17 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 4.2 hrs on record (4.2 hrs at review time)
Posted: Apr 30 @ 5:57am
Updated: Apr 30 @ 7:43am
Product received for free

Argumentum ad culpam is a Gothic visual novel set in a world of eternal agony and despair. Be an observer and a judge to a battle of wits that will ultimately determine the outcome of what will be for all.

The Story

In a Gothic world of magic and magnificent powers you, a wizard, stand as a witness and judge to three transcendents, very powerful supernatural beings, as they each battle for the fate of the now falling Duke Luthedor.

Along with the approaching ultimate demise of the Duke, you Luftschlösser, also find the contract you had with the Duke that grants you magical abilities, is also fading. Will you partake in the game yourself to try to save your own powers?

The battles are fought in a choice system through a “battle of wits”. A high stakes game where anyone can die, including yourself.

Game-play

Now the game itself is more of a kinetic novel than a game. You do have some choices as to how the end plays out but your actual choices are few and far between. The majority of this novel is reading.

The first act of the story might be hard for some to follow in terms of language (or flow of it). The common language is sprinkled quite heavily with Latin words and phrases. The second act almost seems written by someone else as the language shifts to being very common, and much easier to understand compared to the first part. I have to admit I enjoyed the novel much more from the second act forward.

The writing is well done and the twists in the story you come to discover are very interesting. Overall it is a story that is complex. One that requires you to think, to ponder, to reflect and to digest. Compared to most in the genre it is on another level and admittedly not going to be for everyone.

Settings & Features

The game as far as settings go is your typical finds, audio controls, window mode, language, and text settings. There is also a Music Box where you can access all the beautiful live piano tracks you will experience in the game. Save slots are plentiful for you to save your important moments (36 slots).

You can rewind the text by scrolling the mouse wheel, clever. Usually there is a history log but I love how you can just scroll back to re-read the previous text. To fast forward the text you just hit the left control button.

The achievements were not activating for me at the time of doing this review but may be working once released.

The Visuals & Audio

Visually this game is so unique and beautiful with hand drawn illustrations of mythical beings that I believe are inspired by the biblical representations of angels. Also the story itself is influenced heavily by the legendary tales of King Arthur as shown in act two.

The live piano tracks in the background provide a haunting melody giving a sombre, Gothic atmosphere to the novel.

Overall Experience

This novel is so complex, an experience that leaves you thinking about it even when you finish. So strange in its imagery and ideas.

I have to say I am at a loss on how to describe my full experience. I am still sitting with the myriad of ideas and concepts it puts forth. It is not your typical visual novel, it is not one you read for fun, escape or romance.

That said I do hope the developers keep the demo up after the full version goes live. It is such a different type of visual novel that I truly believe that people should try the demo before buying.

I recommend it for those who want an experience that will be open ended. That will keep you thinking long after the credits roll. 🖤

Otome Lovers wishes to thank Tagetes Team for providing a free review copy for this game.


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