A science-fiction visual novel centered on the implications of time travel, artificial intelligence, and humanity's ascent to the stars.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (35 reviews) - 74% of the 35 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 28, 2015

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About This Game

"It's a lesson we never seem to learn... time isn't meant for human manipulation."

Sam Acacius has received a horrifying message: the section of the Orion Torus where he lives, his only home, will be destroyed. This information has been entrusted to him alone. With the identity of the messenger itself obscured, Sam must decide whether the risks of investigation are worth it. What could a single person do to stop the inevitable?

To learn the answers behind this message, Sam must confront forces at the very core of society. Whether he succeeds or fails depends on critical choices he'll have to make along the way.

Where will his journey lead him?

ABOUT
Orion is a visual novel, an interactive story that combines artwork, music, sound effects, and voice acting for all its characters. Players will have the chance to influence the direction of the story, resulting in a variety of different endings. Aspects of time travel, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality games are explored in each path.

FEATURES
  • 4 main paths with a total of 9 endings
  • Distinctive and specially-produced sound effects
  • Custom GUI
  • Original Soundtrack
  • Full English Voice Acting
  • CG Gallery

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    Minimum:
    • OS: -
    Minimum:
    • OS: -
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mostly Positive (35 reviews)
Recently Posted
chelni
4.1 hrs
Posted: July 7
Lovely artworks. Well arranged story. But there is a problem.
If you want to unlock "Ture" ending, you should reach all 8 of "normal" endings.
The problem is, finding those normal endings is pain without walkthrough information.
The story is designed to play again and again to obtain the truth.
But good or not, there is no achievement, so ... enjoy your way.
I like this game, but think not worth full price.
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Neku
1.5 hrs
Posted: July 5
Well, I can't truely recommend this game, neither I can say that it's bad. Still I give it a thumb down as it dissappointed me, though I'm sure that many ppl would like this game very much.

First things first; I love the art style. This game has very beautiful drawings, especially with it's backgrounds. Also the voice acting is very great. In the first moments I fell in love with this game. The story seemed interesting too and thought it would be a vn I could love the whole gameplay through.

But here's the big why I gave it a thumb down:
The story rushes very fast. It seems like it has a big story which would've needed more time. Characters turned from friends to fiends, sometimes choices didn't matter, in other times you never get to see the character ever again until you start a new run. It leaves quetions open and not in a good kind of way.
My first endings were like cut and left me confused. It wasn't a good or a bad ending, it just.. ended. And in a very confusing way. As I'm used to games like the Zero Escape games, I thought I have to find some more endings to go even further but that's not the case. You have to chose the right choices in case you want a real ending and not only a game over. When I play VN I expect them to deal with my choices. But you have to choose them in the right order and if you mess one up, you're game over. I don't want to open a guide for completing a VN and I'm not patient enough to check everything over and over again just to hope that I didn't mess it up this time and this for 9 endings in total.
In the end I got one good ending as I followed the guide but that just wasn't any fun at all, so I quit doing this for all endings.


Again, I truely wanted to love this game as it has so much potential. And I feel sorry for it that I couldn't enjoy it the way it could've been enjoyable.
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silversuriv
2.1 hrs
Posted: May 6
Review
Orion: A Sci-Fi Visual Novel is a fully voiced interactive visual novel revolving around a protagonist with time-warping capabilities. There are 9 total endings (1 is hidden/true ending) that vary quite a bit.

I definitely enjoyed the voiced narration and soundtrack. The artwork has a Western illustration style with plenty of Sci-Fi elements (as opposed to the traditional animu) and do a great job portraying the story. One major gripe I have about this game is the rather abrupt and shallow endings. I really wish there would have been more detail or follow up of each ending. They were clearly designed in order to help you (as a player) gain information in order to understand/discover the true ending.

Traditional VN options are present: text speed, window size, skip commands etc. Full save and load states are supported alongside qs/ql.

Score
I enjoyed my playthrough of each ending (~2 hours total). There aren't that many VN's on Steam anyways, so this is definitely worth a shot.

Good
- 7/10

Before You Buy – analyses of newly released indie games
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•Goregasm•
4.2 hrs
Posted: April 14
Wonderful Scifi VN! I loved the layout for the story and endings. Good voice acting, The art of the characters while still digital they give a realism detailed feel thats done right! Music and sound effects were done well too. I really enjoyed this one. 10/10
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Kimchi Tea
1.2 hrs
Posted: April 11
I like short visual novels if they feel self-contained, not like a piece of what should have been a larger story. The setting and characters in Orion feel underdeveloped; when characters go from friends to enemies or vice versa, it doesn't have the emotional impact it should, because the reader barely knew the characters in the first place.

The choice structure is interesting, with an in-story justification for the choices and multiple endings. But there are a few occasions where if you don't have the right flags to reach a particular ending, instead of hiding the unchoosable option, the game just ignores your choice without any feedback. Took me a little while to realize this was a deliberate design choice, because it feels like a bug.

The true ending, which takes about two hours to reach (Steam didn't record my play time correctly), might have felt like a satisfying conclusion if I had a better sense of the relationship between the characters -- a better reason to care about them -- but instead it's just anticlimactic.

The voice acting is quite good, and I love the CG art (although it clashes badly with the more cartoonish character sprites). But overall Orion is dull and unmemorable. Even at a lower price point, I couldn't recommend it.
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Beaker Katt
6.0 hrs
Posted: April 7
5 routes in. Updated this a bit.

The game is short if you're a Skip Jockey. If you're a "do a route now and then" kinda gamer like me, I think the length is fine.I take my time reading VNs so be warned it will likely be shorter for you.

Considering the cost of a movie ticket, I think the price is fine. Voice, art, music, writing and sound effects cost money and this is well done.

This is a visual novel, not a point and click or sim. Look it up if you haven't "played" one before.
This is sci-fi not otome. I can only read so much fluff before needing something to chew on.

Its a VN with 9 endings with several choices along the routes. I'm noticing there are main branches and others just give bits of flavor text. Some routes are definitely more detailed and its not intuitive to get to some of the parts that divulge major character backgrounds. The flow of the choices and what you get from making them are the only area I can pinpoint for mixed feelings, that not intuitive, not quite satisfying at times part. Not sure if its a "when you do a route amongst the others" mechanism that starts bringing things more into alignment or that I just stumbled on vague for the first two before getting more into it.

I won't talk about the storyline or plot, as going through it is the most fun of these VNs and I'd hate to lose an "Oh!" in the midst of playing to a review without enjoying the set-up within the VN, especially with a short VN.

Voice acting, sound and music give a premium feel that really go the extra step for immersion. Its a tough choice between Cyrus and Louca being my favorite characters. Voice, writing and character are just such a good mix, but it took a bit to get there. Still, "NO! Keep eating." had myself and most of the folks in the room chuckling. Voice acting isn't over the top, good tone for the characters and were nice for the feel of the game. Really glad to see more of the VAs from other VNs I've enjoyed.

Art was split with sprites being more cartoon art (which I happen to like as a nice change around all the anime style I also enjoy). CGs have a much more graphic novel feel (what I read when not in VNs) with a good use of color and lighting to add to drama / feel. The backgrounds felt more a mix of the two styles. They had a good level of detail and some added to the feel in a more cinematic way than just showing a kitchen, bedroom, theater. i.e. characters interacting in the background making speeches or crowds of people shoving around. Would have asked for more of those. Kudos to the background artist for playing in both styles and working to bridge some of the disconnect that using such opposite styles in a single game can cause.

