I am generally intrigued by the concept of video games that cause real world danger. The reason why is because there is already a sense of curiosity and intrigue when playing a new game for the first time and discovering more about it. When you use someone’s unfamiliarity with a video game against them by putting them up against a game that hurts them in the real world, there is a sense of horror that most gamers can relate to.
As a result, I became rather curious about BAD END (yes it is spelled with all caps) when I stumbled upon its Steam page. The premise of BAD END basically comes down to “what if there was a visual novel that killed you in real life if you make the wrong decision?” Of course, such a game would be impossible to make, so closest choice was to make a game about someone playing the game in question. What makes this even more confusing is that BAD END is the title of both the game you are reading, and the game in the story.
I must admit that I have a fair bit of interest in the indie visual novel scene. I often have a difficult time getting into the larger visual novels made by more professional teams for a variety of reasons. These reasons are oftentimes due to their length and the fact that they tend to be paced very slowly. Indie visual novels, on the other hand, are usually about the same length of a movie so they are easier to digest, and are more likely to get straight to the point.
Also there is the fact that you are more likely to see raw creator expression that is not hampered by corporate interests, although the same could be said of most indie products. Unfortunately, Sturgeon’s law greatly applies to a lot of these visual novels. For every brilliant gem like My Name Is Addiction, you have about twelve mediocre, poorly written and drawn visual novels that are just not interesting. Darconika: The Cube of Soul fits into the latter category. Read more