Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
Recently I took the time to play Doki Doki Literature Club. I had been hearing mad hype about the game, even from people I know in real life who have zero interest in a dating sim/visual novel. After completing all routes of the game, I can’t help but feel a little let down. Still, the game is worth checking out and the developer obviously put a lot of love into this one so let’s dive in and take a closer look.
Doki Doki Literature club is about a guy who decides to join his school’s literature club after being tricked into joining it by his childhood friend, Sayori. There you meet the quiet Yuri, the Tsundere Natsuki, and the club president Monika. Just like in any other game of this sort, you can choose to romance one of these girls by spending time with them. Pretty standard.
The way that you ultimately end up doing this is by writing poems by selecting words that you think they would enjoy. So if you wanted to romance Yuri, for example, you would pick intellectual type words. This is a pretty interesting way to do things since it forces you to pay attention to the dialog and personalities that each character provides. It is somewhat disappointing, however, because you never get to know what your poem actually says. That being said, you do get to read everybody else’s poems so that is pretty cool.
For my first play through I decided that Ș̴̟̇̽̿̈́̈̆̇̌̃̚͘̕͠a̴͖͓̦̖̍͑͐͋̃͘y̵͕̼̩̯̱̳̰̩̙̳͇̾̅̑̓̾̊̈́̀̾͒̚͠o̸̢̥͈̥̖̠͛̊̒͑̈̽͒͆̅̃̋͠ŗ̸̖͍͉̖̝̝͎̘̮͛̎́̅͑̃̈́̄̾͋̓͌͝͠͠į̸͉̼̩̮͍̓̉͜ was a bit too obvious of a choice. Normally the childhood friend route is pretty easy and not all that interesting. After initially meeting the girls I thought Ÿ̶̡̝͙̞͔̪̻̺̟́̄̆̈́̊̆͘͜͠͝͝ṷ̶̝̬̩͇͉̞̓̍̇̽̓̚r̷̔̆́̋͊ͅi̵̞̔͋ was definitely going to be who I wanted to go for. However, I ultimately ended up changing my mind and decided to go for N̵̨̮̬̳̹͕̭̆̃̔̋͌͒͝͝͝ȃ̷̢͕̮͈͓̰̭́́̃̀̈́̔̉͗̽̾̄͘ţ̸̞͉̺̺̎̈́̀͂͠͠ṣ̸̼͂̀̾̽̃̇̀̎́͗ư̵̧̖̟͚̖̝̜͑́͗̅͛̅̕͜ķ̴̰̬̹̪̄̇̏̍̍͝i̴̧̨͉̮̳͌͊́̕͠. I thought about going for Monika but decided not to because she was clearly the most difficult character to win over as she is the most popular girl in school.
Any way, the game is pretty forgiving if you decide to change your mind early in. You might miss out on a CG for a specific character if you don’t manage your saves properly but you get so many slots that it shouldn’t really ever become a problem.
I suggest sticking to one girl as best as possible though. The worst thing you can do is leave one of them hanging in a game such as this, especially if you are going for the true ending. Since you can save and load very easily, you should proceed confidently through the full route of whatever girl suits your taste most.
To be perfectly frank, the game is pretty slow to start. The dialog is stiff, and depending on how you decided to initially play, some dialog is just creepy (even in context). It’s not really a bad thing, I mean Doki Doki Literature Club is a free game after all, but it will be a bit of a hurdle for some people. I still encourage that you push through it as I promise it does improve given time.
There is a new game + mode, which is somewhat unexpected. This is a MUST if you decide to play this game. Trust me when I say that not playing everything out all the way to the end would be a huge mistake. While technically you do have to play through the game twice, there are a lot of differences that make the whole experience well worth while.
The game isn’t even that long. It may be shocking, but this is not a game that is going to take 100’s, or even 10’s of hours to complete like most VN’s. Instead, you can do everything in well under ten hours. Again, this is a free game so I think that length is more than appropriate.