Writing... I have to go through more routes. Not like I need it to discuss, but I WANT to go through more routes, which tells me its good. They're tackling 2 tough things in this story: 1. Time travel and all the trip-ups, intricacies and just literary physics you have to keep track of for plausibility. 2. The only voice really telling the story is a 16 year old clueless boy, who's purposefully been kept in the dark about everything his entire life, and is describing things in the first person. In the telephone game, this means you as the reader are even more clueless. It manages to be intriguing and frustrating simultaneously which I guess is part of that immersion thing again. I'm assuming this isn't the writer's first VN or if it is, I admire your "go bold or go home" self. Nothing like skipping the bunny hill and going straight for the black diamonds.

I'm off to learn more of the story. I know there's a lot hidden and I hope the majority makes it into the light through Sam's eyes.

I may update this review if things change, but I'd say it comes in next to "Octave Higher" for me which means some good depth of work, world creation and concept and in the upper ranks of VNs I've tried, especially for indie.
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Milan
4.0 hrs
Posted: March 26
Short but enjoyable visual novel with 9 possible endings !
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Sharisad
12.8 hrs
Posted: March 10
After the first couple endings I wasn't sure how to feel about this game, but after having seen them all and the only "true" one I feel positive about it.

This VN has numerous choices leading to four story branches each with a "good"/"bad" variation. The choices can feel minuscule or like a guessing game, and only when some of the rather abrupt endings appear before you do you realize you must've made a mistake.

There is a meta-plot of sorts. The game isn't too obvious about this and I only realized it halfway through. You can time-travel (although for many parts the protagonist is unable or unwilling to do so) and having to see multiple "wrong" endings is actually part of the idea of rewinding time. As soon as I stopped regarding being tossed back to the main menu screen as mere "Game Overs" I was able to relate better to things and understand some initially irritating comments made by the protagonist or by his constant tablet A.I. companion "Virgil".

As goes with time-travel, I guess, the story can sometimes feel messy, even if it isn't complicated at core. The meta-plot idea isn't always carried all the way, and you may regard to people already differently than the protagonist does when doing your second branch, leading to a disparity in how either of you is perceiving things, even if by meta-logic he should be just as aware of everything. But I suppose there is a limit to how far this meta-thing can be carried in time-travel fiction and expecting everything to respond deeper is probably too much to be expected and nitpicking.

Even so the logic within seems profound. The dev appears to know his stuff as things seemed plausible to me once explained by the protagonist or Virgil. At times I had wanted to yell at the protagonist to use his powers to get away from dire situations but he is just a kid and it's being mentioned often enough that his ability might take a great toll on his body or surrounding. The endings - even if abrupt - feel plausible, some of them being more sadder or scarier or positive than others and being faithful to the sci-fi nature of it. The "true" ending is a little more extensive, and felt "true" enough to me, having finished the game with an ultimately good feeling even if I probably haven't understood all the details.

The meta-thing can feel awkward. What in theory could be an interesting time-jumping thing has you "just" reload saves and skip your way through other dialogue options or actions, essentially performing a guessing game in the hopes to find those specific routes to the endings you're still missing. There are 8 "untrue" endings and you need to see them all before being able to go the path to the "true" one, which strongly relates to the meta-perception of the protagonist and Virgil - without having seen untrue endings the true one wouldn't make sense. I tried going the true path earlier and oddly the game makes you time-jump back to the decisive dialogue again and again with no explanation why you just hopped back a minute in time. If you haven't realized by then how this all works you'll probably feel irritated. Some other paths felt buggy instead, choosing either out of two options would lead to the same end unless I had made specific different choices earlier on. I got that far only with a walkthrough from the dev. I'm not sure if I had been able to get all the endings without it, I can well imagine one could get frustrated without. Luckily the skipping works very fast and there are plenty of save slots, otherwise I would've never had the patience.

