Video Game Review: Doki Doki Literature Club!

Details: Released in 2017. I got through Steam for the price of free. I beat it in about three hours.

The very first thing you see when you open up this game is a warning: “This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.” This warning was kind of an understatement.

I learned of Doki Doki Literature Club by seeing it mentioned repeatedly on gaming news sites. I even saw it get a nomination for best PC game of the year somewhere. While I think that PC game of the year is a bit much, I do give the game credit for what it tries to achieve. However, regardless of this game’s somewhat unique story, this is still a visual novel. If you hate the idea of reading through mountains of text while staring at static images, this game is not for you. If you can tolerate the idea, then what you’ll find is a visual novel with a shockingly unpredictable plot.

Doki Doki Literature Club! tells a story from the perspective of a young student in high school. The student joins the literature club, whose members consist of four attractive young ladies. Like in most dating sims, your goal is to get to know these girls, maybe even hook up with one of them.

What made this game special and why many video games media organizations declared this game a must play is that the story goes in really unexpected directions fast. This game is advertised as your standard, fluffy, cute dating sim visual novel. This is not that. That’s all I’ll say about the plot.

I think what amazed me most was the way that the game interacted with the player and provided options to the player that you would not expect. It reminded of some experiences I had in the game Undertale. If you do choose to play this game, be sure to try everything as some of the obstacles require out of the box thinking.

Additionally, there are multiple paths so you may want to watch a video of the different branching plot lines and endings after you beat it.

Overall, I enjoyed the game and I can’t really complain about it since the game was free. It was an interesting experience. However, this was still a visual novel. I do not enjoy visual novels. I do not enjoy reading through mountains of text with no gameplay and no voice acting other than my inner monologue. If you don’t like visual novels, stay away. If you do, then you’ll find a surprising one here.

Score: 6.6/10

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