Doki Doki Literature Club, if you hadn’t already heard about it, can be a VERY deceiving game. It was created by Team Salvato & is free to play on Steam.
All outward appearance of this game says it’s a cheerful & overly cutesy dating simulator where you get to play a guy who joins a literature club after his childhood friend, Sayori, encourages/tricks him into doing so. Here you meet the other three characters; Yuri, Natsuki & Monika. Suddenly the idea of spending time in this club everyday doesn’t seem so bad to your character.
Through the first part of the game everything seems pretty pleasant & you work on poems to attract the attention of whichever girl you prefer. However there are subtle hints that lead you to believe everything isn’t quite so happy. Eventually these hints slap you in the face as things are revealed to you about each character.
The climax of this game, without revealing too much, is very disturbing & meta. By the end of it you may very well find yourself speechless & even confused. Much like I was.
The overwhelmingly positive feedback this game has received is very well deserved, in my opinion. There was obviously a lot of thought put into everything about the story & characters. It’s able to do something that not every game is capable of & that’s to make you feel like it’s reaching out & grabbing you to pull you into it. In other words, it can feel real.
The warnings that are plastered all over the game’s page as well as in the game itself are absolutely necessary. As I said before, it can be a deeply disturbing game the invokes some negative emotions from the player. The light-hearted shell it comes in & ripped away quite suddenly part of the way through.
Everything about this game is fantastically done & is most definitely a journey. I highly recommend it if you feel you would be able to deal with some very dark themes & situations. In a nutshell, this game is a mindfuck.
With that being said, I do look forward to whatever projects Team Salvato may create. And it does seem like there could be something on the way according to certain hints & clues left in the files of DDLC.