(Just a heads up, after I had posted this, it was announced that the Kickstarter would be canceled, due to the likelihood of the goal not being met in time. I was worried about that, but this isn’t the end. Nothing I have said is untrue and there will be another Kickstarter in the future, so please continue to support the devs ~)
I’m here today to talk about another promising visual novel that hasn’t been finished yet. This seems to be a trend, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. This one is special, but not only because it’s currently doing a Kickstarter that you should go support, but the story itself is really special.
A Kickstarter is a big thing. You’re asking people to pay money in faith that something will turn out good. It’s a gamble, and not everyone will want that, and I understand, but Dear Mom: My Letter To You is about the safest gamble I think you could have.
I’m not going to beat around the bush or mince words here. This visual novel, if funded by the deadline, will be fantastic. It will eventually be fantastic either way. I give you my word it will be, and I would be baffled if it was anything less. Why am I so confident about that? Well, it’s for two reasons.
First, I’ve been following the progress of the game’s development on Twitter for a while now. I’ve seen additions getting added. I’ve seen the care being put into every aspect. I’ve seen how genuinely the team cares for this project.
And second, and perhaps the biggest reason, is because the demo is really good. It’s frankly exceptional, and it’s hard to believe that this isn’t made by some big company and instead a small team of passionate people.
In a lot of ways, Dear Mom is what I consider a visual novel should be. I’m ok with reading, but to call yourself a game, you need actual gameplay, and what Dear Mom does is bring what I would call pretty perfect visual novel gameplay to the table.
As you go through your days, you have the option to spend time with your classmates, raise your stats, as you can see from the snazzy status screen above, and ultimately romance some of them.
This is not the most unique idea ever. I’m not saying that. If you’ve played recent Persona games, Dear Mom’s system is heavily inspired by social links, but it’s handled really, really well, but even more than that, it just works great.
The demo has quite a bit. You get to experience over a full week in this world and hang out with new and old friends alike, see some of the cute interactions you’ll have, but really get a taste of how raising your stats will go.
It’s fun and engaging, which are two words I don’t often use to refer to visual novels. Unless it’s Little Busters. God, that was amazing. But it does this without taking away from what a visual novel is. There’s still tons of reading and tons of story, just mixed in with gameplay that keeps things fresh and gives you control over the narrative. It just works. It’s been proven that it works. Honestly better than Persona in some ways with the lack of dungeons.
And that’s just in a short demo. Just imagining the finished product, with all these things to do and all these characters to see, and all these things to juggle, makes me really excited. Still, this isn’t the first visual novel to have this formula, but it is the best I’ve seen.
There are tiny things, like scenes with a certain character repeating if you see them too many times. There needs to be a scene that plays when you’ve seen all the others, so it doesn’t lead to situations that make no sense, but again, this is a demo, and that’s a minor complaint.
Cleaned up a bit, and with more stuff to do with these stats you can increase, this would make a fantastic system to coincide with this visual novel without stepping on its toes at all. And trust me, you would never want to do that because this is a story worth telling.
Dear Mom speaks to me, and I imagine it will for a lot of other people. The story is not for the faint of hearts, but it’s one that I believe people should see.
The story is about a lot of things—regret, forgiveness, acceptance, redemption, family, friends. Without going into it too much, Ayame Kawasaki, our protagonist, blames herself for the death of her mother. The story is about her learning to cope with that, forgive herself, and find a way to be happy.
It’s really sad at times, really cute others, and really heartwarming just as often. It’s an emotional journey, and that’s only for a demo that lasts a little over an hour. It’s very impressive, but the story isn’t the only reason.
I’ve said before that the most important way to make something feel finished or professional is the little details. The small touches that separate something good from something great. Dear Mom feels more polished than some Triple-A-Games I’ve played when it comes to art and UI.
The menus, the transitions, the music, holy crap, do you see that CG? I lost it when I saw how gorgeous she was. All the art is great. The voice acting is really solid. The music is catchy, if not a little loud sometimes. Did you see the text box? It’s paper! That’s so freaking cute!
These may seem like small things, but they all add to a really unforgettable experience. Once again, for a demo. And I keep saying that because there is so much potential here, that it just has to be realized.
If you have the ability, please go help give this project the wings it needs to fly. I don’t care how much you can. Every dollar helps. The dev seems like a super nice person that I know is incredibly talented, just like all the wonderful people involved in this project.
So, dear reader, if I can ask one thing of you, please support Dear Mom. I promise you everything this game will be is going to be miles better than that offer joke I made. If there was ever a project for you to take a chance on, this one is it.
Thank you very much for reading
No question this time. Just go support it. I mean, nobody is forcing you to. You can do what you want, but I’d recommend it. The game’s going to be great. It’s for your benefit.