Doki Doki Literature Club Plus !: The controversial visual novel put to the test

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus !: The controversial visual novel put to the test

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus !

The visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club, developed by Team Salvato, was released about four years ago! for the PC and caused a sensation there. The title was downloaded two million times in the first quarter of a year after it was published, won some prizes at the end of 2017 and in 2018 it was finally in the focus of the British media, as it is said to have led to the suicide of a 15-year-old (which in the end was completely out of thin air was grasped).

Recommended editorial content At this point you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I agree that external content can be displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration. But what makes this title, which at first glance looks like an ordinary Japanese dating sim, so special? And what makes people think that the game has something to do with a teen's suicide? Well, we can now answer these questions ourselves, because the visual novel was recently released as Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! with additional content finally for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S and Nintendo Switch.

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! in the test

1 Date Poets Society 2 Dark and immersive

Date Poets Society

Even before the start, the game, approved by the USK for ages 18 and over, warns of content that is disturbing for sensitive people or people suffering from anxiety disorders could. There is even an optional spoiler mode in which the game warns you about a scene and you can then skip it. That seems pretty exaggerated at first, because Doki Doki starts completely harmless.

In the literary club of the same name, you can exchange poems with the other members and get writing tips. Everything still looks normal. Source: PC Games We take on the role of a protagonist, whose name we are free to choose and from now on experience a story presented in still images and in an anime look. Our childhood friend Sayori catches up with us on the way to school and persuades us to go to her literary club after school. Our protagonist is not very enthusiastic about this at first, but in the club he meets Sayori and three other beautiful women whom he would like to be close to, so that he decides to become a member of the club.

We have no decision making , the story is linear. Actually, we just click through text boxes. We can only choose which of the young women to give more attention to. This happens in pretty much the only interactive part of the game in which we are supposed to "write" poems, because each club member has to write a few verses for the next day and talk about them with the others.

In the only interactive ones In sections, you choose individual words for poems that you think the crush will like. Source: PC Games However, we don't really have to write, we just choose different keywords from a list, which determine the thematic orientation and style of our poem. Here you choose the keywords that you think will appeal to your favorite girl. Yuri, for example, is quite introverted and likes gloomy things, while the cheeky Natsuki likes "sweet" words such as "rainbow". Unlock scenes with the characters, which, like the three different endings, ensures replay value of the game, which lasts about three to four hours. In the Plus! Version there are also three additional episodes, each divided into two chapters. One episode lasts about 20 minutes and tells a little about the literary club before the protagonist entered. Especially with the beginning of Doki Doki, however, you often have to torment yourself through never-ending dialogues about poetry that serve a purpose, but are still boring.

Other contents of the Plus! Version are more than 100 unlockable Images that are now higher resolution, as well as new unlockable songs. Just like the short additional stories, the rest of the Plus! Content is probably only of interest to die-hard fans. If you played the original, you don't necessarily have to access it again.

In the Plus! Version for the Playstation there are three additional episodes, each split into two parts, which deal with the literary club and its members deal before the player shows up. Source: PC Games

Dark and immersive

And why is Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! so disturbing now? Well, that's because the story is heading in a direction you wouldn't expect. If you feel spoiled quickly, you shouldn't read any further now, because without a few hints (no direct spoilers, I promise!) It is difficult to classify the title. Over time you get an inkling that something is wrong with this literary club, or rather with its members, and tragic scenes soon unfold that get under your skin and are sometimes surprisingly immersive.

What as Visual novel dating sim begins, gradually becomes more and more absurd. Something very strange is going on in this literary club. Source: PC Games Doki Doki has some very clever ideas that use the idiosyncrasies of the medium to grab players in ways that would not be possible in a book, comic or movie. The game deals with topics such as depression, self-harm and obsession and becomes a kind of deconstruction of the cliché teenage romance. That makes it so creative that you as a player sink more and more into this gloomy vortex. Doki Doki is an extremely interesting, clever and very engaging experience that will be remembered for a long time and that shows what the video game medium is capable of, even in a genre that has little or no interactivity.

Note: A game scene was slightly censored in the Playstation versions. You can find our news here.

My opinion

By Christian Dörre


[email protected] "Creepier than the new Resident Evil - a disturbing experience." Neither with I can usually relate to visual novels with dating sims or even that typical manga / anime / kid look, but I always heard promising statements about Doki Doki Literature Club that I fortunately looked forward to the new Plus! Version let in. Doki Doki is not a pleasant game, the warnings about the start of the game are justified, but as someone who is always on the lookout for games that do something particularly original or use the peculiarities of the video game medium, I am glad to have experienced this disturbing horror trip to have. In contrast to many "real" horror games, this text box click actually made it several times that a shiver ran down my spine. That makes me get over the lack of interactivity and some incredibly boring dialogues.

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (PS5) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (PC) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (PS4) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (NSW) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (XBO) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (XSX) 8/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons Interesting story course based on many clever ideas Well-functioning psychological horror Nice additional chapters that reveal the background to the characters Surprisingly immersive experience Replayable thanks to different endings Some incredibly boring dialogues at the beginning of the game Hardly any interactivity Dudelmusik Some spelling and grammatical errors in the German translation More pros & cons ... Conclusion A horror trip that will be remembered for a long time.

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