Cherrymochi’s “Tokyo Dark” is a dark psychological horror/visual novel game, set in and around Tokyo.

As for the game’s background story, it goes as follows. When Detective Ito’s partner goes missing, and suddenly reappears as a hostage to a girl that Ito seemingly had killed months before, Ito is assigned to rescue her partner. However, things don’t go well

tokyo dark a very cute catgirl

Yes, you guessed it. It’s a cat maid cafe, and a very cute one at it :3

And that’s how the game starts off. Other than that, it’s also worth pointing out that “Tokyo Dark” became a big hit over at Kickstarter back in 2015. So  “Tokyo Dark” has had quite a few claims to fame over time.

Another good example of that would be Tokyo Dark’s S.P.I.N system, which is designed to change your available options based on your mental, professional, investigation and neurosis levels.

tokyo dark a very cute girl

Later on, you find one character you met earlier is involved.

Well, this works quite well for the most part, but usually only removes available options instead of replacing them with alternative ones, more attuned to your current levels.

tokyo dark some creepy dude

Believe it or not, but the first time that you play “Tokyo dark”, you actually own him a debt.

Next is the story itself. You see, the game’s story is quite hard-hitting at times, especially when the half-way point is reached, and isn’t afraid to tackle contemporary Japanese problems: The exploitation (sexual and financial) of idols, JK patronizers, suicide (multiple times), police corruption and indifference, cults as well the Yakuza.

tokyo dark one of the few non menu bugs

This right here would be one of the few non-menu bugs in the game (this one usually happens if you click through the text too quickly).

The horror aspects come in somewhat infrequently, but always in the background, and that’s something that certainly isn’t suitable for young people.

tokyo dark goto

Goto is one hell of a slimy character. So quite a few players will most likely find comfort in known that you will actually get a chance to kill Goto later on in the game.

Anyways, I think you get the idea. So let’s move on to the game’s controls shall we? Well, Ito is easy to control – she can walk left or right, or when double-clicking on a location, she will run – and is very nicely animated too.

So when an option comes available, a selection box should appear along with up to four options.

tokyo dark the antagonist

The “antagonist“ – originally victimized by many people, not least by her ex-manager, it’s implied that she gets killed a lot.

However, this is where the games biggest problems come into play. Because there are a few places where options should appear, but don’t – but only for some people. Unfortunately, even after a year, this bug still hasn’t been fixed, and most likely won’t be now.

tokyo dark a dream sequence

This scene is a part of a dream sequence that’s just about to take a very dark turn.

Furthermore, what makes the problem even worse is that usually, the only way to “solve” the problem is to restart the game…Because, until you complete the game once, all saves are automatic, with reloading using only the last save point.

On a positive note though. The game’s graphics are very nice, with quite a few animated foregrounds, and the fairly frequent anime sections are animated well, whilst the music is fantastic and always appropriate.

tokyo dark some old dude

The game’s story is pretty intricate and quite often pretty dense (especially when talking about Japanese mythology), but it does have a fair bit of humor as well.

That’s just the half of it though when it comes to positive aspects of the game. You see, the characters you meet differ wildly, and are quite natural.

For example, you got the perverted businessman who likes taking girls to a sewer; the depressed bar keeper who has a history of suicide attempts, the two-faced manager of the antagonist, and a cat cafe owner to managed to get herself into debt with the Yakuza and is implied that she pays dearly for it at the end of the game.

tokyo dark a cute cat

“Tokyo dark” offers some truly beautiful visuals, and the game’s music is very nice as well.

And of course, there is the antagonist: A victim of other peoples greed, indifference, and sexual desires, she and Ito have a lot in common and as such, despite her murderous side, is entirely sympathetic.

tokyo dark its some crazy girl

There are a lot of things which I like about “Tokyo Dark”. However, there are also a handful of things that I don’t like all that much either. For example, you can’t easily the skip text in the game, and there are still some of the bugs which haven’t been fixed.

So as you might imagine, “Tokyo Dark” is a very dark game with no doubt. As a matter of fact (***SPOILER WARNING!***), none of the eleven or so endings are particularly happy.

Why? Because at least one other person loses out (usually in a big way too)…And even with the true ending (as one character states earlier in the game), Ito’s eventual fate will not be particularly nice.

Nevertheless, all in all, “Tokyo Dark” is still a really good, beautiful and entertaining psychological horror adventure/visual novel. So if you’re into games like that, then don’t miss out on “Tokyo Dark”!

Pros:
+ Lovely graphics and Ito is nicely detailed and animated.
+ Very nice music.
+ Story is always interesting and changes after the second play.
+ Varied and interesting characters.
+ Visit quite a few locations.

Cons:
– Some of the bugs which many people have had still haven’t been fixed.
– More could have been done with the S.P.I.N system.
– White text on a white background, does not make things easy to read.
– You can’t easily skip the game’s text parts.
– Sometimes the icon for the current character speaking is incorrect.
– No chance of a sequel.
– Only snippets of Ito speaking.

Gameplay: 3/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound and music: 4/5
Controls: 3/5
Replay value: 4/5
Story: 4/5

tgg grade 4 out of 5

Verdict: 4/5
“Tokyo Dark” offers an intricate and exciting story, which, with no happy endings, probably shouldn’t be played by those suffering from depression.

Especially not since the game can be pretty gruesome both graphically, and narratively. The only thing that really lets the game down now is the fact that the menu bug problem hasn’t been (and most likely won’t now) fixed.

Even so, at the end of the day, “Tokyo Dark” is still a very well-made and entertaining psychological horror adventure/visual novel that shouldn’t let anyone down.

Title: Tokyo Dark
Developer: Cherrymochi
Format: PC Download
Genre: Psychological horror adventure/Visual novel
Resolution: Desktop default
Release date: 2017-09-07
Difficulty: User-defined
Spent time: + 63 hours
Average grade internationally: 70% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating:
+18
Price:  15.95 Euros via Steam

Credit:
Robin Ek – Editor

tgg author avatar Nicholas Kingsley
Nicholas Kingsley
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @sku_te

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