Being a new student at any school is tough. In Kotodama, this is no different. However, from the start of the school, the player discovers their mystery power to strip people (figuratively) to discover the truth. With this new found power and joining the Occult Research Club, can you find out the 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa or will it be lost? Let’s search for the truth in our review of Kotodama – The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa.
Game: Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa
Platforms: Steam, Playstation 4 (Reviewed), Nintendo Switch
Genre: Visual Novel, Puzzle, Adventure
Release date: May 31st, 2019
*Thank you to PQube for the PS4 review key*
From the official webpage
Welcome to Fujisawa Academy – an educational institution where nothing is as it seems and every pupil hides a dark secret. Having made a pact with a demon fox – and bestowing you with the power to see the truth behind the lies, you must infiltrate the secretive Fujisawa Academy and uncover the sinister truths behind the seemingly normal façade.
The story is displayed in a visual novel style format, which does work well for this game as it allows for the adventure aspect to be explored. Also, it ensures that the player can pay attention in a not so intense storyline. Mix this with the gameplay listed below it works. Ultimately, it delivers the story of the seven mysteries in an easy to digest format.
The gameplay is fundamental in Kotodama. In the VN format, you have individual choices to make for the story. This will cause some different dialogue options to appear. You also have the twitter like an app which provides information and is not interactive (except for making ducks quack). However, there is one more component, which I like to call “exposing the truth.
In this “exposing the truth” mode, the player plays a bejeweled/huniepop matching game. This means matching the gems and using powerups to strip away not only the jewels but the facade of the person. The facade’s strength is shown by the layer of clothing worn. As a result, the less dress that person has on means, the more the truth is revealed. Finally, fill up the entire meter to win.
This makes the gameplay sound good in theory and on paper, but it is also Kotodama’s downfall. The gameplay does not have much more going for it besides that. It is super fan-servicey, which does serve a purpose. Beyond that purpose, there is nothing else to the game. As a result, players could become speedrun masters if they wanted to skip all the dialogue and play the bejeweled game.
Visual and Audio:
Visually, Kotodama looks like any typical VN game. It has visuals that match the atmosphere of the game. As a result, Kotodama could be improved, but for the aesthetic of the game, it works for it.
Audio-wise, the voice work is pretty well. Bouncing off of that, the ambiance and other sounds do work with the given scenarios in the game.
Audio and visuals are Kotodama’s best aspects, in my opinion.
Kotodama has multiple endings, so the player will be able to play the game numerous times. Also, there are various modes outside of the game to enjoy. The game will keep players coming back for more to unlock everything.
For my time with Kotodama, probably 15 hours, I did enjoy it. However, some points were dragging, especially on the path to unlocking multiple endings. I found myself fast forwarding everything to open everything. Also, “exposing the truth” moments in the game are pretty fun as well.
Kotodama is an interesting experiment for PQube’s first game. On that note, comparing it to other puzzle and visual novel games, it is not the best one out there. However, as a first title, Kotodama is a great first attempt at a title. It is a blueprint for further games made by PQube.
Additionally, I hope they do as well because, for a company of their size, it works for all games that are published by them. They can only improve from here. Hats of to Pqube and here is to hope for more future titles.
- Until next time, Mgs2master2 out!
*Thank you again to PQube for the PS4 review key.*