Developed by Cherrymochi, Mebius Published by UNITIES Reviewed on Switch (also available on PC)
Your past is never truly forgotten and can come back in unexpected ways. Players will experience the phantoms of Detective Itō Ayami’s past in Tokyo Dark -Remembrance-. It is a horror point and click adventure game that is currently available for the PC and Nintendo Switch with a PS4 release coming soon as well. This gritty point and click adventure game was created by Cherrymochi and published by Sony publishing label Unties Games. Tokyo Dark -Remembrance- was fully funded through Kickstarter after reaching an impressive 225,000 CAD (~$175,160 USD). I’m honestly torn about Tokyo Dark. It’s a smaller title but it makes a lot of questionable choices that hinder it from being great.
Immediately upon starting the game, Itō is thrown into a nightmare sequence that is full of quick flashing memories that shows the player what they are in for moving forward. Itō investigates a sewer to discover her missing partner being held captive by a person who was supposed to be dead. Tokyo Dark features a unique system called SPIN. During the player’s investigation it keeps track of how you interact with the world and show Ito’s sanity, professionalism, investigation, and neurosis.
Most choices affect the SPIN system and depending on how you handle each situation new choices may appear. In theory it’s amazing, but unfortunately it doesn’t amount to much. It seems like the only one that actually affects the gameplay is the sanity meter and even then it’s not by much. There are a few animated sequence in Tokyo Dark created by Graphnica who worked on scenes for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles X as well as other titles. These are fresh change of pace even if they don’t appear all that often. The biggest strength that Tokyo Dark has is the way it’s written. Most of the character interactions feel genuine.
One of the biggest problems I have with Tokyo Dark is that you are not in control of when the game saves. Tokyo Dark does feature autosaves. However, until you complete one of its 11 ending you cannot manually save and even when you unlock “broken memories,” you can save but you’re not in control of it. As a game with visual novel elements, not having the ability to save before an important choice is very problematic. There are long periods when I was playing and I didn’t know if I could have stopped because I was unsure of how long it would set me back.
My first playthrough wasn’t that long and took only about 3 hours. That isn’t a huge deal to me because the story stayed interesting. Getting all 11 ending extends the game’s length to around 6 hours. It was a chore to unlock all of the endings due to the lack of a proper save feature and this dampened the experience for me. While I enjoyed the story the game’s use of horror, it was all over the place at first relying on cheap jump scares to represent Itō’s memory fragments with quick cut-ins. Then it transitions to a deeper psychological horror story which really fits the game better than the jump cuts.
Tokyo Dark is held back from being a truly amazing experience due to its lack of proper save functionality, underutilized systems, and unbalanced use of horror. However, it does feature a pretty unique and well-written story that should keep point and click fans interested in discovering the ending to the mystery.
Tokyo Dark -Remembrance- Review
Tokyo Dark - Remembrance falls short of being a great experience due to its lack of a proper save system, underutilized systems, and unbalanced use of horror.