By Crystal Colwell / November 6th, 2013
|Title||Leviathan: The Last Day of the Decade
Episode 1: The First Day of the Decade
|Release Dates||July 10, 2013 (iOS/English)
August 9, 2013 (Windows/English)
|Genres||Visual novel, adventure|
|Age Rating||18+ (self-rated), 17+ (Apple)|
As you may know from my preview of Leviathan, this is a visual novel/adventure game with a twist. It takes place in a dark fantasy world where anything can, and does, happen. The game is played through the eyes of Oliver, a young boy who experiences far more than most of us have at his age. We journey with him as personal atrocities change his life forever. The game is for those 18 and older, so you can expect a few adult themes throughout the review of each episode, though not many are found in the first one. Let’s begin with Episode 1: The First Day of the Decade, and see where Oliver’s story takes us…
Leviathan begins with Oliver defending his friend Kael and then getting his butt kicked for his efforts. Well, he got his butt kicked in my playthrough; maybe you can find a combination of answers/actions that stop this from happening? I’m not sure, but it’s worth trying out. Even if every action results in him getting his butt kicked I was glad to see that he stood up for his friend. Bullying is not OK! He has a friend who everyone thinks is gay, and because of this he is harassed. My level of respect tripled for Oliver, and the game in general when I saw that Oliver would not stand idly by as people spoke ill of his friend.
There is a plague that affects the land and the group of hooligans harassing Oliver seem to think that the plague started because of ‘impure’ people like Kael. Don’t get huffy with me here, I was being sarcastic! This is really what the bullies think though. The plague, called The Decade, covers the majority of the continent; only the borderlands are unaffected. Its name comes from the amount of time it lasts. The Decade comes and goes, sometimes with only a few years of calm between breakouts, while other times a century or two can pass before anything bad happens again. Those who are not pure-blood aristocrats are known as mudbloods; these are the people who suffer during the time of The Decade. They become sick and often die. They suffer from great thirst, fever and chills. Their throats can become so dry that they cough up blood. While it is certainly a terrible thing, there is no reason for this group of hooligans to blame impure people (what the hell is an impure person anyhow?!) for the plague!
In Episode 1 you discover that your mother is hiding some pretty big secrets, including some things about your father. Your mother! The woman you trust, look up to and who you wouldn’t expect to hide such huge secrets! Tragedy strikes at a terrible time, when you are most curious about what your mother is hiding. You are sent to live with a man named Kristian Orvood. He is quite possibly the last person on earth that you would want to live with and to have take care of you, but this is what fate has decided must happen.
As you play, you control Oliver’s actions with a mouse and a keyboard. Left clicking and moving the mouse will let you look left, right, up and down, in whatever area you are in. Onscreen you will see a few icons; one allows you to save your progress and another gives you the options for what icons you want to see onscreen as you play the game. You can choose to display the icons onscreen; they will tell you what item you can click on or interact with, or you can turn them off to figure it out for yourself. I left mine on so that I knew which items I could click on in my environment, but if you prefer to click randomly and see what happens you can turn them off and do that. You also have access to a bag, which holds items you find or collect throughout the game, and a cellphone. Your phone is pretty nifty-looking and you will get to use it a bit in this first episode to get a hold of Kael and others as you need them.
To interact with people or items in the room with you, all you have to do is click on them. Once a dialog scene has started, you can use your mouse or hit space bar on the computer to continue on to the next section of dialog. Other things will be interactive in some way and certain ones will offer a puzzle element that you must complete to progress in the game. The puzzles found so far have been easy enough, provided you have been paying attention to what is going on. They are enjoyable, too. The first puzzle involved summoning Edna, a demon whom I love! I now have my own demon who offers to do all sorts of horrible things for me; what’s not to love?
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