Destination: Prague is a short, free game developed by Azar Dragneel. You may recognize the game’s demo from the pool of NaNoRenO 2020 entries; however, the full version has just recently been released. Travel through Prague with your stuffed animal friends in this educational and lighthearted adventure visual novel.
A review was requested via the review request form on the VN Game Den website.
In Destination: Prague, you play as a group of stuffed animals that were sent to Prague on a tourist vacation. After their tour guides decide to go out on a date and ditch the stuffed animals, it’s up to the trio to find their way around the city themselves.
The game was created as a way for people to virtually visit other places around the world amidst the pandemic, which prevents many people from traveling. As such, the game acts as a tour for not only the stuffed animals, but players as well.
As you venture across Prague, you’ll be able to visit various different landmarks and learn more about them. However, with the loss of your official tour guides, the information is presented to you in creative ways. One way that I thought was used quite nicely was the introduction of a Prague local, another stuffed animal known as Matthew. Matthew the tiger is able to give you not only information about the city he’s from, but also tons of other fun tidbits as well. You can ask him about the way his name is spelled and he’ll tell you how the Czech language works.
A fun feature available is the clickable map which allows players to map their journey out. You can choose from one of two paths initially. This feature is limited, however, and I’d love to have seen more clickable areas throughout the game. It’s important to note this is the developer’s first visual novel, so I’d say that limited or not, it was done rather nicely.
While the game has a plethora of knowledge to be gained by players, it reads like a textbook in certain parts with fact after fact, and some pieces of information are presented as if the player should already know about certain things. With an educational game, I feel it’s important to make sure it’s both engaging and informative. The player should leave the experience knowing more about the intended topic, but not feel as if they had to click through a bunch of text.
There are quite a few choices in this game, some used as channels to get new information and others as avenues to travel to different areas. I’d have liked to know more about the main characters of the game. I really like the fact that they are stuffed animals, as it makes the experience more lighthearted and fun. However, why are stuffed animals on vacation? Where is their owner, Tobias? I think the mystery of it all detracts from the main purpose of the game at points, and having a clearer, more central idea for the protagonists of the game could strengthen the game’s narrative.
Destination: Prague is an innovative game that you’ll enjoy if you love history and geography, especially because the game uses actual photos from the area! However, in some spots, you may find yourself clicking through rapidly to advance to the next section.
You can play the game yourself for free on itch.io.