The game is overall nicely designed. Menus and stuff look clean and polished (it better be, being a sci-fi/dystopian game), there is some pretty nice music and good voice acting for dialogues that only in a few instances touch the fence of turning cheesy. The art can be great too although the character portraits have a different style/artist than how they are designed in the backgrounds (I've read in another review details like eye colors sometimes differ between either, I haven't noticed any such disparity). There are a couple typos but I don't think I've ever seen a VN/gamebook without those. A few times the voice acting and subtitles aren't aligning 100% but it's no great deal.

I wish some characters would get more time to explain themselves. The game is rather quick in pushing events forward, like it or hate it. Across the various timelines and story branches you get to assemble more or less of a detailed picture of some of them but a game that has time-travel in it could've probably given you more options to examine characters and the world if it had tried hard enough. There are some political ideas tossed in but for many parts it's more glimpses than anything. The protagonist's whining annoyed me a little at times; he is pushed from one situation to another neither knowing what to do nor who to trust, but once I went with his frustration about the whole thing I was able to relate to him and his fears and doubts. Characters-wise it's him and his sort-of-bickering with Virgil that shines the most, which is no surprise because they are the only two constants across the time- and plotlines and they make a good duo.
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Fruitsniffer
4.3 hrs
Posted: March 6
Orion: A Sci-Fi Visual Novel is a pretty decent visual novel with an interesting setting. The story was pretty unique and I really enjoyed playing through the game again and again to get all the different endings, though some are hidden behind a series of choices that have to be picked very carefully and hearing Virgil tell me that “something’s not right” over and over and over again, really made me lose my patience.

It took me about four hours to get all the different endings and I have to say that not at a single occasion I thought about quitting before having finished the whole game.

If you take spelling very seriously and don’t like freaky time travel sci-fi plot stuff, then you’re probably better off buying another one of those otome visual novels you probably like so much.
If you can ignore how unpolished this visual novel is when it comes to spelling though, and got a thing for sci-fi time travel shenanigans, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll probably enjoy this.

So, should you play Orion: A Sci-Fi Visual Novel?

Yeah. It’s pretty good.
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ShadowFallRising
5.6 hrs
Posted: February 22
Oh, my God, the true ending is amazing! And the credit song blew me away. Honest to God, I teared up. Ironically, I got all of the bad endings first, but every new ending gave me a little piece of the puzzle, and a little more about the characters I interacted with. Sam Acacius is an amazing young kid with a really good outlook on life; despite all of the crap thrown at him, he keeps a level head, and doesn't cave, staying true to himself the entire journey. I will admit, I had my doubts, mostly when I kept getting the bad endings, wondering if it was worth it, but holy hell, was it ever! My favorite character was Virgil, his sass made me laugh out loud so many times. Truth be told, I'm normally more of a fantasy gal than a sci-fi gal, but the trailer piqued my interest, and I don't regret buying it in the end. Great story, solid characters, beautiful art, and the way Sam handled the difficult moral choices thrown at him made me question my own moral structure (just a bit). VERY highly recommend this game, to anyone even remotely interested.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
39 of 42 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2015
Completed the game.

It didn't take too long. In fact, in my opinion it was a little too short. Appropriate for the length of a standard EVN perhaps, but you wish that it took a bit more time to flesh out the world of Orion.

So, the good thing is that the bones are all there. All the main nodes that should be there are there, and the logic as far as I can see it is sound.

Unfortunately even a beautiful skeleton is just that, and the various flaws I want to point out still stems from the problem that there isn't enough content to flesh out Orion. To start with, Orion is a world of Unionism but you barely get a sense of it from complains mouthed by various characters. The main character is a naive kid who is shielded from this reality, but even then he should've seen some acts that are considered 'abnormal' in our society in his daily life. We don't get that. During the whole adventure, since you're constantly on the move there's no time to appreciate the world. All we get are verbal woes from characters we barely scratch the surface.

In fact the only character you'll feel familiar with is Virgil. Everyone else, even your own bro Louca feels terribly distant, and while you can feel his (almost disturbing) love for the MC it... could've been more elaborated. I wonder how many people will feel tricked by the Mari CG. She totally isn't important at all in the story and could've been replaced by a faceless goon for all I care. Really, I enjoy the game quite a bit, but I must repeat again and again that there just isn't enough flesh or time to make these seemingly cool characters endearing or even memorable.

