It's going to be very hard to talk about this game, for two different reasons: the first is that I risk to make you lose your mind sanity; the second is that I must be very careful abou what exactly I'm going to say, because every little detail could ruin game's surprise effect.
If your really want to have an exciting game experience, do not watch videos or read comments on Internet or YouTube. Once you know what it's going to happen, this VN will be less fun to play than it should be.
Another Warning that I give you is not to judge this Visual Novel based only on its deceptively adorable style. If you are easily disturbed by games that deal with "strong" themes, stay away from DDLC!
But if you want to play it anyway, please don't say I didn't warn you!
And now, no more wasting time: let's start with some plot!
Doki Doki makes you assume the role of Japanese of the typical otaku without any particular interest
(other than anime and videogames) we see in so many VNs. As usual, he has a cute childhood friend obviously in love with him. It's thanks to this cute friend - Sayori - that we find ourselves
in a small school club, the Literary Club, of which Sayori is a member, together with other three beautiful girls.
As you can imagine, our lazy protagonist will suddenly discover his love for the sacred art of writing
and decide to join the Club to try to dat - eh, I mean, to become a great writer.
A little dull, it is not?
Only in the beginning, actually.
And soon you're going to beg for the reassuring beginning...
The core of the game, at least in your first play, is poetry: all the girls in the club are great writers - I'm serious! -
and each one has her own peculiar style, which she's more than willing to discuss with the protagonist whenever the opportunity arises.
In order to win the affection of the girl of our dreams, we'll be asked to choose, from a number of possible words,
the ones that are going to be part of our poems: the point is to pick, based on what we read of our club friends, the words that will probably appeal the most to our favourite girl. If we do everything right, we'll impress our crush and begin to know her better.
From time to time, then, we'll be put in front of choices, which usually always concern which of the girls we prefer to spend time with.
This, however, is just the beginning. Once the game is over - once the game has been completed twice, to be precise - gameplay will become
something totally different, which will make us (not the protagonist, but we players) an integral part of the game itself.
But here I must stop: spoilers.
I can only tell you this: pay attention to EVERYTHING the girls tell you during the game, because you're going to need every little clue when the time comes.
Technically DDLC! is in line with the low-budget productions of the genre: illustrations are pretty but not exceptional and the game is not dubbed.
In general, the authors try to cover the technical shortcomings (probably because they do not have an adequate budget) with genial ideas and a fascinating plot.
Here too, however, I have to be careful about what I say to not ruin the surprise: I just tell you that, when the story'll reveal its real nature,
you are going to receive quite a shock. One thing that I particularly appreciated is the importance of writing.
The four girls in the club all have a totally different style, and each one, besides reading your work, will comment on what she thinks should be in a good poem.
All of them have valid arguments and give really interesting insights. Some of their poems are simply great! For someone who writes like me, it was really nice.
Writers who follow this blog, I really recommend you to spend a few minutes to discuss with the girls about writing: you will not regret it.
Perhaps the only major flaw I find in this product - that is brilliant in so many aspects - is its longevity: finish it will not take more than a few hours, and even trying to find out all the hidden secrets and scenes will not extend much the gaming experience. But hey, it's free!
My biggest perplexity concerns the genre it belongs to. If you love creepypasta and generally creepy stories,
you will adore this game. If you don't like this sort of things, you'll probably hate me for having suggested to play it.
And remember: when you will finish the game for the first time, this will not be the end of your nightmare.
Your nightmare is just begin...
PRICE: free !!
WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT? Steam