Leah Looks At: Death Becomes YOU

by | Mar 12, 2022 | Legends of Tabletop

GENRE: Adventure, Casual, Indie
RELEASE DATE: Nov 9, 2021
The developers describe the content as such:
Dark themes: death, murder, blood, emotional manipulation. Some of the illustrations contain blood, but there are no on-screen depictions of death/someone dying/being injured.
Some suggestive themes are mentioned, in the context of a fictional work existing in-game, and not pertaining to characters in-game. None are depicted on-screen.

Pearl-clutchers may find offense at light swears sprinkled throughout the story’s text.

Windows / macOS / SteamOS / Linux
OS: 32/64-bit Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10
Processor: 1 GHz Intel or AMD Processor
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: OpenGL or DirectX Compatible Graphics Card
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 2 GB available space
OS: 32/64-bit Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 1920 x 1080 display
Storage: 3 GB available space

In this magical realism/mystery/who-dun-it Visual Novel [VN], not only are you shouldering the burden of being a new student at the local Magical College, you have been pinned by four suspects as the murderer of your best friend.
It’s common knowledge among the team of would-be accusers that this allegation would be a complete fabrication, but circumstances surrounding the event make it a matter of tenure and superiority versus the word of a loner freshman as to what really happened.

Can you discover the killer of your best friend without also becoming a victim?

You take on the role of Sidney, freshman at the local Magical College.

Lyra – Your best friend, your mentor, murdered. Unfortunately, she may have left some students and fellow mentors feeling victimized. Did she deserve to die?

Sophie- The Prodigy. Lyra was her previous mentor. She is protective of Alice.

Appoline- So sus in her cute little green jacket, this verdant friend of nature enjoys hot coffee. Mentor to many. Family ties shade her relationship with Lyra.

Alice- this introverted seductress shares some of herself with you, along with her jealousy of Lyra.

Daniella- A multitalented mentor, this school elder loves to flaunt her superiority.

This game has no weaponry, but an inventory of small items that are used by default in certain areas as various plotlines unfold.

The little dog bark at the program’s opening triggers my Earwig to rise from her cinnamon roll position snuggled in her fuzzy pet bed at my feet to seek out intruders.

The thoughtful soundtrack provides a tranquil, soothing backdrop and is paced to match the changing emotional landscape of classmates and mentors as the investigation progresses.

After a few partial playthroughs, I discovered the existence of a “resume gameplay from save” function that sheared much time from repetitive, mindless clicks as a player returns to a branch in the storyline to travel an unchosen prior path. If you notice snippets of conversation sprinkled throughout that rattle the brain after they’ve passed, it’s okay. The Left Shoulder Button backs up/rewinds/reverses statements so you can revisit glossed over conversations with ease.

Are there any bugs or glitches? I’m certain a few have been caught in various upgrades. I was unaware of the existence of Ren’Py before I was granted the opportunity to review “Death Becomes YOU.” A quick visit to that website reveals that this VN engine is open source and Python-based. It’s free for commercial use, and a few favored, familiar VN titles tout its use in their games.

This well rounded tale is worth many replays. Every decision and path reveals different facets of the relationship each character had with the victim, Lyra. How easily we can lose ourselves in pursuit of the joy, satisfaction and admiration of another. Sacrifice and inconvenience of one’s self to create space for someone else. How far are we willing to go to seek short-term approval for our sense of well-being?