21 people found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 3.1 hrs on record
Posted: Jan 6 @ 3:15am
Updated: Jan 6 @ 3:30am
Product received for free

The Day Before You Gone is a game of choice and consequence. If you had the opportunity to turn back time would you? Sacrifice the now for then? Choices that influence so much more than just yourself but everyone around you.

The Story

A meteor hits the land, dividing the Empire into two parts and of course the people as well. You go on a quest, following the fiery mage Nicole alongside a full crew of fantastical beings such as orcs, elves, and dwarves to obtain a rare ingredient needed for a magical spell that can turn back time. Along the way you travel through the mystical realm of the Elves, the treacherous northern mountain ranges and beyond to the Land of the Dead.

The story is set up in such a way that you follow the main character, Nicole, through her journey but more as an observer. She is telling you her story and she will ask you questions directly (the player) in certain points in the game that will influence the outcome of the story and the choices Nicole makes. It does break the standard formula that visual novels take. Usually you are either the main character or engaging in the main character's story. In this game you are both. A very refreshing approach. There are some small mini games scattered throughout as well.

Game-play & Features

The game operates on a karma system. Your choices (whether moral or immoral) determine the route your path will take during the story. At points in the story the protagonist Nicole will directly ask you questions that you decide to answer truthfully or not and will influence the story.

There are some cut-scenes that play out in book form, where you are watching events unfold as if you're reading them in a book, they advance the story and set up current events.

The settings are your standard which include volume controls, language selection, text speed, display, and skip options. However there is the unique ability to change the look of your cursor with three different options. The opening screen has options such as a cool map to look at the world the story takes place in, awards you unlock during game-play, the universe depicted in a book format (unveiled as you play) and options. You can also press “H” to hide the hud to take screen captures.

The game has quick-saves and you can quick-save as you play within the game. However to save moments to save slots you need to hit ESC, go to save, choose a slot and then press “remove the bottle” to return to the game or just hit ESC again.

The text is easy to read with a dark font on a lighter background. The style of font may be hard to read for some as it is done in a style to reflect the medieval look.

The Visuals & Audio

The audio of the game is in Russian only but the subtitles and interface are available in English. The voice over (only the main character, Nicole, is voice acted) sounded well done (for me it is hard to judge since as an English player I am going off of the subtitles). Note that the ambient sounds in the game and the voice of the main character are linked. So you cannot turn down one without affecting the other.

The music is amazing, a score made up of a variety of instruments that really brings the story to life. Haunting, moving and fluid. One of the rare visual novels I have played where the music really is part of the experience and not just something in the background.

The artwork is more concept artwork as opposed to looking polished and finished. This might not be to everyone’s taste. However the characters themselves when speaking or are the main focus are more polished looking in contrast to the backgrounds. It gives the look of the game a more painterly quality. Some scenes have animated elements such as a camp fire, fireflies, butterflies or magical portals. I really love the animated parts of the artworks, they have a magical quality, especially paired with the music.

Overall Experience

Overall I really loved my first play-through of the game. I felt my choices actually mattered and my ending was satisfying. This game was certainly a unique take on the visual novel genre. The breaking of the fourth wall really was refreshing and new. Your choices felt like they had weight to them. The story being fantasy based was highly enjoyable and magical. The in-game map of the lands alongside the description of the universe fleshed out the story and allowed the player to become immersed in the story itself.

A really great experience and highly recommended if you're looking for a new take on the visual novel landscape. ✨

Otome Lovers wishes to thank Aequalis Studio for providing a free review copy for this game.

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Amjara Jan 7 @ 12:47am 
Thank you everyone for the feedback. It was certainly a different take on the genre and a refreshing one.
QueenSlayer 👑 Jan 6 @ 12:47pm 
Thank you for your review! Sounds fun, wishlisting now
⛓ Avant-Garde Lilith ⛓ Jan 6 @ 4:42am 
Thanks a lot for the review!
elena_tapean Jan 6 @ 3:47am 
Thank you for the great review!
Lovely review. Definitely looking forward to try this someday. Putting it on my wishlist. Thank you for the recommendations.