Ň̷̡̰͕̳̻͓͇͕͓̠̲̀̍̆̾̕̕̚͜ͅͅȍ̸̡͙͙̙̭͕̯̻̙̈̅͐̄̊̒̓̚͘ẘ̵̡̓̿͗̉́̈́̈́́̿͘̚ ̵̨̢̛̦̘͇̦̮̩̣̎͂̈̔̎̏̓̀͝ͅl̷̛̞̮̥̦̒̐͊̋̽̌͋̆̿̚̚ͅę̴͚̼͈͌t̷́̌͜’̶̯̗̫̭̼̱̞͓͓͈͎̇̏͒͊́̏͒̈́̑̄͌̽̐͠ͅs̶͈̼̳̗̻̖͇̬̙̦̤̩͚̻̣̀̐ ̸̛͙̻̳̇̈ͅt̴̛̗͎͕͙͍̃͆́̑̕a̵̜͈̔̐̀̏̋͋̀͊͌̀̂̊͝͝l̴̡̮͖͉̼̬̤͇͈̦̝̞͓̩̬̈́̓ķ̴͕̜͈̣͔̯̘̤̗̳̠̆̏́̀̅́͂̍̍̎͐̎͠ ̶̬̝͎͖͚̼͙̣̬̖̞̹̞̥̥̐͆̒̾̃ȧ̶̡̭̻̺̖͍͎̝̟͓̪̖̆̇̉̅̈̊͋͂͝ͅb̶̡̡͉̰̥͙̰͖͖̭̬̯̓̆́̈́̀̄̇̒ͅo̸̫͙̤̺̗̙̐̇͌̄̇̇̒́́͋̎̅͌ű̶̺̱̺͓̀̒̊́̎͐̌ͅẗ̴͉͉̿̈́̾̓͂̆͒͠͝͠ ̴͍̻̲̽͑́̏̃̈́̅͝w̷̨̮̯̮̠̯̗̜̪͍̓͋h̷̢͕̙̙̏̊̾̚͜ǎ̷̰̰̂̈́ț̵̡̨̡̱͕͚̥̙͍̺͚͓͊͌͋͂̃͗͌̽̐͗̄͝ ̷̗̞̺͘Ị̵̼̫͍̪͋̂̓́͆̅͐̑ ̶̯͕͉̖̭̿̿̈́͋̉d̵̡͔̪͓̝͕͑̎̓̇ͅi̸͈͚̠̹̥̖͈̯̯̳̟̞̔̈́͂̓͐̋̓̀̾̈̇̕͠d̴͚͑̈́͒͘n̸̤̟͇̓̚’̶̢̤̗̘̯̭̭̲̩̺͛̀͆̉̆̅̽̃͘͜͝͝͝t̶̛̛̬̼̾͂͗͂̌͒͂̃́̌̕̕͠ ̶̢̛͈̟̝̻͇̦̺̘̘̹̝͐̌͑̆́̚e̵̢̻͔͙̬̫̮͉̋̈̈́̒̽̓̈͑̚̕̚n̸̢̨̝͗̔́̈̍͐͐́̉͝͝ͅj̸̭͉͎̳̈́̅̀̎̓̔͐̃̂͌́̄̈̚ô̶̲͕̭̜̱̗̠̲͇̈̅͋̀̅̏̎̈̀͌̿̕͝ỳ̴̢͋͋͐͗̅̉̇̚͘.̴̣̯̦̓́̑̅̉̕ ̶̢̧̪̠̠͇͔̗̤̜͙̱̞͈̹̽̈̾̔̾̋̏̌͐͘̚F̶̨̦̪̤͖͓̺̙̠͓̖̜̤̈̚ỡ̴̼̑͐̾́͋̀̑̚ř̷̨̡̨̨͇̤̤͙̜̪̫̮͜ͅ ̸̢̡̖͚̪̼̱̗̘̺̭̽̀̏͒́̾̂̄̉͋̚ͅͅͅͅs̴̢̨̯͖̣̜̰̩̪̹͎̫̻̯̖͋͐̀t̴̥͌́̅̔̋͒͌̈́̓̆̾à̴̫̫̭̠͇̺̖̪̻̋̌̄̀̽͑̈́͘r̸̪̞̦̲̅̔̚͠t̴͎̹͉̳̘̟͖͍̥̓̅è̸̢͎̥̘̂̈́̌̽̽͌̕͝r̷̢͕͍̖̝̖̘͍̠̫̞̗̟͙̈́̑̀̇̌̽͝s̴̨̡̟̹̤͙̰͕͕͎͈̣͇̋̀͜,̴̧͂́̀͑͗̅̾͐̚͠͝ ̷̡̧̛̞̟̬̱̹͖̤̉̆̋͗́̆͂͋́͠ḧ̸̯̥̻̠̪́̏̈͒͋͆̉̈́̈́̊͠ȃ̴̛͖̿͂̂̅̑̎̍̎̕͝v̵̡̰͈͔̫̳͔̭̘̔̌͆͒̔̾̓̿i̸̧͖̩͚̱̱͇͎͔̫̍͑̑́̎n̷̮͈̫̮͍̐̏ͅg̶̡̖͓̪̯̱̦̀̓̀͂͊̇͗̀́̓̿̓͘̕͜͠ͅ ̴̧̖̭̗̭̱̭̜̟̾̊͛̀̀̓͌̎͂͝ţ̸̛̼̝͈͉̰̟̖̣̼̇̓͒̇̔̋̎̊h̸̩̥̺̤̗̫̪̗̬͙̣̄͒̑̔͛̇͛̉̽̚̕è̷̢͋͐̀̅͗̓̆͠ ̵̢̻͔͉̙͔̮̳̠̮̓̈́̿̑̆̋̇͗̚͝g̵̨̢̫̟̟̹̺̘͈̯̘̥̭̈́̽̌̂͋̽̈́̕͘͜͜a̸̻̺̼͍͚͇̜̯͛͐̈́̈́͒͛̆m̵͓̼̯̈̆̀̒͌̔̅͒̂̐̏̍̕͝e̵͖̬̓͊̾̀͂͗̓̾̌̑̄̽͐̚͠’̸̫̬̟̣̍s̸̡̭̟̯̱͈̗̼̗̠̱͕̙͒͑̎̌͋̿̊̆̽̿͂̒͘̕͝ ̴͉̥̲̬̦͚̣͉͖̞͌͆̍̔̀b̷̮̥̹͉̰̯̭̈́̔̓̽́̑͑́̉̉í̸̛̱͚̔̽̈́͛͊̅̄̇͠g̵̣̱̟̹̘̰͈͂͗͂̉͐͠ ̸̡̻͓̬͇̰̤̠̃̎̾͋͌̀̏̎͝͝t̴̡̢̗̹̣͙̣̼̞̯̖̻̲͗̓̔́͑̔͐̈͌̔̍̒̚͝w̴̗͚̝͇̝̯̺̏̽̊́ỉ̷̙͕͔̻̲̞͙̩̗̘̣͚͗͐̃̈́͝ŝ̴̢͇̬̣͆́̂̀̇̃͋t̸͙͊̏͗̾͌̍̀͂ ̵̧̖̰̞͖̬̪̭͍̈̽̓̿̾̍̿͐̋͜ś̶̡̹̲̗̒̚p̷̼͚̠̬̭͚͓͉̹͎̱̹̥̰͊̊́͐͗̔̀̿́̕̚͠o̷͔͍̗̮͘į̶͈͓͇̤̩̣̗̖͙͓̗̯̂̔̅̾͐̽́̎̉̍̈ͅļ̶̪̦̬̪͈̯͚͖̥̖̹͍̀̔͆͆̇͋̕ę̴̦͖̱͈̻͚̠̯̭̳̝̜͍̆̈̿̆̽̀̃̿̇͌͊̄ͅḋ̶̨̨̛̛̩͉̤͍̠͖͙̜͓̟͎̎͋͆̃͑̇́̒ ̶̜̼͈̭̭̙͖͙͉̠̑̋͂̀͑͊͛̈́̄̀́͆̕͘͠f̷̝̣̝͕̞̽̐̅͛̌͛̓̚͝͝ő̴̝̙̜̯͉̹̭̎̔̐́̉́̿͂͠r̴̨̬̟͓̠̼̺͎̺̪͔̞͌̓ͅͅͅ ̶̱̼̤̜͍̮̳̺̬̈́̏́͒̈́̈́̈ͅm̸̨̱̰͖̖͍̟̪̥̤̰̎̈̋̓͐̂̈́͑͘͘͝͝ē̷̡͖̱̝̟̰̏̎̇͐̓͠-̵̡̗͓̯͒͗̆̌͆̀͒̎̈́̉͒̽͝
Hey, can you read this?
So Jon was about to spoil a whole lot about Doki Doki Literature Club so I decided to fix that. Hehe… Hope you didn’t mind too much~! This is a game that is best experienced as blindly as possible so… Just promise you’ll give it a shot, ok~?
