[Game Review] CUPID



CUPID is a free-to-play visual novel by Fervent, and independent game studio.

Set in 1800’s France, the story explores dark mythology, romance, with Gothic themes. The player takes the role of the main character, Rosa’s, mother who acts almost as her conscience, helping her make her choices throughout the story. As opposed to the vast majority of visual novels that usually only specifically ask for a yes or a no to a question, or whether the main character decides to spend more time with a certain character, (as is the pattern with dating sim visual novels [VNs]) it explores being a real voice talking to the character rather than actually being the main character.

Story

This is not exactly the kind of VN where you have the power to change your ending. But there are specific choices that allows you to view specific chapters. Some choices will lead you straight to the end, and some will give you more intel and background on the story itself. It does tackle Gothic themes, and even psychological horror.

It is probably the second time I have ever seen a game use such an innovative way to use the choice system and even make the player feel any sort of guilt. The first time I saw that was with Undertale.

Your choices are obviously limited, and in my case, I would not taken the same tone the choices only allow. Starting off the game, you already have to choose what to say to Rosa and you can either choose verbal abuse… or something a little less abusive. This gives perspective on how Rosa sees herself, and how she was raised.

Going into more detail about the story kind of ruins the experience; this IS a free game after all, and I hate to compare but much worth it than other games I paid to play. There is sexual content involved but not the type for curious minds. It really fits in well with the story and is highly recommended to play especially for people at the right age. Do remember it tackles horror and Gothic themes. You won’t find pleasure from it.

Graphics

Simple, powerful, and does the trick. Though the storytelling was different, the character art as well as the background art is simple with few shadowing. Sometimes games have inconsistent art especially when drawing cutscenes, but Cupid remained consistent and would go beyond expectation.

It is simple but not without skill. The same can be said for the user interface. Very easy to use. I may have overused the adjective “simple”, but in no way does it mean sloppy, boring, or other synonyms to the first two mentioned.

Sounds

This played a huge part in the experience. Sound directors or film/game composers — when they have their projects tested for their audio — claim that if the audience does not have much to comment on, they did right. The very moment you notice the sound and forget what’s actually happening obviously defeats the experience.

Cupid would scare me. There is a lot of suspense in just reading up because of the music that would play, and sometimes I have to stop and turn on the light when the sun had set and the room I was playing in had gotten dim.

Conclusion

What a great game. Deserving of it’s 2015 Game of the Year title, and definitely deserves more attention. Stories can be told so well, and when I come across one in game form, I like to imagine how the story would be like if made into a series or a film.  Playing Cupid felt like watching a series except you definitely played a huge part in it. And boy, did Cupid want to make sure it would make you feel guilt, or shame.

Rating: 10 / 10

The game CUPID was rated 10/10 and won VNs Now’s 2015 English Visual Novel Game of The Year.

**The game contains sexual content.

Download the game for free here. It is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac users.

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