Visual Novel Review: Death Room

11/02/2015

First of all, I want to congratulate Dreamgazer for their first game! I think I just heard about this last week, and now it's getting released. Yay for that!

GAME INFO

Name: Death Room
Developer: Dreamgazer
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2015
Genre: GxB, BxG, Paranormal, Suspense

otometwist visual novel review death room

You wake up in a room.

Four white walls. Four strangers. Countless weapons around you.

This is a highly interactive game. Your choices decide whether you live or die. Can you escape the Death Room?


WRITING

You get an option to name yourself here, and also your gender. At first, I actually had no idea whether or not I was male or female, but I chose to go with Ran, anyway (what a surprise.) Anyway, going back, I realized that you can actually choose your gender, haha, so that's that.

Writing-wise, I think it was pretty interesting. There were no noticeable errors with the writing (well, actually, I didn't notice a thing) and no typos either. I applaud Death Room for that, as a free game. However, there was one time when a "gun.wav" showed up on the dialogue. :) Just a minor oversight.

Oh, and there really are hundreds of choices. And I mean hundreds. Most of them are just tiny choices that I'm not sure how they will affect the game exactly.

In my first playthrough though, I got killed by Dominic. In my second, I got to go home, but I was still pretty unsatisfied. In my third playthrough, I let Ambrosia live. I played a few more times, but I simply couldn't get the ending that I wanted. Why. Oh. Why. Yes, yes, I know, we can't get everything we want in this world. But please, just a wee ending?

otometwist visual novel review death room
Hottie. <3
I really love otome games, so I was aiming for Dev the whole time. (You guys know I always go for guys I don't think I can stand in real life, hahaha.) But yeah, he is just so adorable, despite him being so cold and distant and everything. However, I hate how I had to act like some damsel in distress just to get his fluffy route. (And I couldn't even get it!)

I found it slightly weird when they started telling each other about themselves. It wasn't because that was an entirely out-of-this-world event, no. It was the way they were doing it so calmly. I'm a huge fan of the Saw series, and for those of you who've watched the 2nd film (IIRC) you'll see how even though the characters sort of got to know each other, they were all panicky and stuff. In Death Room, the characters were all telling each other facts about themselves like they were just having a picnic at a nearby park. Hm. Just something I wanted to point out.

Aside from that, though, I found the writing here to be nice. During the action-packed scenes, I had a lot of fun because the writing was really great to read. It felt like there was a movie happening in my mind as I read. Plot-wise, it's intriguing and I'm curious as to who exactly put them there. Even after playing more than a dozen times, I still haven't got a clue about the real story behind everything that's happening in this visual novel. I don't think I even got to know the characters THAT well, at all. :(

otometwist visual novel review death room
"Don't talk to me."
P.S. I tried to go the Dominic way, and... oh gag me, he is so... ugh.

ART

The art honestly reminds me of old anime shows from the 90's. (Yeah, you can call me a 90's kid.) It's sort of reminiscent to Ghost Fighter, a series that I really loved when I was a little kid. What I mean is, it's not bad, not bad at all, although it does feel sort of outdated. The quality also kinda varies. Dev has the best character art, and I'm not saying this just because I like him, while it feels like Evie got the short end of the stick for her far too simplistic looks. The shading could also be a little bit better on all the characters, though. With the current way they are shaded, they feel really flat. It's hard to describe, but yeah, they don't seem to have much life in them. I think that's the main reason why Evie feels so plain to me. Her character is already meant to be plain, yet the way she's colored is also pretty plain. So, yep, that's that. The drawing is nice, but the coloring... let's just say there's still some room to improve in that aspect.

visual novel review death room otometwist
It is a prison. Yes, it is.
As for the background(s), well, there's only one here, the room they were in, so there's not much to nitpick, is there? :)

MUSIC

The first soundtrack that came on during my first playthrough made me feel like I was in a dance club! For the most part, though, I think the music is pretty nice, if not too unforgettable. But it's not bad. I especially like the music used during the action scenes.

GUI

visual novel review death room gxb bxg
"Room" sounds creepy enough, tbh.
I have to say this outright: I don't like it very much. The whole game is in NVL mode, and while it looks fine, I simply dislike the menu. For one thing, there is no return button, and I keep fogetting that it's supposed to be right-clicked to go back to the previous screen. Also, it doesn't have a dedicated save screen, so if you have already pressed the Load option at the bottom, there's no way to get the game to save other than to right-click out then right-click back in. Anyway, that's my only issue with it. I do think the GUI is pretty plain, but that's okay, given the nature of the game. :)

EXTRAS

Like I said, there's a special version that you can unlock here after getting one ending! I think it's the "home" ending. It doesn't really add much to the game, but it is quite funny.

(Update: Dreamgazer brought to my attention the Extras section in the menu, which I had completely overlooked. Hahaha, I apologize. But I just want to drop in and say... oh man, it's a super fun section! Hahaha. Better try it out once you get the chance. Also, a mini-walkthrough has been posted on LSF. I put in into a separate blog post, here.)

It took me around 30 minutes to finish one playthrough, and that was while writing this review, too. So I think it's a really short game that just requires multiple playthroughs for you to get the whole picture. I think 7 strawberries would be fair. :)  It almost reminds me of Mori no Monogatari, except it's not annoying (unless if you're annoyed by dying over and over again) and it has a way better story. No CGs though, it seems. Anyway, the plot is decent, the art is pretty good (except for the shading), and the music is also okay. A 7, it is!


You can download it here.

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