I guess that's the tradeoff for having full voice acting in the game. This is quite high quality stuff, but can be seen hollow in the inside.
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29 of 30 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2015
NOTE: I was a Kickstarter backer for this game.

I wasn't really sure if I should give this a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Ultimately, I enjoyed the plot threads, the music, and the character designs. However, a lot of the nine different endings were basically unsatisfying with a lot of different plot threads dropped. For the first eight endings, this is fairly deliberate as the premise of the game basically forces you to try different scenarios and keep playing to finally put most of the pieces together. And I use the word "most" in that last sentence on purpose: the ninth "true" ending is basically the ending that reveals the most information in terms of build-up but kind of the worst ending for all of the dangling plot threads and character development in the game.

Which would really be my biggest complaint, I think, with the game. All the characters except for Sam and MAYBE Virgil are basically stock figures that don't get much life of their own, motivations given to the characters are weak or nonexistent, and the game spends far too much time going "WELP BYE!" to characters other than Sam and forgetting that they exist at all. Finally, I had a lot of high hopes for the political intrigue and worldbuilding that were mentioned in the Kickstarter campaign only to find that there's really only the barest nod to both.

In the end, I don't think I wasted my investment on the Kickstarter campaign, nor was I bored during the two hours I was working out all nine endings. I even hope Reuben Lack and his team put together another VN in the future -- I just hope the do it with deeper development in the world and characters.
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34 of 42 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2015
Orion is a science-fiction visual novel centered on the implications of time travel, artificial intelligence, and humanity's ascent to the stars.
There are 9 endings in total including 1 true ending that can be obtainable after completing 8 of the other endings.

The story
Sam Acacius has received a horrifying message: the section of the Orion Torus where he lives, his only home, will be destroyed. This information has been entrusted to him alone. With the identity of the messenger itself obscured, Sam must decide whether the risks of investigation are worth it. What could a single person do to stop the inevitable?
To learn the answers behind this message, Sam must confront forces at the very core of society. Whether he succeeds or fails depends on critical choices he'll have to make along the way.

Audio and Visual elements
Background art are generally smooth looking, actually I kind of like them overall, as for the sprites are average just that for some characters the sprites seems a little inconsistent.

Voice acting is honestly good I can say that it does the job well, it manages to put a sense of emotion through the voice of the characters. As for the sound effects are used in the right way [these are for important for this certain visual novel because you will get met with black screen and sound effects will let you imagine what is going on]

To sum up
I still cannot recommend this Visual Novel, why? The true ending is a very anti climatic and it is just not worth to go through 8 endings just to see a very anti climatic ending.

Atogaki
I honestly would have recommend this Visual Novel if the ednings were more satisfying but sadly for this it is not that case, I felt it is quite a waste, they had the visuals and sound elements alright but the endings are just to vague and very unsatisfying.
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21 of 21 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
Lovely artworks. Well arranged story. But there is a problem.
If you want to unlock "Ture" ending, you should reach all 8 of "normal" endings.
The problem is, finding those normal endings is pain without walkthrough information.
The story is designed to play again and again to obtain the truth.
But good or not, there is no achievement, so ... enjoy your way.
I like this game, but think not worth full price.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
I like short visual novels if they feel self-contained, not like a piece of what should have been a larger story. The setting and characters in Orion feel underdeveloped; when characters go from friends to enemies or vice versa, it doesn't have the emotional impact it should, because the reader barely knew the characters in the first place.

The choice structure is interesting, with an in-story justification for the choices and multiple endings. But there are a few occasions where if you don't have the right flags to reach a particular ending, instead of hiding the unchoosable option, the game just ignores your choice without any feedback. Took me a little while to realize this was a deliberate design choice, because it feels like a bug.

