The Mind’s Eclipse is a science fiction Visual Novel game with a basic point and click mechanic. It was developed and self-published by: Mind’s Eclipse Interactive, LLC. The point and click mechanic is simple in that you can interact with parts of the environment which allow you to learn more about the world, and individuals that live in it. This occasionally provokes conversation pieces as well. You also pick up items that are used later to unlock doors and the like. There’s no puzzling about any of the game, if you pick up an item and you can use it you’ll lose it, if you don’t have an item to get into an area, then you can’t get into it. It’s very basic, which is fine since at its core this is a visual novel.
In this game you play as Jonathan Campbell, he’s just woken up in a hospital with no memory Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. You’re informed that the hospital is losing oxygen and you need to get out of it by an AI named L, which has rooted herself in your head. After dealing with your immediate issue, you go on a journey to figure out what’s happened to Europa, to regain your memories, and to find your loved ones. The only question left at that point is, do you really trust L?
This game allows you to learn about the world around you and the people that inhabit it but it doesn’t force that knowledge on you like most VNs do. In most VNS they tell you about the world around you either with narrative pieces or through dialogue with characters. This game instead allows you to choose whether you want to bother with most of it or ignore it as you get most of this knowledge from interacting with things in the environment which is mostly unrequired. I, personally, like seeing the background information but I know that isn’t for everyone. Because of the way this game is set up, it doesn’t force you to hear about all the background stuff if you really don’t want to know it. I think the background information was useful as it made the world feel more alive. It also gave explanations and background which helped explain the game and helped connect threads later on.
This VN instead of being about characters, it was more about Jonathan’s personal beliefs and his backstory. It’s used to explain who and what he is and why he did the things he did. It’s a story about a man learning who he was and figuring out if that’s who he wanted to be. The age old questions of: Am I who I was? Is that who I want to be? If I don’t want to be that person, do I have a choice, can I be someone else? The game is all about introspection while looking through his eyes at the outcomes of his previous self’s actions. A self he no longer knows thanks to his amnesia.
Most of the game Jonathan talks to himself about things, trying to piece information back together. When he’s not doing that he’s often talking with L. He tries to get information about the world around him from her since he’s been in a coma for who knows how long and he has amnesia. L becomes his AI encyclopedia, at least when she has an answer for anything anyways. Jonathan doesn’t really interact with other characters beyond reading personal files that are nearly everywhere. When L talks there’s often an avatar of her that shows up which is really cool, she had an awesome design.
There are choices occasionally in the game but all but one are just do this or wait to do this, and to get forward you have to eventually do it. This is why it’s kinetic there’s no real choice in the game until the end. It gives you a choice at the ending you want for the game, I went both routes, assuming there’s only the two anyways. When that choice comes up it’s pretty obvious since it’s not a do it or wait to do it option. The VN works as a kinetic one, but I have a feeling this team, if they wanted, could probably make a really good action VN with a bunch of endings. The game was really well written.
The game had a lot of sci-fi talk as the game involved nanotechnology, AIs, cybernetics, and genetic modifications. It dealt with them as, oh these things exist, not everyone likes it, some people go a bit overboard, etc. It’s treated like it’s just part of life which is nice. There’s not a big deal made of it or a lot of information poured into the mechanics behind it as though it matters. Instead it’s just an everyday thing and I really like how that played out.
I suggest the game, it’s $10 so it’s cheap, it lasted me around 3 hours. It has a nice gritty look to it and with it being in black and white it looks even grittier which is nice. The story being so introspective and dark is a nice palette cleanser for a VN, most of them are fairly cheerful and happy or bittersweet. Other formats of VNs are a fairly small percentage, so it’s nice to come across one that’s not happy go lucky or bittersweet every now and then.
The Mind’s Eclipse was developed by: Mind’s Eclipse Interactive, LLC
Point of Sale: Steam
$10: The eternal question every man asks; if I fucked up big time, but forgot I fucked up, did I still fuck up? Even future men ask this, as this game shows.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
darkmikasonfire has awarded The Mind’s Eclipse The Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval