Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release: Apr 9, 2021 (for Switch)
Price: $40 USD
The House in Fata Morgana is a visual novel in the truest sense of the word.. it’s a novel but with graphical and auditory elements to it. There’s no interactions besides just advancing the text.
Plot: You are a spirit who lost their memories entering a creepy mansion, upon entering you talk to a maid who seems like she has been with the mansion throughout various points in history. She shows you what happens in the mansion in different points in history. In 1603, the mansion is inhabited by young aristocrat siblings Mell and Nellie Rhodes.
In 1707, the mansion is abandoned and destitute, except for a singular ‘Beast’ creature who the maid attempts to civilize. In 1869, the mansion is owned by young, greedy businessman Jacopo. In 1099, an incarnation of the White-Haired Girl (a girl who appears in all the other time periods as well) flees to the mansion from persecuting villagers. The overarching plot of the novel ties the identities of the spirit, maid and white-haired girl together throughout the different time periods with a thrilling conclusion.
Gameplay: This is a strict visual novel with no gameplay elements and no choices.. just reading text.
There’s a few characters from each time period, but the main characters that are recurring through each time period are:
-You, the spirit listening mostly to the maid’s tales
-The Maid, who has lived in the mansion throughout different time periods.
-The White Haired Girl, who appears in each time period as a critical character
Graphics: The House in Fata Morgana appears wholly unlike any other Japanese visual novel in that it does not use anime style graphics and instead opts for a more ‘realistic’ depiction of the characters. I personally find it refreshing and it definitely adds more of a creepy vibe to the dark parts of the story and more realism and color to the lighter parts. It’s a beautiful looking game.
Music: The music fits well with different parts of the story. You will hear light hearted music during the lighter parts, opera like background music during some climactic parts and creepy brooding music during the darker parts. It definitely adds to the atmosphere of this game.
Conclusion: 8/10. It’s harder for me to rank this game compared to other visual novels because it’s just so different. There’s no dating sim here, no choices to make. It’s just reading through text. It can barely be qualified as a game. So I think this ‘game’ appeals the most to book readers, and personally I feel the story is only considered strong when you compare it to other visual novels. Compared to traditional books, obviously there are more engrossing books that people have written throughout history that are superior to this. However, I understand if you judge this game purely as a novel with a solid storyline, graphics and music, then it’s definitely a recommendation. I just don’t recommend it for people expecting any kind of gameplay elements, since they simply do not exist for this game.
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