Title: Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
Developer: Team Salvato
Publisher: Team Salvato
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed on), PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Release Date: June 30, 2021
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! is an odd game that starts bright and sunny but results in some truly horrific moments. I will note that this game does have some truly disturbing scenes and this review will be avoiding as many spoilers as possible.
The overall gameplay of Doki Doki Literature Club is simple; you read the events going on between the characters and your character. This is sometimes punctuated with a moment where you select words that make a statement about a poem. I found that the words are more just to create “bonds” between you and the other members of the literature club, but don’t actually seem to affect whether or not the dialogue changes. I picked some really awful stuff on purpose to see if it would and it didn’t cause the dialogue to become negative at all which is disappointing as it would’ve been fun to get them to state how bad my poems were. I kind of wish this had a pass/fail state so it could feel more like a game, kind of like the Ace Attorney series.
The characters are bubbly and fun which makes the moments of darkness that much more surprising and hurt you as a person more. The poetry sometimes shows the chinks in the armor of your fellow member’s bubbly personalities, and how they could be manipulated in the ways they are. This poetry was a part of the game I was dreading but it was for the most part quite good. The new plus stories give some great new depth to the characters as it shows the origins of the friendships and the literature club.
The animation and characters all look great, and usually have the anime look to fit their bubbly, perky, and disturbed personalities. While I think the animation and character models look great I wish they were a bit more expressive and showed more emotion, possibly even having their lips move while they’re supposed to be talking. One of the issues is there aren’t a lot of backgrounds. While they aren’t really the focus of the scene I feel like this would’ve added some more personality and scenery to the game.
While I understand the appeal for this game is supposed to lie in the ultimate conclusion to all the characters’ stories, it seems like there could’ve been a more fun way to get there. The story is really good and creates some very disturbing moments, these moments easily cause the warning at the start about how it could trigger episodes of depression as they are very graphic and detailed. If you enjoy visual novels and the stories they tell I strongly recommend this game but can’t stress enough that this game is disturbing.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.