Thursday, August 22, 2013


Author: sonnet009
Availability: Free, Download
Format: Visual Novel
Genre: Supernatural
Rating: PG

Found at OR

My Scores (out of 5):

Writing: 4
Art: 3.5
Gameplay: 3
Romance: 4 ("Aaaaawww!")


In Rei, you are Aya, a fifteen-year-old girl entering her first year of high-school.  Your new school is haunted by the ghost of a student who died in a mysterious accident.  When he offers to show you pieces of his past, you discover that you can do a bit more than just observe.  Can an apparition fight fate?


The Writing:

The phrase "short but sweet" applies to this one.  Rei packs a nice story into a neat little package.  The premise is interesting, and the story unfolds at a steady pace.  The characters feel fairly believable, supernatural elements aside.  Most importantly, the writing made me care about what happened, to the point where I almost couldn't bear to get a bad ending.

The Art:

The art here is decent, with nice and varied expressions for the characters.  It was a little odd, after reviewing so many games with background music, to play a game that had sound effects but no music whatsoever.  I didn't dock any points for this, of course, but it did feel strange.

One thing I do think the game could have benefitted from, though, is having a couple of special images for important scenes.  As it is, we only get the occaisonal close-up of a sprite and some narration about what the person is supposedly doing.  We pretty much have to use our imaginations, as the sprites' poses never change.  I'm guessing this is because the sprites and backgrounds were downloaded, but while they were used to good effect, I think it could have been better if there had been some way to work one or two CGs in.

The Gameplay:

The story plays out very linearly, although your choices do affect the ending, and not just the obvious choice at the end.  All of your decisions throughout the game contribute to your relationship with Rei, and thus to the ultimate outcome of the whole adventure.  Plus, the game is short enough that seeing the different endings is easy.

The Romance:

Okay, bear in mind that we all have different tastes, and I have no idea what most people find romantic (apparently sparkly vampires are involved somehow); but for me, personally, I liked this one.  In particular, I like how Rei's personality is handled: not only does he have the whole rude-on-the-outside but sweet-on-the-inside duality thing going on (and layers in a personality are very nice), but this is perhaps the first case I've seen where we meet such a guy's nicer side before seeing his brusque exterior.  We're not trying to win over a total jerk in the blind hope that he's going to reveal he has a soft side; he does, and we've already seen it.  We already know, going in, that Rei can be fun and downright pleasant, and this is the Rei that we're trying to help.  Everything else just serves to give him depth and vulnerabilities that make an already-likeable guy more interesting.  (Mind you, this is not the same thing as discovering that a supposedly nice guy is secretly a jerk.  That kind of thing is neither romantic nor fun.)  Hopefully, once you've played this game yourself, you'll see what I mean.

As I said before, the writing made me care about Rei and Aya and their relationship.  The banter between them was funny and really helped to make them a cute couple.  Plus, the art for Rei is pretty easy on the eyes, though I admit that I find Ghost Rei to be somewhat cuter than Living Rei (Maybe it's the white hair?) .

Over-all, I found this story to be sweet.  Not sappy, mind you; just sweet.  It gave my heartstrings a good pluck.  How many ghost stories are there that can do that?


Rei is a short and nicely-written story with decent replay value, even though it only branches at the end.  The art is good, although it could do with a couple extra frills here and there.  I thought the love story was sweet, romantic, and emotionally engaging, although I'll understand if the rest of you think I'm nuts for thinking so.

As always, this is all just one girl's opinion.  You may think this game is hauntingly beautiful, or you may think it should die horribly.  Feel free to haunt the comments with your own opinions. ^_^

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