WARNING: This game is not for the faint of heart, and not for people who suffer from mental illnesses like me. This is not a meme warning so take it very seriously. For more information, visit http://ddlc.moe/warning.html
For starters, I’ve noticed that the game called Doki Doki Literature Club has been trending mostly among my friends. The time where I’m still conceptualizing this blog, my friends have been recommending games that are outside my league (which is really great) and decided to have myself a copy of this game.
Doki Doki Literature Club (also known as DDLC) is a visual novel developed by Team Salvato, which is free and released on Windows, macOS, and Linux, and a psychological horror game. At first, you might really think that this game is just your ordinary cute girls having fun with literature. I played this blindly and trusting my predictions as to how I can go far.
The good thing about this is that, the game warns you from the start that this game contains scenes of disturbance and not suitable also for children.
A little background, I am also the gamer who suffers from depression and anxiety, but I’ll tell you in advance that I stopped at some point in the game. Coming from other games similar to DDLC in gameplay and not from themes, I would say that this VN lives up to the promise of psychological horror game.
You start as the male student (the protagonist) in the game, whom has been dragged by Sayori to join her club – the Literature Club. Since I am entirely not that much of a fan of literature, it seems I cannot back out from her (thanks conscience). I was sold out for a bunch cupcakes her club mates made for me. Sayori seems the “yes-man” type in the club, and is full of tricks.
While I never really agreed to join the club, the game seems lacking of choices. What will happen if I backed out of Sayori’s request and joined the Anime Club?
Upon arrival to the Literature Club after class, I was presented with these four girls, including Sayori. Welcome to Literature Club I guess?
I am not a fan of cute girls but yeah, they’re okay. As the game progresses, they asked me to prepare a poem based from the number of words. These words may resonate to each of the three girls, which is weird that Monika isn’t counted. What if I wanted to write a poem for her from the start? Lack of choices again. By the looks of these girls, Yuri is a timid but intelligent girl, Natsuki being the tsundere of the club (i-it’s not like I want to meet her, b-baka!), and Monika being a bit selfish in my opinion.
So my first poem is full of happy thoughts because who would want a gloomy start? Then played around the next time for sad ones. Depending on your choice of words, you can reach to different storylines. I’ve reached Natsuki first, then Yuri, and eventually hit the difficult decision that will either make or break, or both break. It’s like me being high school student all over again and faced with choosing love over integrity or maybe love over professionalism. Of course, it’s work and taking care of each of my members would be a priority, so I chose to walk home with Yuri.
As the story goes, it seems it didn’t go well. Sayori was avoiding me all of the sudden. Ugh! It seems like me when my crush doesn’t love me. 😆 but then this triggered me a bit as I predict this will lead to an awful outcome.
Sayori went home early because of this – much like I did in the past, went home because the feeling is not really good. The festival preparations continued as usual. Monika asked me to choose whom should I help with. Well, for some reason I am worried with Sayori, so I chose Sayori.
Sadly, these cute girls assumed that I hated them, so Monika hid Sayori from the choices. WHY? =(
Having no choice, I am more inclined with Natsuki-chan because tsunderes are funny, and this might mean free cupcakes! Once settled, Natsuki & I exchanged numbers and went home. Sunday, Natsuki will be arriving at the protagonist’s house – he seems worried about Sayori, so he came to her house.
Sayori revealed to the protagonist of her depression, and by her words, and the protagonist’s tight hug, it already made me more depressed. I stopped playing afterwards as I cannot handle it anymore – thus the warning proved to be true for people getting disturbed easily. I felt myself with her. The exact same feelings I feel during my depression states.
First Impressions. DDLC is a great visual novel but due to the fact that it’s a psychological horror game, it’s not a game you should take lightly. As most people suggested around the Internet, if you have mental illnesses specified in the warning, you can watch the Let’s Play of famous gamers from YouTube. Watching their Let’s Play videos will at least keep your mental health in check as you have people there to distract you to the jumpscares and disturbing material. For a newbie, I would rate it as 8/10 as you can enjoy it if you’re into these kind of genres.
BGM contributes to the dandy lighthearted part, and the darker part of Sayori’s confessions to the protagonist of depression. Maybe Sayori was expecting that I loved her, but I’m pretty sorry but I’m not into girls. 9/10 here.
Gameplay-wise, there are some issues I encountered when playing the game in auto-mode. When you are about to read each character’s poems, it automatically closes – which is a bummer as I wanted to really read each character’s poem. Trying to go back via history is not possible too. Maybe it’s a bug. Another is the lack of choices the protagonist can choose – the what-ifs of life. What if I chose not to join Sayori in the club? What will happen? But then, I understand that the game won’t be thrilling if I have free-will and may defeat the purpose of the visual novel. I should be playing a simulation game instead! 😆 7/10 on this department.
Replayability. It seems it has some more to bring to the table, and I feel tracking other storylines would be fun. But after that, what’s next though? This might be due to the fact that it’s a short game jam-packed with horror. 7/10 for me here.
Specialties. DDLC can actually break the fourth wall intensively (example below). While I know I should save my game as usual, but this came to me as scary. It’s a great idea I guess, so 9/10 would be my rating.
- First Impressions: 8/10
- BGM: 9/10
- Gameplay: 7/10
- Replayability: 7/10
- Specialties: 9/10
My Rating: 80% – While it is a psychological horror game, it has some minor use cases to address, and I guess it could use some more branches and tricks.
Well, that’s it! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post. Till next time! Byiiiieeee~