Game Review: Doki Doki Literature Club! (PC)

Posted March 26, 2022 by Angie in Video Game Reviews / 2 Comments

About:

ESRB Rating: Mature (Blood, Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes)
Publisher: Team Salvato
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Single Player
Steam || Nintendo

Story:

In Doki Doki Literature Club! you play as a boy who gets wrangled into joining his school’s literature club by his neighbor and childhood friend, Sayori. He’s reluctant at first because he’s not a reader, but after meeting the other three girls, he has something to look forward to each afternoon. He quickly grows closer to the girls, maybe too close?

Doki Doki Literature Club! appears to be a typical dating simulator at first, but it deals with some heavy topics including depression and suicide The game does start with a very clear warning and it should not be ignored.

Visuals:

The art is very crisp and clear. Each of the girls look unique, but have a cohesive style. The backgrounds are nicely drawn as well, but don’t really stand out. I do like the little details added to some scenes such as the flecks of dust in the light through the window. It was a great extra touch that brought the scene to life.

I do wish there had been some more variation, since we’re in the same classroom for almost the entire story. There are a couple of times where we get a different angle, but it’s mostly the same. We do get a few other locations so it’s not too static. The girls could have also used a few more poses and facial expressions. And why didn’t we get to see the adorable cupcakes Natsuki made?!

But be careful what you wish for, because eventually the game starts changing. It goes from the bright and familiar to dark and twisted without warning. Even when things are going wrong, the imagery is strong and some things threw me off guard. Watch out.

Sound Effects + Music:

The background music in Doki Doki Literature Club! is mainly centered on one main track which loops throughout. It’s very cutesy and upbeat and matches the art style. It’s also quite catchy. Although knowing that this story gets dark, made the cheery music feel almost ominous.

There are other music tracks mixed in that pop up when the scene calls for it before going back to the main song. The music also changes more as the game goes on because of reasons.

Gameplay + Controls:

As this is strictly a visual novel there’s no real gameplay at all. You do make several decisions throughout which seem to affect how the story plays out. There are also some sections where you get to write poetry! Kind of. You select from lists of words to create a poem one of the girls will like. I actually found this really fun, as you can try to choose words to suit a particular girl or you can just choose whatever you want. The controls are straight forward: click or press enter to advance the story.

Although there is something special you have to do toward the end of the game…

Replayability

I’d say that Doki Doki Literature Club! is definitely replayable, if only to get closer to a different girl each time. My first time playing I was romancing Yuri, but Sayori and Natsuki are also options. Unfortunately, Monika is not romanceable. But that still gives you at least three chances to play and get different outcomes. Of course, you can always replay just for the fun of experiencing it all again.

The end credits do spoil the other paths a little bit. Nothing major, but it does show scenes that you’ll get if you focus on one of the other girls. It actually just made me eager to play again! It did take me about five hours to get through it, which isn’t too bad. I could have read a novel in that time, but I think this was more fun!

Overall

Doki Doki Literature Club! was a visual novel that had been on my radar since before I actually started getting into them. All I knew was that it looks cute and bubbly on the outside but is really dark and twisted on the inside. I had to know what was really going on here! And oh did I find out. This is some messed up stuff. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. I really enjoyed it though and can’t wait to play again! Even though I know what’s coming now, it’ll be fun to get there a different way.

Sharing is caring!

Tags:


[convertkit form=2051772]

2 responses to “Game Review: Doki Doki Literature Club! (PC)

Leave a Reply