Whatever you do, don’t google Doki Doki Literature Club. This is a game where you should avoid even the smallest spoiler. Instead, simply go to Steam and download this game….For free. No seriously, it doesn’t cost a thing and there are zero microtransactions. Don’t even read the Steam comments on it, just download and play it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I know what you’re thinking just by reading the name of this game, so I’ll walk you through how I came upon this diamond in the rough. A game that I would nominate for Game of The Year if I had the opportunity.
While messing around on twitter for the second time that day (more like tenth), I stumbled upon a video game journalist and content producer whose work I both enjoy and admire. He tweeted out, “Okay so I just played Doki Doki Literature Club… That’s legit one of the most incredible games I’ve ever played. Serious GotY contender.” At this moment I thought to myself, what an absolutely ridiculous name for a game and I can’t tell if he’s joking or serious. My curiosity was peaked however and onto Steam I went. Free?! Once I saw the game was free, my mind went to, either there is a catch or there’s no way it can be that great. After glancing up from the price I saw previews of the games graphics and general tone. What the hell? A dating simulator? Set in what looks like Japan maybe, but everything is in English? What is this? Even though it didn’t look like anything I’d ever played before, I had to play it, my curiosity my interest was peaked, a quick download and even faster load time later, I was in.
The game started with bright color, upbeat music and four girls on the home screen. Looked like a typical dating simulator game to me. Fast forward to one hour and a few different saves later (the game suggests it) and here I was thinking that maybe he was joking or being sarcastic? Or maybe I was missing something? I took a break, ate some food and thought I was done for the night, but for some reason I was pulled back in, I was curious how it would play out. I had to know what he was talking about, he didn’t seem like he was kidding. Fast forward about thirty minutes later and the game punches me in the gut. Doki Doki goes from zero to sixty in about five seconds. I am now utterly hooked. Gameplay went from a lot of reading that I thought at the time was just an easy almost pointless mechanic, to something that looking back makes complete sense.
Jump ahead to about five hours total of playtime in one night and a crazy ending to boot. My eyes are wide open now, he wasn’t joking, he was serious, and with good reason. Doki Doki has managed to absolutely floor me, my mind is racing as I go to bed, thinking about everything that I experienced and all the different possibilities I likely missed. The game is crazy self aware and beyond intelligent, it also deals with a few deep social issues that evoke a range of emotions. I went from what the hell is this, to this might be one of my favorite games of all time, all within a night. It’s the next day and I still can’t get this game out of my head. Unfortunately this is all I can say about the experience without ruining it for someone else, which is the last thing I want to do, don’t watch someone’s stream, don’t read up on this game, don’t look it up. Simply download and play for free on Steam and I promise you’ll thank me. Do however read the games disclaimer before the start, it’s not for everyone, heed its warning if it sounds like it might be too much for you. I intend on posting another article, a spoiler article after I give all of you a chance to play this Game of The Year level title, yeah I said it and you’ll see why. After you’ve played it please let me know in the comments below what you think! Good luck future Doki Doki Literature Club fanatics!