Visual Novel Review: Date Warp

Date Warp

Title: Date Warp
Developer: Hanako Games
Language: English
Download: Commercial (On Steam)
Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis: Five days ago, Janet left her dorm to go on a date – and never came back. Was she kidnapped? Murdered? The truth may be even stranger. Solve puzzles to connect together pieces of the story in a science-fiction adventure with eleven possible endings!

“Date Warp” is an otome game that’s perfect for those just starting to check out the genre. That being said, it’s just as obvious this is an early visual novel work. This isn’t to say it’s bad – everyone starts out somewhere! The story is extremely intriguing as it seems you are to figure out how Janet disappears. But for me, the way it was done disappointed me. Because of the synopsis of the game, I figured there would be a way to work somehow “backward” and figure out the ‘true’ story from Bradley’s point of view (for example) but this is fine.

You play as Janet as you and Bradley figure out how to leave the mansion. The story itself is a lot more scientific than it would lead on but that’s fine. The routes themselves didn’t feel very personal to the characters themselves. I understand that because the couple spends so little time in the mansion, you can’t really know a person after a few hours, but at the same time, if you wanted to care about the characters as deeply as Janet apparently did at the end, you’re not going to find anything too deep here. But if that’s your cup of tea, that’s fine. However, I really wish it would’ve gone more into detail about a spoiler character more than just, “Oh my God, they’re not what I expected!”

The only thing that actually suffers is the art itself. The sprites by themselves are fine – they have nice expressions and it would be nice to have them do different poses and different outfits besides the singular they do get. What I’m mostly referring is the CG art – they certainly can be better but I imagine this might take someone out of buying. Please don’t judge the game by the art! The story itself is interesting and how t hey get to the true ending is really nice. If they could one day release a version with old art or new art, that would be really neat!

The music is outstanding and really adds to the tension and moments in the game itself. I really like there’s a jukebox in the extra features.

One of the features that I like a lot is while making your choices to respond with, you have to complete a puzzle. There is a bypass (though only after you already answered it the first time if you wanted to try to get the different endings) but honestly, I enjoyed it a lot to where I still did it even though I made the choices already.

Would I recommend this game? Absolutely! If you’re looking to start the visual novel genre, this is honestly a great one to start with. However, veterans of the genre might get frustrated with the plot points and romance routes and with how certain elements are handled, but it’s still a fun little novella to read.

Either way, personally, the game is fun and if there were somehow more routes, remastered, or even get updated artwork and sprites, I can see myself replaying this just to see it all over again!

Oh, Janet.

About Lily

A fujoshi who won't shut up about anime, manga, video games, BJDs, nendoroids, and anime conventions. She apparently can't stop writing either.

Posted on November 21, 2020, in ★★★★☆ – 4 Stars, Oneshots, Visual Novel Reviews, Visual Novel Series and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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