Doki Doki Literature Club! (PC) (2017)

Overview: On the one hand, I don't want to give away the game's plot. On the other hand, I want readers to know what they're getting into. The game is a visual novel, but it is not the typical dating simulator. In fact, the developer cautions "This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed." In different words, if you enjoy horror games or films,* then the warning probably doesn't apply to you.

Sayori, Yuri, Natsuki, and Monika

*To put things into perspective, I can tolerate lighter horror games and films. For example, I'm fine with Five Nights at Freddy's, Alien, Alan Wake, and The Shining. However, even if a game or film seems to be overly scary, I won't touch it. For example, Slender: The Arrival and The Ring.

20181220:
Ada and I begin playing this game and there's some foreshadowing going on, but thus far it seems innocent. I don't see where the warning comes into play: "This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed."

Setup: Steam Link with Wired Xbox Controller and Wired Keyboard.

Monika

Gameplay Log:
10 minutes to setup game, controls, OBS
There seems to be some foreshadowing.
[Ada is tired of all the text, so I take the controller and start reading the text]
Ada chooses to read the poem to Sayori first. Ada figures cause she knows her already.
IRL, Ada falls asleep.
Ada chooses to read the poem to Yuri.
End session.

Steam Game Time: 73 minutes (total game time)*
*As mentioned in the log, 10 of these minutes were spent setting up.

"Who should I show my poem to next?"


20181221:
Wow. Today Ada and I played all the way to a point in the game that was shocking. I originally thought the warning might have been exaggerated, but it's spot on. Then again, I honestly didn't know if the warning applied to me or not.

In any case, what I'm worried about now is whether or not we and/or I should continue playing. Are things going to get worse?

Setup: Steam Link with Wired Xbox Controller and Wired Keyboard.

Yuri, Monika, Sayori, and Natsuki

Gameplay Log:
Since Ada was asleep yesterday and didn't remember the poems, I went back to the appropriate save file and we quickly went through Sayori and Yuri. I read.
Eventually, Ada took over the reading.
Wow. That ending was expected, yet shocking. I knew it would be bad, but I didn't know it would be like that...
Perhaps, what was more shocking, was the idea that we could just go back to a save point. And... we couldn't!
Trying to go into the save point ended up putting us straight into a new run. Almost an alternate timeline. It was surreal.
But it was getting late and we weren't going to play more. Ada got ready for bed, while I had to unwind.
Of course, I hypothesized that there wasn't any happy ending to be found in the story...

Spending the weekend with Natsuki.

Steam Game Time: 5.7 hours (total game time)*
*There was some down time, so perhaps there was actually 4 hours of gameplay.

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Free
+ Cute music (most of the time...); Great soundtrack
+ Mind blown for plot twist
+ Brings something new to the visual novel genre
+ Replayability

Reading on the floor with Yuri.

Neutral:
~ Lots of pure reading (as opposed to making choices)

Minor Con:
- I'll never be able to undo my decision to play the game and take back what I experienced.

Summary:
After reaching an "ending," I'm lost for words on the game. In a complex, complicated fashion, I both enjoyed the game and was terrified of it. I would consider recommending the game, but it's thematically dark and I don't know what group of players would enjoy it; I haven't played enough psychological horror games to know.

Doki Doki Literature Club! (PC) (2017)

Sayori's Poem

Relevant Links:
Doki Doki Literature Club! (Wikipedia.org)
Doki Doki Literature Club! (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Doki Doki Literature Club! (Steam Store Page)

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