Normally, I´m not all that much for visual novel games. As most of them tend to be of the romantic sort (which is not my cup of tea). However, Yangyang Mobile´s “The Letter” just happens to be an interactive visual novel horror game. So I gave the demo a fair chance, and I sure didn´t regret doing that. As “The Letter” (Windows, MAC, Linux, iOS and Android) offers some really good graphics, animations, music, excellent dialogs and interesting characters (there will be six playable characters in total in the final version of the game). Not only that, “The Letter” is also inspired by famous Japanese horror movies such as “The Ring” and “The Grudge,” and JRPG games such as “Corpse Party” and “Mad Fater.” And I could really feel those vibes when I played through the demo (more horror to the people!). Nevertheless, I did get somewhat fooled at the very start of “The Letter” though, as the cute graphics and the home friendly environment made me drop my guard down (I think that Yangyang Mobile did that on purpose to be honest, to give the players a false sense of security).
Well, let´s just say that I had to learn the hard way that “The Letter” is indeed a horror game. You see. I’m the kind of person that sinks really deep into my reading when I´m enjoying a book or a game (if the game offers a lot of reading that is, and that just happens to be the case with “The Letter”). And that is something, which will enhance the jump scare moments in “The Letter,” for sure. As Yangyang mobile seems to love to those in unexpected jump scare moments here and there. For example, you could be reading a letter (or inspecting something), and before you know it. “The Letter” shoves some bloody corpse feet into your face. And since the full game is said to offer six different playable characters, I suppose that everyone will react differently upon situations such as that (there will also be “make” or “break” relationships in the game. And that is probably something that will play a big role in “The Letter” as well).
I also noticed that there seems to be quite a lot of personal drama going down in “The Letter.” For example, in the demo you play as the clumsy but lovely Isabella Santos. An estate agent who has been given the mission to check up on a mansion that is said to be cursed (yes, you guessed it. A lot of horrors and evil awaits you there). And before you go there, you get to know Santos personality quite well (mainly by talking to her friend Rebecca Gales, whom works as a High School teacher in the game). What I´m trying to say is this, it appears as if you will get to know each and every one of the characters on a personal level in “The Letter”.
And since all of them have their own personalities, goals, love interests and flaws. That should add a lot of drama spice into the mix for sure. Besides that, I found the quick-time events to be an interesting part of the gameplay experience. As it´s something, which could make “The Letter” even scarier (stress + horror = Even more horror). I would also like to point out that Yangyang mobile “might,” add full voice overs for all the characters in the game as well (there will be at least 180,000 words in the full game, so that sounds like a good plan to me) . However, in order to do that YangYang needs to collect $40,000 on Kickstarter (there are about 9,000 dollars missing at this time, with less than nine hours left to go).
Even so, “The Letter” is doing just fine so far. As the game has already been successfully funded on Kickstarter (“The Letter” has also been greenlit on Steam Greenlight just recently). So I bet that Yangyang mobile will be able to reach their $40,000 stretch goal on Kickstarter on time with no sweat (we will know for sure by tomorrow). So, what about “pros” and “cons” of the game then? Well, personally, I would like to see more horror elements and jump scare moments in the final production of “The Letter”. I also hope that there won´t be too much focus on relationships and romance in the game (as it´s not my kind of thing). Other than that, I don´t have so much to complain about really.
I guess that I would love to see an anti-hero kind of character in the game, but maybe that´s just me? Anyhow, if you like horror and interactive visual games. Then you should download and try “The Letter” demo for sure. Trust me, you won´t be disappointed! You don´t have to take my word for it though, because you could just watch our gameplay video down below if you’re not quite sure if “The Letter” is worthy of your time or not.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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