迷雾之夏-The Vigilant Villa
Murder, deceit, and mystery 3 of my favourite things. The grammar could use review, but this game is chaotic with an engaging story about a group of 10 strangers who happen to end up trapped together.
It took me a while to get to this game on my list, but I have been on a bit of a mystery/puzzle game kick since Christmas 2019.
After playing just over 10 hours of this game, I think that I have unlocked two possible endings of this story so far. I’ve already started to go back to try again, making different choices from the very start to unlock the rest. Getting started, I found the first few clues to be a little confusing, but after a puzzle or two, you get aligned with the mindset of the creators and understanding the logic of the puzzles starts to make sense.
Being initially released as a Chinese game, and having a translation come later, the grammar and direct translation aren’t the best, and some of the highlights in the dialogue glitches before correcting itself. But for me, this doesn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of playing the game.
In my playthrough, I gave the characters nicknames and took some liberties on the dialogue while I followed along with what is happening in the villa.
Check out this video from my First Look live stream where my chat and I decided on the next steps for some of the characters upon introduction.
The art style in this game is what you would expect from a Dating Sim/Visual Novel style of game but, I don’t dislike it.
The “floaty-ness” of the characters could have used a little more variation to enforce their personality types, but the voice-actors did a great job of conveying the emotions and personalities for me despite not understanding the spoken language myself. Check out this artwork from the steam page of my favourite character Liu Hongzhi aka “Murder Teen” (from my playthrough.)
The gameplay itself is simple and doesn’t take a whole lot of time to sort out what to do. This is your typical visual novel style game with dialogue bubbles to select and bouncy characters who emote with the story in a still frame. Once you discover a new room the game unlocks “eye spy” to search for clues. There are some puzzle pieces and cogs to collect throughout the game (where these are assembled I have yet to figure out.) And as with every visual novel, your choices matter.
In my first go, I chose to play my cards close to the chest and didn’t interact with any character unless I was forced to do so. You have the option to open up to other characters and intertwine the stories, but I’m selfish and racked up a lot of what I’m going to call “devil points” playing as the chaotic neutral that I am.
In keeping with the user-friendly nature of the game, there are numerous reminders to save your game before going onto the next deduction*. As a paranoid CTRL + S user, I appreciate the reminders based on previous histories of games crashing without a save to be seen. An autosave would be preferred, which I believe this game does at each chapter (but I will confirm that on my next go around.)
* Deductions are where you are presented your previously collected clues for that chapter and given a question which is meant to link to a specific highlight to solve the “whodunnit”
There are a total of 6 different endings in this game based on the choices that you make throughout. And the game developers have made it very easy to go back and re-evaluate those choices by selecting a chapter to start over. There is some nice replay value to come back and do the story over.
I’ve started a second playthrough already trying to get more of what I call “angel points” to see how this changes the overall outcome.
There are a few railroad choices where the outcome is the same no matter, what you do but that is expected to keep the story moving. Once you finish the chapters you unlock a story map for each one to show you how many new threads remain. This makes it very easy for the completionists to see where they have to go back and change their choices.
Overall a solid play for the visual novel genre, play style is a little repetitive, but would definitely play again.