I’ve largely managed to avoid spoilers for this title, beyond the rampant “Just Monika” spam that followed its release. I don’t have much context for what that means, but I do know that the three separate content warnings before the game loads aren’t jokes. People are legitimately freaked out by this game for reasons I didn’t encounter in the hour I played it.
The trouble with games like this (and any other medium, really), where they present themselves in a certain manner and then pull the rug out from under your feet, is that it takes time to get to The Good Bit. The part of the story where things turn from run-of-the-mill to something really special comes much later, meaning you need to enjoy what it’s presenting itself as in the first place.
‘Generic Boy Joins A Club Full Of Cute And Single Girls And Has To Pick One’ isn’t a genre that holds any interest for me. (The inverse is also true, though rarer.) I know it’s deliberately lampooning that style of game in order to set expectations, but as it stands, I’m playing… at least one hour, possibly several hours, of a game I’m not interested in, so I can get to the interesting bit later on. If I was already a fan of these sorts of games it’d definitely be worth it, but personally speaking I don’t have the endurance.
Fin or Bin:
I do really like the poetry system as a means to choose which girl’s path you end up on, it’s a lot more interesting than just choosing the dialogue option they’d obviously like best. However, even that isn’t enough to keep me interested. It’s a shame because I know everyone’s raving about this game and from what I gather it gets REALLY GOOD once the beat drops, but like a poorly-made sandwich, the good bit is in the middle of all this plain white bread I have to eat through first. I’m gonna put it in the Bin and grab a hot pocket instead.
Hatoful Boyfriend did something similar, although in that one the Gotcha comes from not expecting a goofy pigeon dating sim to get that dark. If you enjoyed the twists in that tale, you might like this too. Regardless, it’s free, so give it a chance if it sounds interesting.