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Game Info:

Selenon Rising: Episode 1 Darkness Rising
Developed By: Fastermind Studios
Published By: Sekai Project
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: Visual Novel
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $5.99

Thank you Sekai Project for sending us this game to review!

Selenon Rising begins with a famous quote from Arthur C. Clarke: “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in this universe or we are not.  Both are equally terrifying.”  This four-part visual novel revolves around the second option.  The Selenon are an alien race that have taken control of Earth and prohibit the use of modern technology.  With oppression comes opposition and there is a group called the New Moon Resistance that wants to take back control from this powerful alien threat.

The main character is Violet and her name is fitting since she has both purple eyes and hair.  Violet and her partner Blue (yes, he has blue hair), have psychic abilities and work for an agency called SPECTRA.  Blue is a clairvoyant who can sometimes see the near future while Violet is an esper that can tap into people’s emotions.  Her ability comes in handy for interrogating people since she can detect false emotions or lies.

 

Selenon Rising: Episode 1 Darkness Rising
Highlights:

Strong Points: Good character development and storytelling
Weak Points: Some inconsistencies with the player mugshot (wrong image or gender shown)
Moral Warnings: Psychic powers; language; blaspheming

Violet and Blue are called over to look into a murder case and it’s here that Violet will learn how to conduct an investigation as well as an interrogation.  The investigations are done by clicking on all of the possible items in a room to learn more about them.  There’s a menu option to highlight interactable objects if you need a little assistance.  The interrogations are a little more in-depth and you only have room for a couple of mistakes before blowing it.  

When a person is being interrogated, Violet can question their statement to have them clarify or expound on it.  Sometimes by questioning it will provide a hint as to what inventory item to present as evidence to dispute what they are saying.  The last option is to use her esper powers to call out the false emotion that they are exhibiting.  Sometimes a suspect can cloud their thoughts with noise statements and they have to be cleared out before she can sense their true emotions.  The interrogation system is interesting and I recommend utilizing the quick saves since you can only make a handful of mistakes through the whole process.

Like many visual novels, there is a lot of dialogue and the player gets to make some choices that will determine Violet’s alignment.  She can learn towards being lawful, neutral, or chaotic.  If you're curious of how she’s leaning, you can pause the game where you can see her current alignment.  Even though I purposefully made some reckless choices, the game didn’t let me stray too off course.  It seems to be forgiving on the bad endings I guess.

 

Selenon Rising: Episode 1 Darkness Rising
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 59%
Violence - 3.5/10
Language - 2/10
Sexual Content - 7/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

While the story is good, it shouldn’t be played by younger children.  There are some violence scenes with stabbing and blood shown.  There is some language and blaspheming with the word d*mn and with God in front of it at times.  Last but not least, there are hints of romance, but nothing is shown.

The characters are well written and likable.  There is no voice acting, but the sound effects and background music are well done.  The art style is unique and many of the backdrops are monochrome.  I did notice some inconstancies with the character dialog mug-shots.  One time a soldier was referred to as a he when the mugshot was clearly female.  Another instance was when Violet was undercover and changed her appearance and the dialogue mugshot switched between both looks mistakenly.  

The first episode took me roughly three hours to complete and it left on a bit of a cliffhanger.  I look forward to more episodes in this series and they should all be released in 2016 at $6 apiece.   There are seven Steam achievements available and as long as you sit through the end credits, it shouldn’t take much effort to earn them all.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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