Back in September of 2017 a mysterious game dropped on pc’s. It was free and claimed to be a generic visual novel (VN) of the goings on of a school literature club. As people began to play however they found out their curiosity got the better of them and a cult classic was born. Four years later Doki Doki Literature club (DDLC) rereleases, Boasting over 50% more content, but this time for a price. Will you pay the toll to Charon for another trip down the river styx or are you still recovering from your first visit to the cursed school? This review might help in the decision.
I want to start this review with a disclaimer: I would suggest those interested in the game just go and grab the original on steam. The main game has had no changes made aside for higher resolution assets and is still free on steam or as a stand alone. Just don’t bother with this review and stop reading here. In fact I’ll just tell you the original game gets an A from me grade wise. Just do it if you have even a hint of interest in reading a short, four hour visual novel. If you liked what you played come back to find out if the extras are worth it. I personally bought the game before we were given a code to review cause I wanted to support Salvato games for a period of my life I might not ever forget.
If you are still reading that means you want to know what makes DDLC+ unique and whether it’s worth $20. The short answer is maybe? It’s complicated. A lot of the new content, like OST and wallpaper/unlockable images, are tied to the game itself. The optional stories, all 6 of them, Come in 2 parts each and last about 30 minutes a section. They are there to give you a better feel for the characters before the events of the game. The stories themselves started out strong but from the 3rd story on things kinda lose their steam. Nothing included is bad but at the same time it’s a distraction. You don’t need them to enjoy the main story and for me it kinda cheapened the experience. but this isn’t where my main gripes are. My main gripes are in the added UI and emails/internal memos.
As you unlock more content like pictures and music, you will find yourself getting emails. These are from the “team who created this game.” That is to say it’s a story within the main story. Without spoiling much, these outline the origins of how the main game came to exist. When you combine that with the UI outside the main game, an operating system that houses DDLC itself and what you’ve unlocked, it robs the player of the intimacy that the original has. It adds a layer of separation between you and the game. You are no longer someone who happened on a free game that invades your sense of reality and begs you to dig deep into it’s files and grab every little secret you can as files change and narratives distort and bend towards it’s end. The immersion is dulled to the point it’s not the same game anymore. Sure it will still make you feel uneasy and probably recoil at some of the classic scenes but you’ll be painfully aware as a new comer that this is a safe experience that you can stop at any time without repercussion.
So if you are like me and you just wanted a way to give Team Salvato some money as thanks for the original game, This is a perfect way to do it and you’ll get some interesting stuff for it. If you are a newcomer, stay far away. DDLC+ is not the definitive experience by a long shot and a game like this only gets one chance to be experienced at it’s best. C+
It's got a lot of new content
New interface and design choices make dull immersion the same way a pillow fight would dull interest in a boxing match