Nameless: The One Thing You Must Recall (PC game review)

Quick Summary: Eri is still struggling with the passing of her grandfather whom she shared a home with as her parents are away abroad most of the time. Alone in the big house she takes solace in her loneliness by a hobby kept secret from her few friends in fear of ridicule. An expensive hobby of buying Crobi Dolls, highly made dolls with movable joints, finely crafted and each with their own name and backstory. These dolls she poses for photos, buys clothing for, and talks to daily about her life. After a strange dream, Eri walks out into her kitchen to find it full already of beautiful familiar faces. Somehow her dolls have come to life, their spirits (so to speak) connected to the dolls still on her shelf. Now she must go to school with them all as they live at her home, each wanting to be with her, each with some dark secrets. Who brought them to life though? And what strange voice speaks to Eri in her dreams?

So this game was made by the same people who made Dandelion: Wishes Brought to You. Though this is a very different breed of game. Instead of using stats like the previous game, this is more like a visual novel. You have multiple choices that pop up, and depending on which you choose with lead you to a good end or one of the many bad ends. I like this better because you don’t have to wait around for your stat to get high enough, or for the next cut scene to hit if you’ve maxed out already. Another thing is you can change the name of the MC, making it seem more personal in game play. Eri’s personality is more enjoyable as well. She is an introvert and a bit shy, but not naive. Often she calls out lecherous comments with disapproval or embarrassment.

Secondary characters include two female friends who encourage and tease Eri in her daily life as well as with the beautiful boys. They don’t know about Eri’s hobby and she often feels guilty about this. There is also a creepy and interesting male nurse who works as the school and a cafe that is frequented with interacting characters.

You can only choose three of the five to play through in the beginning, after completing those three one more unlocks, then the last one. There is a suggested order if you look on walk throughs of which to play in which order, because with each play through you learn a little more about characters and they mystery voice. Though each boy has a distinct personality trait that categorizes them, they are much more deep and complex than you may expect. Each has flaws, dreams, fears, and unique endings. Warning: some of the bad endings involve violence and suggested acts, I was creeped out on a few of them to be sure. That is one of the draws to this game, it is a dating sim style, but it isn’t light and fluffy. There are parts that involve questionable behavior, dark secrets, and some chilling photos that are saved in a photo album on the main page.

The game is a bit expensive on Steam, but it is worth it for the multiple endings and learning about each individual character. If you’re looking for a dating sim game with an undertone of dark and not dealing with stat building, I’d give this one a look.

Rating: 8/10

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