CHROMATOSE is a Indie Visual Novel/Roleplay Game with emphasis on meaningful decisions, character relationships, and a compelling overarching story: You’ve awakened in a strange nightmare after a fall that should have ended your life. Around you are amnesiac strangers who are also trapped in this world for their own unique reasons. Escape the collective nightmare in 12 hours, or never wake up.
Hey everyone and welcome back to my corner of the gaming blogosphere, on today’s entry I’m going to be talking about an indie game created by Akabaka. When I first came across Chromatose, I was searching through my itch.io feed on the visual novel and RPG-type games. Something that felt a little close to Persona 4 with a good story-rich feel to it, what grabbed my attention; the cover of the game itself. The vibe oozed the same kind of aura as the Persona games, and I found myself clicking on it and downloading the demo. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT.
At first glance, the game seems like a normal point and click type of deal, where you tap your space bar to further the conversations between yourself or interact with an item. The dialogue and syntax of the game are on point and draws you in immediately with how well the cadence of the plot progresses. Not to mention that unique character art is easy on the eyes and with the game characters getting highlighted when they talk, it makes it easier to understand who is speaking and who isn’t.
Another element that has been added is the character can move around, while it’s not a free roam kind of game. You can use the arrow keys to move back and forth to visit certain areas of the game and interact with other characters. Usually, I don’t go for these kinds of games, but the way that the gameplay is presented, it’s easy to follow and it feels very lax (even if the building is on FIRE).
Now here’s where the Persona vibe kicks in, there are monsters in this game–these villains actually hold a piece of your memory or are trying to block you from leaving the vicinity altogether. In order to fight them, you are given a special set of cards that have unique abilities (reminds me of Yu-Gi-Oh LOL), each card does have a set timer to them and some of them can fail in a battle. So you have to choose wisely, but also, you have to keep your eye on the clock.
The timer starts immediately when you enter battle mode, you must do your best to defeat the monster at a good pace. Also, these MF can injure your brain, and when you receive some kind of damage to your brain levels–your fighting abilities will be depleted.
Since this is only the demo, I’ve only met a few of these characters, but we play as the character known as Leroy. He seems to have amnesia, but I feel that is related to his brain injury that you can see the x-ray scans in his hospital room. Izzy, is one of the first characters we meet but I’m ambivalent towards her, as there’s something… just not right with her personality.
Out of the crew below, I’ve met Quentin, and she’s a shy person who seems to be drowning in something that she has done. Now, while you are here in this chaotic world, you only have twelve hours until you never wake up at all. You can choose to save the individuals you above or leave them behind. From my understanding, Leroy wasn’t meant to fall into this world–it was a grave accident that happened to him that caused him to be consumed by this alternate universe.
Opening up the game, I found myself tilting my head a little at first with how the game opened. It eerily reminded me of how most of the persona games have a similar questionnaire at the beginning of their games. How you answer these questions are a big impact on your gameplay, or they’ll weight out a certain ending for you. But there’s a lot of philosophy that happens when you play the game, so be open-minded towards it.
Also, we meet Izzy, one of the characters presented above, and while she claims that we know her and that she is a resident MD. There’s something very odd about her, which makes me hesitant to trust anything she says to Leroy and the fact that we should just stay with her at the ambulance bus stop. While she does point out a few things before we leave her to find out what the hell is going on in this world, I’m concerned as to why we can’t trust certain people who have alabaster colored marks.
Leroy has an onyx colored mark, and from my understanding, it means we came to this universe by mistake. However, even with our marking being a color that represents we are free to leave, there are others trapped inside the building we exited out of–thus begins our journey. Returning back to the hospital proves that we learn that if we want to get our memories back and help rescue others, we have to fight the monsters that hold the key to freedom.
Fighting against these guys with a Yu-Gi-Oh/Persona 4 gameplay was very interesting, but you are racing against the clock as you only have 12 hours to stay within this universe. If you stay past the twelve hours, you will never wake up from your coma, so every minute counts in this game–don’t squander it. Losing a match will also cause you to lose your mind as well, so make sure to get ample rest and avoid fights that aren’t necessary.
This game is riveting and engaging towards the player, making it hard to get bored (at least for me!). Each is of the game takes you to a very different world inside the chaos that is your coma, you may not be dead, but your imagination is not in your control (sorry!). I’m elated to have found this game by chance, and I cannot wait until the full release as I feel this will be a game for the books.
The aspect that your decisions and that other characters can influence your gameplay or fighting style is intriguing. As this game learns to understand you and your thought process, yes, I did say the game learns to understand you.
The decisions that you make during the story directly influence how you fare in battle. As the game learns about your personality, or as other characters’ virtues affect you, you will gain colored cards that each have unique effects against the nightmarish monsters guarding the way out.
That in itself is both pretty freaky and also an interesting challenge to take into account as you play the game and learn if you can save everyone… or just yourself.
Have you played Chromatose? Tell me your thoughts!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and see you on the gaming side~!