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(3 edits) (+6)

This is a positive review, but I HAVE to say: This vn is honestly not for the faint of heart. I think it's kind of hilarious because the comments so far barely suggest this and I was sorely underprepared to read some content to the extent it was described in front of my friends. I had to pause several times during the nonfiction review bit of the game to not overflow with tears and genuinely break apart. It can feel like you are experiencing trauma after trauma and your only recourse is to keep going or turn away. The additional warning updates were added after my read, lol.

That said, I'm grateful for the experience. There's a deeply haunting kind of introspection from the characters in a way I would not have expected, mainly because everyone's characterization is as regular people, so you do not see it coming. But it touches on beautiful things in the attempt to reconcile these deeper problems. Teddie's hit way too close to home for me in several ways, so I can't properly praise it (though it deserves praise), but Orion's story had such a revelation during the [SPOILER START///] Alcoholics Anonymous in which they pretended to be an alcoholic and made their troubled girlfriend's stories their own [///SPOILER END] that I honestly can't get over it (in a great way). It's brilliant. (Does leafo not have spoiler tags yet? Jesus.)

I'm grateful that Luella's story was told, and that I didn't find it as intense (a much-needed break) but it was incredibly relatable.

Anyway, for a little critique, the writing at times feels rough and could do with some polish and flow, maybe some tone adjustments here and there from Nate and Luella or a little more clarity. At times it felt like Luella's reactions were disproportionate against specifically Nate up until he said what was for me anyway a mildly-infuriating line (the "crazy" bit, which anyone who says this gets what's coming to them) and  approached. I couldn't tell if the intention was that Luella is meant to be this disproportionate considering her infatuation addiction is also an extreme, so anything shy of that is grounds for aggressive monologue? If Nate was more outwardly a cocky dumpster and the boys were more heckling, I'd get it more.

Ultimately for a one-month jam game, this was wonderful. I will not be revisiting this any time soon, lmao, but these stories are now with me. Also I love loving petty crime.