PAX West 2018: The Midnight Sanctuary

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

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The Midnight Sanctuary was the second Unties game I played at PAX West 2018. I always try to mix up the genres I cover, so when I saw this was a visual novel, I knew I wanted to give it a shot. What immediately stood out to me was the presentation and the premise. Visually, the game looks like a mixture of anime characters and cel shaded art. I was quickly struck by a strange and beautiful visual effect. Certain characters were like a living silhouettes, and as they moved, it was as if stained glass designs moved through them. At first I assumed this was a quirky way to distinguish NPCs, but then I saw named characters with the same effect. Once the characters started talking about how things were different since they died, I revised that opinion.

Midnight Sanctuary | Ritual

Story-wise, The Midnight Sanctuary takes place in a Japanese town that has adopted Christianity. Having said that, there are instantly things that stand out and make you wonder if this is a regular little town. The occult is also a theme in the game, so I hope there’s a deep and dark well of madness to draw from in the story.

Midnight Sanctuary | Mystery

While the demo was short, and only consisted of moving the dialogue forward, I was very struck by The Midnight Sanctuary. I felt myself wanting to unearth the mystery of the game, and think fans of visual novels will feel likewise. Though I hadn’t played any of developer CAVYHOUSE’s other titles, this might put me on the path to discovering them. And if you have the means to experience VR gaming, The Midnight Sanctuary was made with VR functionality in mind.

Midnight Sanctuary | Protagonist

I have high hopes for The Midnight Sanctuary. It’s launching on Steam, PS4 and Switch this October, which is the perfect month for a seemingly spooky game. If you love thought provoking and beautiful titles, this one’s for you.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.