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Devil's Kiss (PC) artwork

Devil's Kiss (PC) review

"Can an ill-mannered Visual Novel be considered Hades speech?"

Devilís Kiss is two things. As a standalone visual novel, itís a decent enough time. Itís a prequel, you see, of all those zany Size Five adventure games (the most recent of which being Lair of the Clockwork God) wherein you follow Dan before he meets perpetual adventure-y co-star, Ben. Itís a tale that heavily reminisces about the radical 90ís, lobbing random hot pink shapes ŗ la Saved by the Bell as background to all the things, whisked up with stereotypical secondary school shenanigans.

Danís heart-warming quest to find his first ever friend hurls him serendipitously into the midst of an ongoing quest against the age-old enemy of all schoolgoers; the stuffy head teacher. The Head's the obvious villain due to his strict adherence to antediluvian rules that sees him cracking down on such harmless, everyday activities such as enforced groin booting that was adored by the youth of the era. No wonder Dan finds himself in the midst of a small conspiracy with the sole aim of knocking the head from his draconian throne. They've no one to blame but themselves.

To that end, Dan's quickly teamed up with a bunch of 90ís gaming tropes. Preemptively obsolete foreshadowing predicts that heíll spend the most time with future partner in crime, Ben, who looks at everything through the oft cracked lens of adventure game logic. But the game also heavily references other video gaming staples of the time with the rest of its teenage cast. Lauraís the most obvious, who talks about shooting wolves and looting catacombs and how she can get away with carrying firearms around the school because of her familyís ridiculous wealth. You might struggle a little to place Jayce to start with as he warbles on about nanomachines, sneaking around vents and general cyberpunkery, but then he mentions he prefers to go by Jay Cee. Itís about then you realise that heís probably that one bloke from that other massive game. Itís kind of fun to see them sent up and then recast as stroppy teenagers stuck at school, even if their extracurricular activities revolve figuring out how to topple an ultimate authority. At that time of my life, the most creative thing I was capable of was writing my homework in a bigger font so it looked like I had put more work into it than I had.

You can part with a small amount of your money in order to be entertained by all this for a small amount of your time. Devilís Kiss shouldnít take anymore than half an hour and, while there are different choices to make throughout the novel, the effect it has on the plot is pretty shallow, changing nothing of worth. Itís certainly not the worst investment youíll ever make. Or, save yourself the entrance fee entirely; the whole thing is bundled in for free should you purchase Lair of the Clockwork God. In that context, itís nice to take a break from the depressing hole the pair have dug for themselves in the current year and take a fleeting look back at a more innocent time. Thwart a local tyrant, ignore some classes, share throwaway facts about your first pet just like real kids do.


EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (March 06, 2020)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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