Mothmen 1966 Review – A Short But Inspired Visual Novel With A Retro Aesthetic – GAMING TREND

It’s hard to escape the myth of the Mothman if you grew up in West Virginia. Whether or not most citizens believe the myth is irrelevant – it’s part of our culture; our supernatural claim to fame. While Mothman’s story is marked by bad omens, sightings of winged creatures, men in black, and ultimately culminates in a horrific bridge collapse just before Christmas 1967, it still resonates with the people of the state. Was he an Angel sent to warn us? Or a spirit sent to punish us? I’m not one to follow the supernatural, but as a West Virginian, I’ve had my picture taken several times with the infamous Mothman statue, visited the Mothman Museum, and even attended a lecture by John Keel, the author of Mothman’s Prophecies and I was lucky enough to meet him afterwards – so to say I jumped at the chance to review a game set during that specific time is an understatement.

Mothmen 1966 is considered a visual novel, a game that allows players to sometimes interact with the story by making dialogue choices or participating in mini-games, but essentially the player is meant to just experience the story that the creators decided to tell with a minimum of real time. gameplay aspects, at least in the traditional sense. For a visual novel to work, the story and characters have to be intriguing – thankfully Hold, Lee and Victoria are more than capable of carrying this tale.

Set on a night in 1966 when a Leonid meteor shower is about to occur – the largest in 100 years – Mothmen 1966 follows three characters whose stories intertwine. Holt, a gas station owner who spends his free time caring for his grandmother and reassembling an old wartime machine gun; Lee, an intern at a local university; and Victoria, a historian and currently in a relationship with Lee. Of the three, Victoria is by far the most fleshed out, bristling with conflicting emotions about love, life, and her career. Torn between the desire for stability and to settle down and the need to escape and throw caution to the wind. It’s a shame that we spend so little time with these characters, because the whole adventure lasts a maximum of two hours. There are other characters that come and go, though talking about them will reveal parts of the story for the player to uncover.

The story is told in chapters, with each chapter told through one of the main character’s three eyes. Well-written and fast-paced, the story holds your attention by introducing new characters and yes – the legendary Mothman himself – as it unfolds. In his heart, Mothmen 1966 is a mystery – letting the player decide the meaning of the events that happen and why they happen, but at the same time he has to sacrifice some of that mysterious charm to run mini-games to keep the player engaged.

Mini-games and puzzles are sporadic and vary widely depending on what is required of the player. A few are simple – like sorting through a shelf – and exist to put the player in the shoes of the protagonist for a while while fleshing out the story. Others, like battling a pack of wolves or fending off nightmarish creatures, pose some risk to the story, allowing characters to die – though these sections should be repeated until the correct solution is found and the characters manage to escape unscathed. Additionally, there are plenty of instances where you’re allowed to choose what a player says or how they react, unlocking new dialogue choices and giving players a reason to play again after they finish.

I was frustrated with the lack of options to complete a task during the most intense scenes, as most actions must be completed in a specific order to avoid instant death. I had hoped that the game would allow me to take different paths to complete a scenario, but aside from events happening slightly differently in subsequent playthroughs, there seems to be only one correct pattern to escape any situation. dangerous. That said, I’ve always enjoyed these sections, and many times they were well used to flesh out an event in a way that pure dialogue alone couldn’t.

Like any good visual novel, the script is Mothmen 1966 the greatest asset, and moves at a brisk pace, introducing characters and storylines in a quick manner while also allowing moments for the characters – especially Victoria – to be fleshed out. To say too much about the story would ruin the experience and all I can do is recommend anyone interested in the paranormal check out this short but interesting story.

The story is told through on-screen dialogue, retro (mostly static) graphics with occasional moving sprints, and appropriately creepy music. The art style is fantastical, yet understated, brimming with the charm of early comics and pulp fiction. There’s no voiceover work and few sound effects, other than occasional beeps to mimic the sound of a dog barking or other objects, but the feel of the story is never affected by this – it is instead enhanced by the retro aesthetic.

Unfortunately, the story is rather short and ends a bit abruptly, which is only amplified by the great build-up and attachment you create to the characters, only for the story to rush through a jam-packed ending. action that doesn’t necessarily mesh with the rest of the story and leaves little room in terms of a satisfying epilogue to events, though that may have been intentional as I could see this series continuing.

Mothmen 1966 is a gripping story about how three characters react when brought into contact with the paranormal. Fast-paced and featuring fleshed-out characters, the story only falters as it nears its action-packed ending. The retro aesthetic brims with charm and helps elevate the story, while the simple puzzles and gameplay sections allow players to take a break from reading to become active participants in the story. Just two hours long, Mothmen 1966 is a no-brainer for those interested in the paranormal.

—Richard Allen

Richard Allen is a freelance writer and contributing editor to various publications. When he’s not writing for Gaming Trend, you can find him covering theater for Broadway World, film and TV for Fandomize, or working on original stories. Passionate about retro games, he is too obsessed with Dragon’s Lair. Chat with him via @thricetheartist on Twitter and @richardallenwrites on Facebook and Instagram.

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