Developer – Modern Visual Arts Laboratory
Genre – Visual Novel
Platform – Steam on PC
Cost at time of purchase – $37.50 HKD ($4.80 USD)
Play time – ~10 hours or so
This is one of the few visual novels projects on Kickstarter that didn’t over promise and under deliver when it came to the final product. A remake of the original Korean game from back in 2010 this version gives a much needed face-lift with new translations to help it reach other audiences around the globe. Despite a lot of the usual tropes being present Lucy manages to tell a tasteful story about the barriers and possibilities from attempting to integrate machines into human society. It’s a relatively quick and easy read that serves as a fantastic starting point for those who aren’t familiar with the visual novel genre.
The story is told through the lens of a generic male high school student who spends a good bit of time home alone. His traditional father is frequently away for work and his biological mother isn’t in the picture, leaving him to experience the silence of an empty home on a daily basis. This isolated lifestyle filled with take out food creates constant tension whenever he interacts with his father, the two have good intentions but their opinions are polarizing to the point that it’s difficult to co-exist. This chasm in their relationship serves as center stage through which the notion of robotics and human society are discussed.
The choices presented to the player along the way are equally polarizing so it’s very easy to stay true to your sentiments about each topic. You’re either in support of robots or you are against them and this clean cut story telling helps to emphasize the impact of multiple scenes throughout the journey. The various bonds formed along the way have even more meaning and it’s easy to empathize with differing perspectives.
While the main story itself doesn’t take long to get through the game really benefits from having multiple extra scenes that are unlocked after achieving the true ending of the game. These additional scenes provide context and a bit of closure to certain plot points that feel like they may have been forgotten along the way. Whatever your stance on machines I highly recommend going through the possible endings and achievements.
I really like hunting for good deals under the $50 HKD price point whenever I see things are on sale on platforms like GoG or Steam, and I consider this to be one of those gems. It is clearly lacking in the general interaction department because of its genre but it’s quite a good read. I’d liken it to a slightly longer version of Planetarian as both stories feature an altruistic female android that despite being mechanical serves as a much needed source of humanity.