I̸̛̳̞͍̻̱̽̌͌̋̅́̽͑̎̓̕͝t̶͉͉̭̰̪̦͕͈̻͎͎͔̱̊͘͜͜͠ ̷̢̡̻̳̤̄̄͑͘͝m̵̹͕̬͇̰̱͇̞̩̔͗̄͆͋̔̕̚͠ȁ̵̧̛͈̣͇̖̀͆̆͂̉̈̒̕͠ͅḑ̴̨̹̳͎̤͇̠͌̈̂̏ë̴̛͔̩̭̼̤̬̩̗̻́̈́͗̄̂̄̑́̇͆͝͝ ̷̝̗̗͌̀̏͒̌̅̈́͐̑̎͝f̶̡̧̨̻̞̠̤̥̜̬́̈́̒́͋̆͊̌̿͆̅̚̚ī̸̖̖̤̳͔̞͚̥͙̽̍͠͝͠g̴͎͚̮̦̯̲̦̮̤͉̗̠̞͊̊͋͒̊ừ̶̩̝̩̲̓r̷̹̙̝̺͇͇̹͋̈́͗̈́́̈́̈ȋ̵̧̛̠̥͚͙͈͍̫̪̟̖̘̓͂̽̚͝n̷̆̆ͅg̸̢̮̖̻̘̩̥̗̼͙̲̳̹̉̀̉͜ ̷̢͈̅̈́̇̆̄̄̄͗̓̅̈́͒͝e̵̢̢̖̜͔̖͖͙̲͆͂͒̍̓̋̀͊̈́̌̉̄̕͘v̴̻̀̈́̋̈́́̇̊̀͝ë̴͓̲̤͍̬̜̬̣́r̴̢̪̠̪̙̿̎͘ỷ̷̛̮̘̦̙̃́̈̏̈́͛̓́̏͌͝t̴̬̫̞̯̮̗̱̏͑̓̈́̌͒́̂̀̕͠ͅh̶͈̤͙̾͆̅̾̿̋̊̄̀̕̚͝ͅḭ̷̢̲̲̝̙̍͜͝ń̶̨̘͊̀̀̑̆͂̇͂̓g̴͔̠̦̯̝̮̓̍͛̏ ̶̤̱̮̒̑̂̔͜͝ó̸̡̞̘̥̠͎̤͖̬̲̳̾̃̀́̉̃̈̀̍͘͜u̶̗̯͂̍t̴̨̨͕̻̹͓͚̏̔͌̾ ̷̨̡̧̢̹͙̪̝̟̺̱̓̆̑͆̅̅̄͒́̐̀͘͜͝͠ͅW̴͖̹̏͌͗̅͆̕̚Å̴̛̠̪̈́͊͊̄Y̵͉̏̈͆̆̒̅̒́̂̿̈́̚̕ ̸̨͑͆͜ṭ̴͔̞̓̑̔̂́̿͊͗̀̈́̕͝͠͠͝ṓ̷̥̈́ǒ̴͙̲̙̦̦͎̣͔͍̻̰͑̉͜ ̷͍̙̥̥͓̪̼̳̪̮̰̒̒̄͘͝ȇ̷̺a̴͎͚̤̹͓̿̅̂͋̈́͛̊̃̅s̶͉͙̤͓͔̤͚̙͙̉̑̐̓͝ỳ̴̢͙̪̱̲̣̙̩̿̀̀͑̔̆̈̿́̊͝.̶̟̥̝͕̟̱̠̋͑͆̆͐̎̑̆͘͜.̴̘̯̊͆̿̾͆̓̂̀͝͝.̵͈̮̣̪͍̆
As I stated earlier, this is a game that the developer and Team Salvato really put a lot of love and attention into. Despite how negative parts of this review may sound, I really do encourage you to give Doki Doki Literature Club a shot. I still had a great time with the game and will definitely be investing the $9.99 in “dlc” (more of a tip really for making a good game, but you do get the soundtrack and such) because it really was quite an experience. I’m sure you’ll end up pleasantly surprised!
Have you given Doki Doki Literature Club a shot? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, but please be respectful of people who haven’t played yet. This article is dedicated to Sam C. for his continued Patreon support. I really appreciate it! Consider joining him and donating as well. For full details, just click the button below. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!