User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 9 out of 28

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  1. Mar 30, 2014
    3
    This game has an interesting idea (balancing between needs of 3 family members) - and this may seem interesting when you read a review or a description of this game. But in reality, the game is horribly, painfully slow to play. You have to move around the house at walk speed (no way to run, Shift just doesn't exist here as RUN key, and possessing all those lights is just too clumsy as way of movement because each time you exit the light source you face in a such a direction that you lose orientation for a while, which loses time and makes the jumps useless). Every chapter, you have to re-search the whole house for objects with which you can interact - which you can find out only by coming very close to an object, which means you basically need to crawl each wall of the whole house like a cockroach, looking at the bottom of the screen to notice when some object can be interacted with. This search you must do basically once for general clues, then 3 times in memories of each of the characters. Each day the selection and sometimes positions of interactive objects change, so yes, you do have to re-search the whole house at least 4 times (or more, if you miss some object) every chapter. That's what this game basically is about, nothing more, as this crawling process takes 90% of playing time (9% for reading and 1% for thinking on your decisions).

    Now, on the second day I didn't understand that selecting Fishing rods means actually continuing on the book. I though the main character wants to have a rest and go fishing, so I considered, to hell with his rest, now that's the book is progressing well it's time to tend to the wife. But no - it turns out now he is late with the book again because Fishing rods meant he would talk to a friend who is a writer, too, and will progress with the book. It's not that I made a wrong choice - the choice itself was mistakenly formulated by the game. At this point I wanted to re-load chapter 2 and change my selection because obviously I didn't understand what was meant by the text. But you CAN'T RELOAD. Ok, I had to start the whole game over. But right after 2 mins of walking YET AGAIN across this house and collecting all those objects yet again, I was annoyed so much that I simply quit. What's the point anyway..

    Skip on this. It's a waste of money. The author certainly has no idea of what games are or what "gameplay" means in general. "Indie" don't mean this, indie is Braid or Limbo which are games. But this is not a game.

    Adding all this 3D and walking around was a mistake. This game could work much better as a 2D Flash game where you just see a list of what each character wants, together with all clues as a clickable list or maybe just as one 2D screen with clickable objects. Then you pick Need 1 and 2 to fill, day finished. Next day. This way it would be story only, no fuss, and the game would take 15 mins in total to complete. But wait, it would be crap, right? It won't be a game at all. There just isn't enough to call it a game. So, the author went ahead and inserted lots and lots of walking between reading clues. Did it save the situation? Not at all, it just made it worse... I'm annoyed because the game itself is so much worse than its reviews everywhere. A promising concept with awful execution.
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  2. Apr 28, 2014
    3
    This game clocks in at just shy of 2 hours. Most of that time is spent crawling all over the same map, over and over again, searching for "clues" while trying not to get detected by the humans. In nine chapters, you will search one single confined map as many as 36 times for roughly 135 clues - and that's the entire game. You find 135 bits of trash and make nine decisions, choosing each time from six possible alternatives. That is the entire "game;" much like To The Moon, this is a visual novel, not anything a normal person would describe as a game. Frankly, I don't see why this has gotten such accolades.

    The execution is plodding to say the least; when I said most of your time will be spent "crawling" over the map, I wasn't kidding - the player's movement speed is agonizingly slow; learning to blink most effectively from one light fixture to the next is necessary just to pick up the pace a little.

    As one tabletop gamer's wife once observed, "it's twenty minutes of fun packed into four hours."
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Metascore
66

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Apr 13, 2014
    65
    While extremely repetitive, this game guarantees great immersion thanks to a lot different choices that will have positive or negative outcomes and that will make us real protagonists of this maybe too short adventure.
  2. Mar 26, 2014
    71
    A relatable game about a common truth: that true happiness is hard to find. [Apr 2014, p.89]
  3. Feb 17, 2014
    70
    The Novelist is a narrative adventure game that has a few flaws, but offers a unique and interesting story, where you can decide to help a father, his whife or his kid, depending the situations, to eventually help them all.