Developer – Philip Aldous
Length – <2 Hours
A little while ago I received a message on Twitter reading “How exactly do you market a Visual Novel, if it doesn’t have any visuals?”, with a link to a product page for Angel in the Dark . To be honest, I thought that was a pretty good way to go about it. The novel is short and sweet, so this review won’t be overly long either, but it was an interesting distraction that might be worth checking out if the gimmick catches your eye (or doesn’t, as the case may be). Perhaps the best feature should become apparent if you visit the novel’s page: It’s free.
The story features you, as the protagonist, waking up in what appears to be a cave devoid of light. You feel terrible, with a pounding head and battered body, and the only consolation is that another person appears to be trapped with you so that you are not quite alone in the dark. As the two of you stumble through the cavern the mystery of who or what might have brought you there weighs heavily on your mind.
The first thing I really liked is that the novel asks you to input your name for the protagonist’s. It only works because the novel isn’t voiced but it’s used to good effect throughout the story. While I can’t say I was ever scared despite Angel in the Dark’s genre ostensibly being horror, the writing style used made it easy to fall in with events and become engrossed with trying to guess how everything was going to turn out. Additionally, the sound effects and font choice went a long way towards creating the atmosphere the VN was aiming for.
That all said, Angel in the Dark is very, very short and its story doesn’t do anything I haven’t seen before. Nothing truly surprised me while I was playing. This is not a visual novel that features in-depth character development or in fact anything beyond the writing on the box, nor is it one that will change your world view from here on out.
Summary – Angel in the Dark is more like an exploration of what can be achieved in the visual novel medium without visuals than a visual novel in itself, and if you look at it that way it does a fantastic job. The writing style is pleasant and the concept is interesting enough that I finished all four of its endings without ever becoming bored. However, it doesn’t leave any sort of impact once all is over and done with, so if you’re after anything more than a short but intriguing aside, the low, low price of free may not be enough to make it worth your time.
Score: 7/10 – Enjoyable