The Letter

The Letter

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What $19.99 Will Get You
I'm a beta tester for "The Letter". That's 70% of the disclosures I need to put up first. Here's the other 30%: I am a Kickstarter backer, my tier was $80s for all that digital good stuff, and I have only read up to Chapter Three.I mention these things because yeah, realistically, they could effect my bias. You know, pro to the production team/paid a lot of money for it/haven't experienced the completed product, all the best ingredients for bias. So I'm going to [try to] only lay down facts here and leave my big, fangirly opinion out of it.

Here's one grand question that you might have: Is "The Letter" worth the money? Let's see if I, as a fellow consumer, can provide some insight on the concerns I know I usually have.

When this game comes out, dev says it's going to be $19.99 at full price. For a visual novel, that's a hefty price tag. As a collector of VNs (I say "collector" because I've only read about... 10% of the ones I've purchased, if not less), that's a price that would make me pause. I wouldn't even pay that much for Umineko when it came out, and that VN is legendary. (Which begs the question, why would I pick the $80 Kickstarter tier?)

So I can't tell you whether you should definitely buy the game or not, but I can tell what that price tag gets you. Let's just roll on back to the "Features" section and pick a few things out.

"Non-chronological storytelling with seven chapters, spanning around 500,000 words."
Let's reminisce about my hour count.. Like I said: three chapters on the resume. The first chapter probably took me about 1/2 hours. Second took me 2.5/3 or so to wrap up. Those numbers only count for my initial chapter run through. Going back through, hitting all the possible scenes, achievements, endings took me at least half a day to get through. Each. Thinking back, chapter three probably took me 2.5/3.5 hours to finish. Then another half a day to collect everything (a full day actually, but I disregarded all the backtracking I had to do). Need a perspective? It took me 18 hours to finish a single character route of "If My Heart Had Wings", if you're familair with that title, and 9 hours to %100 No One But You.

"Countless butterfly effects; the choices and endings you get for the previous chapters heavily affect how the succeeding chapters will play out."
When they say choices matter, they mean choices matter. If you're experienced with visual novels then you probably know the "[instert number] of player choices" speech. I know I roll my eyes whenever that's listed in big, bold letters. You know what that usually means? Pick an answer, get a random "customized" scene from it, and the story continues on the same as if you had picked any other answer. "Choices matter" is usually just the short way of saying "you're going to read the same two hours of story, but the five-minute ending will be different".
But this time things are a little different. From my experience, there are choices that actually majorly impact your playthrough. Remember earlier when I said I spent a half a day "backtracking" when reading chapter three? That's because I had to keep restarting from the beginning and fast forwarding through the darn thing to make different choices because the butterfly effect matters that much.

"Full English Voice Acting"
They're not lying. Literally, every character is voiced, even the minor ones. But if you're not into that kind of thing you can turn them off.

"Animated backgrounds and sprites"
Check out the screenshots on the store page. Do you see in one screenshot there's a character in the foreground and background? The one in the foreground looks like traditional art while the background character seems a little more (at least to me) computer graphic? Well, that foreground character doesn't move. It shuffles through the standard variety of stagnant "emotion" poses. That background character, though, he/she is fully animated. The mouth moves, the arms move, the expression changes. Also the CGs move.

"Beautifully painted art style, with over 80 backgrounds and 100 CGs"
I'm not sure if those numbers include variations of the same BG/CG. But still. That's a lot.

That's everything that comes to mind right now. I won't tell you whether you should buy it or leave it, but from one reader to the next, hopefully, this insight helps you make a decision.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 comments
Yangyang Mobile  [developer] Mar 23, 2017 @ 4:20am 
Oh, hello!! ❤ It's nice to see a backer/beta tester here! Thank you so much for taking time to play the game, and for writing this informative review! :) I hope you're liking the game so far! Chapter 4 is coming soon, so please don't forget to answer the previous chapter surveys, if you haven't yet! ^^

Originally posted by worldscrappiestyoutubers:
I'm not sure if those numbers include variations of the same BG/CG. But still. That's a lot.

This includes variations. Thank you for pointing it out, I'll go update the page to make it clearer. :)

Last edited by Yangyang Mobile; Mar 23, 2017 @ 4:26am
It's nice to see another horror visual novel because there aren't too many on Steam. It's also great that you have the option to turn off the English voice acting because of preferences. $20 does seem like it can affect people's buying decision. Some buyers will wait for a discount. 500,000 words is pretty lengthy. Reading speed for visual novel buyers will also vary. I've been following Yangyang Mobile since the game was Greenlit. I'm not a backer though. The quality looks quite impressive. I add it on my wishlist for now.
voidofopinion May 18, 2017 @ 12:09am 
I'm sold.
Yangyang Mobile  [developer] May 18, 2017 @ 7:08am 
Thanks for the support, MidnightRose and Void! ❤
Jestrade2 Jul 2, 2017 @ 8:50am 
i think $19,99 its fair in my thinking cause for having good grafics good voice actors and the best the animations i am excited about this i cant wait to buyed :D
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Date Posted: Mar 23, 2017 @ 3:26am
Posts: 5