1 jul. 2024

Mask of the Rose (PC) — 5/10

I remember feeling ambivalent about the demo, but the game was recommended several times in podcasts, so I gave it a shot on sale. The story and universe are compelling, and the writing is sometimes charming, sometimes clunky, and all too often completely disjointed, the game trying and failing at responding correctly to player input. While I often complain about visual novels that lack interactivity, handling player choices poorly is worse than not at all. And the demo didn’t even go as far as introducing the “make a story” mechanic, which is an interesting idea on principle but extroardinarily frustrating and obtuse in the way it is implemented.

From what I’ve read, the developers doubled the timers after release because players complained they weren’t able to do anything — but that also makes it a lot more onerous to consider replaying for a better ending, as you still need to play the entire thing from the start. Mind you, I wouldn’t have loved the experience either if I’d had to replay it three times to see any storyline through. If that’s not proof that time-limited investigations are a bad idea, I don’t know what is.

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