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True Lover's Knot (PC) artwork

True Lover's Knot (PC) review

"Set sails on the high seas as you try to find love and a new sense of self!"

As someone who has been on a cruise before and enjoys visual novels, I had high hopes for this game. The character sprites are appealing and the trailer look promising. Sadly, the moment I turned on the game I felt a bit turned off, which only increased when I began to play it. It took quite a while for me to gather the will power to finish this game, despite it being so short.

The story is what drives most visual novels; love-able characters, dialog that draws you in and a desire to see where the protagonist ends up. This game has none of that. True Lover’s Knot is about an IT worker named Emma Long who is from America but now works and lives in London. Her best friend Lucas has acquired two tickets for a seven day cruise thanks to his charming personality and scoring a great deal for their company. He invites Emma and what you would expect to happen next is tons of fun and lots of surprises.

True Lover's Knot (PC) image

Wrong. What you get is conversations with characters that are very short and a lot of the times don’t matter to the ending. In the banner for the game there are seven characters, only two of which are romantic options. Santi and Scott are your only choices, not Lucas who is awesome nor any of the female characters who are barely fleshed out anyway. Anna and Erica work on the ship and despite both having to deal with their busy jobs they seem to find a lot of time to talk to Emma and Lucas. Tiffany is a woman randomly met on the ship who doesn’t offer anything to the story at all but hey, she’s cute.

You meet Santi randomly on the ship, he’s a Casanova who offers to do you right. You only meet with him twice and that’s apparently all it takes to fall in love. His dialog reads like a horribly cliche romance novel and made me cringe the entire time, however his voice mail that he left Emma was the worst. It was actually voiced by someone, saying horribly cheesy “romantic” things and it was a huge turn off. Your other choice is Scott, a dull but very stable man who is rich beyond your wildest dreams. He’s also your ex boyfriend from college whom you left for another man who was a “bad boy” and gave you the D. Somehow, after you screwed him over in college ten years ago in dare I might say an insulting way, he’s still in love with you. Despite you explaining why you left him (after cheating on him) and the most disgusting line in the whole game, which was utter by Emma, saying that she and Scott had dated for three months and he never put out. She just flat out admits she left him because he worked too hard, studied too hard and didn’t put out and Scott STILL wants to love her. I was done.

If the shallow protagonist and the shallow story weren’t bad enough, the general look of the game is also not appealing. When I first started up what I noticed was the very basic look of things, the title screen, the menu, the was all bland. Ok, not the end of the world, right? But then I noticed the backgrounds. All the character sprites are very cute and one in an anime style but the background are mostly stock photos, real life stock photos. So you see real people and real environments in back of these cute sprites. I did not like how they meshed together. Another thing I wasn’t fond of were the unskippable movies. They were short but they were recycled and also were with real people. Not to mention, they took the place of where actual dialog and descriptions could go. Why show a video of random people dancing when you can write about it? This is a novel, yes a visual one but a novel none the less.

True Lover's Knot (PC) image

I also found fault in the gameplay of True Lover’s Knot. Emma is an IT worker and ends up being asked to fix things over and over in the game. From someone’s cellphone to an actual issue with the ship, all these situation do nothing for the story. These could have easily been worked in to help raise someone’s affection but you gain nothing from doing these tasks so they just feel shoe horned in. What you do get is a boring match three mini game, that you can’t skip. You have to keep playing the mini game when it pops up, completely distracting from the story. You also cannot skip text in the game and you can’t put the dialog on auto play, you have to keep clicking through text. There is also no option to change the speed of the text.

I only found two things that I enjoyed about this True Lover's Knot, Lucas and the music. The music has a very relaxing feel to it and made playing the game a little bit easier. The story is rushed, the endings are unsatisfying and it seems like whoever wrote it has never been on a cruise before. The game is even too short to collect all the cards, so be prepared to idle a bit. If it’s on sale buy it, maybe, but I cannot in good consciousness recommend this game.


Usagi's avatar
Community review by Usagi (April 21, 2017)

Read my reviews here or via Lunar Productions

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Nightfire posted April 21, 2017:

"Get it for the trading cards."

Ouch. That's pretty much the worst thing you can say about a Steam game. It sounds like two stars is way too generous for this piece of crap.

Nice review, by the way.

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