Root Film is the successor to Root Letter.
Masterful storytelling meets a multitude of interactive elements in the new game from Kadokawa Games.
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It's been a long, cold month, but I think we're finally back in the money.
Root Film starts off a bit silly; you're an indie film maker interested in the world of art punk horror on the come-up, and you've just received one hell of an opportunity to break into the mainstream by investigating this abandoned and cursed film. And then along your pursuit to make it big, people keep dying for no goddamn good reason! It's a classic yet welcome variation upon the murder mystery genre, and while I can't say it's the most interactive visual novel out there (you simply pick the right locations/spots to inspect and watch everything play out), it sure as hell is a lot of fun breaking down exactly how everything played out and watching these "masterminds" squirm as you, a supposedly clumsy and down on his luck creator, own them with FACTS and LOGIC! Great characters with mysteries that aren't tough at all to solve but still give you that nice tingly feeling of satisfaction, and there are some fantastic twists at the end that really tie all the separate elements of the story together. It's definitely not the heaviest VN I've played with very upbeat moments scattered here and there, thanks to a lively cast and some (admittingly) absurd sketches of life, but I also really appreciated how humanizing the game felt in its conclusion and interpretation upon creating art to seek meaning beyond death. I'll admit I was a little skeptical going into this cold without playing Root Letter after hearing of the previous reception, but I was hooked in less than an hour and binged the whole thing in two days (yes, even despite the dumb typos that are littered throughout the translation here and there). This is a great hidden gem if you like murder mysteries and don't care about forcibly inserted "gameplay." I do wish that there was more of it, but in a way that's almost a compliment I'd say. Funny that I'm feeling this way after playing a narrative rooted in death, but I gotta say, it's nice to feel alive and kicking again after a long stretch of let-downs and party games, enjoying one of my favorite mediums on a cozy couch.
This is the least interactive visual novel I've played. It at least has a good story and fun characters to follow. It's a mystery story. There are several mysteries to resolve over the course of the game most of which are murder mysteries. There are two main characters to play as with separate connected stories that must be completed in one playthrough to progress to the end. The gameplay consists of selecting which location to go to, selecting which person to talk to or object to observe to collect clues, and then interrogating persons of interest using clues gathered to resolve the mystery.
The story is really fun, but it can drag at times. Especially in the final part. The game also has an issue where it won't say exactly where to go leading me to visit every location until some event happens. The number of locations to visit is always small, so this wasn't too big of an issue.
The game is fully voice acted, but it only has Japanese voice overs. I had to read everything anyways, but it's at least good to know the tone in which dialogue is said. There are also many typos throughout which was weird.