Available for PC Mac Linux and Android
“A short visual novel about a high-school boy admiring an indie film director who attends the same school as him. Will he be able to tell her his true feelings? Or just screw up and continue to stalk her like what he always do? Either way, he's not a lady's man to run his love life smoothly.”
Also, its full of references to games and anime.
Introduction This visual novel caught me by surprise, it looks innocent. It is but at the same time its definitely not. I don’t recommend this one for kids or younger teens due to the themes. However play as you will. While this story for the most part is good, the endings, however vary from good and heartfelt to cruel and just wtf?.
Ironically, as mixed as this game may be, it was at one point going to be, from what I can make of the gallery unlockables, originally about “Her” in a yandere type visual novel where "her" ends up killing you in the end School Days style. While the old story is something to really think about in your head, it still partially made it into the final product through the “Her” ending. (The concept of the story I mean, not the stabby stabby part of the original), there have also been many other minor story revisions, and an entire cancelled release dubbed as 1.5 before DeIz's final version.
Story The story begins with the main character, Ceil, watching “Left with Happiness”, an indie film which he created props for three years prior claiming that it reminds him of “Ai”, a childhood friend and that the director of the film goes to the same school as yourself. You are soon interrupted by your friend “Charmie” Chamoisee and Cerise, which take notice of a ring Ceil is wearing, which is also a prop from “Left with Happiness”, after some bickering amongst themselves, you make your first decision and the story continues to unfold.
Generally put, Ceil is interested in the director, Iris, who is known as the idol amongst the students at your school, and while you may, or may not, approach her, you meet different characters, some of which obviously know something you don’t, and that the ring which you hold is more important than at first it seems.
Also, bit of a warning. Most endings will make you say “What the ****?”. They just appear without warning in such an out of place fashion that you can’t help but think “Why does that fit at all?”, the characters also drastically change their whole personality and who they are varying on the endings, so what you see is not what you get.
[Spoiler Warning] This goes more in depth into the story for the varying endings for more explanation of the plots. DO NOT open the spoiler tag if you plan on playing later AND want it to be a surprise
Music and Art
Unfortunate as this sounds. There is no music, no sound effects, nada. Audio is non-existent.
The art style however is plesant at times, but at others its a swing and miss. Its nothing of elite anime tier, but its pleasant in the way it shows itself; Its simple with character sprites above a background, but the style of the characters, while cartoony in comparison, still compliment their surroundings, with my only gripe being making the female characters a bit too shiny looking at times, and some characters seem pretty off (i.e. Charmie) in comparison to the more polished ones (i.e. Iris), and feel out of place most of the time. (The art was done by Mike Inel, who developed Delz, was also involved with the creation of Katawa Shoujo, as demonstrated by latter’s cinematics)
Replayability and Completion As many other Visual Novels do, this one has a gallery to unlock, which has not only in-game images and sprites, but also concept art, discarded graphics, a “how its made” like scene, and the most curious one, a section simply called “Her” which is a neat unlock as it gives you insight on the original story design and development prior to the story being changed completely. The gallery is easy to unlock simply by going through every route, though one ending requires you to select “Follow Cerise” three times in the game before the route is completely playable.
Verdict 5/10 While this VN is good at what it does as a GAME type VN, the story and ideas have much to be desired. For younger audiences, play at your own risk. While most endings are random or just "what?", there are times that the game has you really thinking about life and philosophy in ways that no other media really brings to attention often if at all. Keep in mind however it was the authors first time with visual novels. If you enjoy it for all of the endings, then the unlockables are worth it.
- Art style is a hit and miss, sometimes they look visually and aesthetically appealing.
- Genuinely touching moments (though rare).
- Uses interesting story concepts for characters.
- Fueled with good intentions and interesting Ideas.
- Neat, Unique and easy to unlock gallery entries.
- Short visual novel for those tight on time or who want a quick read.
- Not as it first seems, its not innocent.
- All but two endings are just freaky, and definitely above PG-13.
- Visuals are sometimes off or out of place.
- Out of place, jump cutting story
Final Words and Personal Opinion This isn't a good visual novel, though It isn't bad either. If you aren’t able to get past the more… mindf*** endings, then keep away. Personally, I enjoyed most of it, though I thought it was innocent (its advertised to seem innocent and all-ages) until I ran into an ending that made me question the game, however the good ending for Iris was actually pretty nice, and Her's ending had me thinking about life deeply. Let your curiosity fuel you, or prohibit you.
Get the game for free here; http://gamejolt.com/games/other/deiz/5995/
Visit Mike Inel's deviant art for more secrets behind Delz's plot development and art for many of his works; http://mikeinel.deviantart.com/