The true ending, which takes about two hours to reach (Steam didn't record my play time correctly), might have felt like a satisfying conclusion if I had a better sense of the relationship between the characters -- a better reason to care about them -- but instead it's just anticlimactic.

The voice acting is quite good, and I love the CG art (although it clashes badly with the more cartoonish character sprites). But overall Orion is dull and unmemorable. Even at a lower price point, I couldn't recommend it.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2015
Rather short Visual Novel. At least if you only watch one of the 9 possible endings. Need to do this later.

Overall it is a nice game with a good soundtrack and nice visuals. The combination between a spoken dialog and a monologue the player has to read himself is nice. Reading spead can be changed in the settings, but this is only needed if you are slow in reading and have set to "auto". If not you have to click everytime you want the next text.

As stated before I only played one ending and had about 5-10 decisions (haven't counted). Took me about 2 hours to complete.

I can recommend it, but I guess you want to wait for a good sale or a bundle to grab this one.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2015
Branching visual novel with 9 endings.

This isn't one of these VNs with one storyline and all of the branches lead to your quick death, no this one has basically 4 different ways the plot can go (join the rebel underground, join the opposition, join the scientist, join the gamers), with a final decision selecting for 8 endings, with a ninth ending unlocking once you have seen these 8. Except that it doesn't work that way, because some of the time the final decision didn't do anything when I reloaded the save and replayed it, and some of the time I get a message that says something along the lines of "something's not right" and I get a non-ending that is not listed in the endings collection. Since I have wandered down all 4 of these plot branches by now where the other choices give miniscule variances from the plot, it's now all about experimenting and skipping a lot to get the sequences just right, or following a walk-through, or reconsidering whether I really need to complete this game. And given that it's failed to touch me in any way, I gave up at this point.

So what's the take-away? The characters are one-dimensional, their "dialogue heads" and their appearance in the main art panels differs in style and sometimes also in detail (e.g. eye color), there are voiceovers for the dialogues but not for the narration that are good but fail to provide the emotional depth that the writing lacks.

I've seen better.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
Well, I can't truely recommend this game, neither I can say that it's bad. Still I give it a thumb down as it dissappointed me, though I'm sure that many ppl would like this game very much.

First things first; I love the art style. This game has very beautiful drawings, especially with it's backgrounds. Also the voice acting is very great. In the first moments I fell in love with this game. The story seemed interesting too and thought it would be a vn I could love the whole gameplay through.

But here's the big why I gave it a thumb down:
The story rushes very fast. It seems like it has a big story which would've needed more time. Characters turned from friends to fiends, sometimes choices didn't matter, in other times you never get to see the character ever again until you start a new run. It leaves quetions open and not in a good kind of way.
My first endings were like cut and left me confused. It wasn't a good or a bad ending, it just.. ended. And in a very confusing way. As I'm used to games like the Zero Escape games, I thought I have to find some more endings to go even further but that's not the case. You have to chose the right choices in case you want a real ending and not only a game over. When I play VN I expect them to deal with my choices. But you have to choose them in the right order and if you mess one up, you're game over. I don't want to open a guide for completing a VN and I'm not patient enough to check everything over and over again just to hope that I didn't mess it up this time and this for 9 endings in total.
In the end I got one good ending as I followed the guide but that just wasn't any fun at all, so I quit doing this for all endings.


Again, I truely wanted to love this game as it has so much potential. And I feel sorry for it that I couldn't enjoy it the way it could've been enjoyable.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
Wonderful Scifi VN! I loved the layout for the story and endings. Good voice acting, The art of the characters while still digital they give a realism detailed feel thats done right! Music and sound effects were done well too. I really enjoyed this one. 10/10
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2015
A very interesting game set in a utopia. I love the story enriched game so far! If you guys would like to watch some gameplay before playing this yourself here!
Check out my playthrough here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkP4Rc4Qork
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