Doki Doki Literature Club
Yeah, I know. "Wonderduck, another dating sim?" Yep! And not only that, it's about as formulaic as they come! I mean take a look:
Left to right, you've got the tsundere, the shy bookworm, the genki childhood friend, and the school princess who's also the president of this little club. Of course, you're the only guy in sight. We've seen this anime, this manga, this visual novel, before, dozens of times really. These same characters too... oh, the character designs might be different, but really they're the same.
So why did this free game that's available on Steam hook me so darn hard that it got into my dreams? I want to make this clear: there are spoilers ahead. Not massive ones, but spoilers nevertheless. If you're curious about this, but you don't want spoilers, allow me to direct you to friend Ben's post over on the mysteriously named Midnite Tease. He's got the stuff.
And, if you want to go into it with as little information as possible, I salute you and don't even mind if you're not going to read the rest of this post. Here's some music for you.
Quite possibly the happiest, most bubbly tune ever... perfect for DDLC!
So why did I blow through this game over the course of two nights? Why did it disturb my sleep? Because it isn't a dating sim at all. Oh, it is, it really is, but... it's not, as we discover over the course of the first act.
Here's your last chance... SPOILERS AHEAD... don't say I didn't warn you.
As things progress, you learn a bit more about your fellow club members. The tsundere, Natsuki, loves the club because it means she doesn't have to go home to her monsterous father. Yuri, the shy bookworm, becomes a whole different person when she's in a book, or talking about literature in general, or playing with knives...
Wait, what? And where's Sayuri, the childhood friend? She must be late...
And then there's Monika.
Why is the screen getting all fuzzy? And... and why are files getting added and deleted in the game's folder? Wait, what's going on with the music? Is that whispering? Oh thank heavens, that's over. Wow, that was kinda weird. Cool though. Well, we all know I'm a completionist when it comes to this sorta thing, let's load up an old save and go through another girl's route...
...where'd the saves go?
AND WHY DID THE GAME JUST RESTART ON ITS OWN??? Okay. Okay, relax, it's just a game. Just software.
Just software THAT'S CALLING ME BY MY REAL NAME OH GOD OH GOD ABORT ABORT ABORT HEAD FOR THE HIL...