Hello, everyone! If you didn’t know, VN Game Den has started doing Twitch streams, and we did our first ever broadcast last week on July 1st! Streams are a more “in the moment” type of coverage, so developers aren’t able to get my full thoughts on their game, hence why we’re doing these recaps. Every week, I’ll be talking about my thoughts on the game(s) I’ve played on my previous Twitch broadcast as well as talk about what I’ll be playing next! With that being said, let’s get right into my thoughts about the game we’ve played last week: Eye Can See You developed by Gongon Studio.
Eye Can See You (Chapter 1)
- Developer: Gongon Studio
- Genre: Otome, Psychological Horror, Romance, Slice of Life
- Content Warning: The game features blood, flashing images, gore, mild jump scares, suicide, and violence. Please be careful while playing.
- Price: Free (Windows, Mac, and Linux on itch.io)
The game follows Aiya Yoshida, a young introverted girl who is born with a gift (or a curse, depending on who she encounters): she can see spirits. After having to leave her previous schools due to relentless bullying, she lands at Kyosei High School, where she hopes to have a fresh start. At first, the day starts like how it normally would for her: she gets bullied. However, eventually, she meets kindhearted people who look past her different-colored eyes and get to know Aiya for who she is. These friends come in the form of Haruki, a classmate of hers who has also been getting bullied, and four members of the manga club: Haru, Kenji, Souta, and Yoriko. She also meets Kai and Yoichi, two spirits who inhibit the school.
The horror element is largely absent from the first and second act of the game, largely focusing on Aiya’s school life and her development. I didn’t mind this, since I found the slice-of-life portion and Aiya’s interactions with her classmates charming and fun. That said, I wish that we got to see Haruki more, since I found her character to be the most intriguing, since she’s the only one out of the cast who can understand what Aiya is going through with bullying. If the player decides to hang out with her at the end of the first school day, you’ll find out information you might not otherwise, and it did leave me wondering where Gongon is going to go with her character in the next installment.
Now, how is the horror? I’m a huge fan of horror, as you may or may not know by me creating a top 10 list dedicated to creepy visual novels or dissecting the genre. When I saw this game was a mixture of my two favorite genres, romance and horror, I knew I had to play it for the first ever VN Game Den stream. So when the horror did start to occur in the game’s third chapter, I have to say, I was happy with what I was presented! The spirit comes off as a threat, the sound design during this section is really good, and the silence when Aiya was by herself is unsettling. It’s everything that I wanted! I managed to not get a game over in this section, but it is possible if you’re not careful. I’m hoping that we get more horror in future installments, because this was great.
The other aspects such as the character art and UI are cute. It’s not often you get a cute horror game like Eye Can See You, so it’s a nice change of pace from the norm you see in the horror genre.
The only pieces of advice I would give to the developer would be to work on the English text and mastering the audio better. For the first part, I understood what the writer was trying to say, so it’s not a matter of a poor translation. It’s just a matter of fixing some grammar mistakes and making sure the sentences flow correctly. I recommend getting a fluent English editor/proofreader for something like this. For the second part, the issue came with the voice acting. I felt like the voice acting was too quiet, while every other piece of audio, like the sound effects and music, overpowered it. I really liked the voice acting, so you’ll want to make sure it’s loud enough for players to hear. Audio is delicate and definitely one of the more difficult processes in game development, at least in my opinion!
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Eye Can See You. If you’re able to handle the sensitive matters presented in this game, I think you would enjoy it too. I’m looking forward to the future installments of Eye Can See You and whatever else that Gongon Studio may have up their sleeve!