The Letter beta demo

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I played through the very short beta demo for kickstarted OELVN The Letter, and here are some brief thoughts on what Yangyang Mobile have produced so far.

Positives

Art: The art is gorgeous, I love the detailed backgrounds and the character designs.

Animations: Sprites are animated which is really nice, although the mouth movements are a bit odd. Also there are little animated bits in the backgrounds, like birds flying across the sky or light particles dancing by the windows, which really brings the scenes to life.

Voice acting: The game is fully voice acted which is a rare treat for an OELVN.

Horror themes: I’m a big fan of horror so I love it when a visual novel delves into this genre. These themes and premise are what got me interested in this game in the first place.

Sound effects: The creepy sound effects add to the ambiance.

Overall presentation: The game looks great overall with plenty of additional features such as achievements, endings list, gallery, in-game notebook and relationship tracker, and so on, as well as a smidgen of gameplay in quicktime events that you can choose to skip if you just want the VN experience.

Negatives

Voice acting: I’ve listed this as both a positive and a negative as some of the voice acting isn’t stellar, although it’s nothing too cringe-worthy or detracting overall.

Writing: The writing isn’t terrible, but it could do with a good editor going over it to polish it up. In particular there were inconsistencies in the usage of tense, and some odd turns of phrase.

Story: A demo is meant to hook you in, but there wasn’t anything particularly interesting going on here and nothing that made me wonder what would happen next in the story. I’ve read the game synopsis, so I know where the story is headed, but this direction wasn’t clear from the demo. There was also a lack of tension and buildup, which undermines the horror part when it arrives.

As you can see, I’ve listed more positive aspects than negative, but I do feel that the negative points are quite large detractors at this stage. However, in general it was a high quality start that could really shine with a little more polish.

You can check out their website here and Kickstarter updates for the project here.

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