort at all
- Minimal effort
- Moderate effort
- Significant effort
- So much effort my head might explode
- I don’t know
I know this is just a name thing, but I’d like to pretend that for a brief moment I found legit furigana in a VN while leafing through the demo.