Hidden Gems #8

These are two visual novels that stand out among the rest!

“Hidden Gems” is a monthly post series highlighting visual novels that have fewer than ten reviews on itch.io and/or Steam and have been available for at least one month. This series doesn’t seek to fully review these games, but to highlight the unique characteristics that make them worthy of the spotlight.

Twisted: A Dark Fairytale

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (Steam) (itch.io)

Price: US $9.99

Twisted is a dark fantasy visual novel with a compelling story, fantastic writing, and amazing art composition that brings the story to life. Upon launch, you’re immediately reeled into the dark undertones of the plot. You play as Sage, who is thrust into danger as they lurk the treacherous woods outside the village that are known to be home to a certain monster.

My favorite part about this game is the artwork and how the story progresses from one beat to the next in a series of CGs, all of which are beautifully lit with silhouetted characters or trees that paint the dark fantasy vibe of the story. It’s clear that the plot of Twisted was inspired by tales such Little Red Riding Hood, but this story definitely comes with its own take on the tale. It’s also worth mentioning that the characters all have original looks and personalities, and the story itself is peppered with various bits of lore and information about the fictional world that proves to be a very imaginative experience.

Twisted is a work of art and there is so much to love about it. I was instantly captivated by the story’s phenomenal writing, the characters, and the scenes as they unfolded before me. It was comparable to watching a movie, and anyone who has read my previous articles will know that I am a lover of animation and cinematic scenes in visual novels and games. Twisted’s shot compositions, slight transitions from scene-to-scene, and eerie ambiance combine together to make a very gripping experience.

Intergalactic Interpreter

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Android (itch.io) (Google Play)

Price: Free

Intergalactic Interpreter is a comedic visual novel about war and peace in an adventure where humans and the Triangulans must set aside their differences and find a way to make amends. The fate of these two civilizations rests in your hands.

I had been on the hunt specifically for a comedy visual novel to feature in Hidden Gems this month, and the synopsis for Intergalactic Interpreter drew my interest. The premise sheds light on the grim aspects of real life and creates a scenario where peace is achieved in a comedic and lighthearted way. The two conflicting parties converse via a mediator, and the player’s choices are timed and affect the resolution of these two clashing civilizations. The first request is for the Triangulans to cease their crop-circle-making activities on Earth.

I adore this game and it has definitely earned its spot in the Hidden Gems series. It offers an amusing premise, engaging choices, and entertaining SFX and voice acting “wah wah wah” sounds that aren’t of a language you can recognize, but are amusing and fit the characters well. If you’re looking for a launch, this game has very cute humor revolving around extraterrestrial mysteries. I finished my first play session in about five minutes or less, but I had a lot of fun trying to reach a compromise between Earth and the Triangulans. Overall, I would love to see more games like Intergalactic Interpreter.

Spooktober 2022 Visual Novel Jam

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