The Novelist PC

User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 34
  2. Negative: 10 out of 34

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  1. Dec 10, 2013
    9
    A game of difficult choices and the juggling of life, family, and work. The Novelist brings excellent storytelling backed up with good visuals, solid if simplistic mechanics, and passable sound for a uniquely interesting tale of the struggle of keeping it all.
  2. May 8, 2014
    9
    What an amazing new direction in gaming! I felt so attached to the characters and their relationships and that made it that much harder to decide who should get what they want every chapter. At times, I found myself burying my head in my hands as I clicked the button.

    I've never played a game like it. The closest thing is the Sims in that the characters live relatively normal lives but
    What an amazing new direction in gaming! I felt so attached to the characters and their relationships and that made it that much harder to decide who should get what they want every chapter. At times, I found myself burying my head in my hands as I clicked the button.

    I've never played a game like it. The closest thing is the Sims in that the characters live relatively normal lives but it really is not the same. The characters come to you with a complex back story and it just feels so organic. Dare I say it, it almost feels like a privilege to be let into these people(who aren't even people)'s lives.
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  3. Dec 20, 2013
    8
    This is one of the most unique and satisfying gaming experiences I've had in a while. I've always been drawn to games that were more story-driven, and there's been a recent wave of indie games designed to scratch exactly that itch. The plot is compelling enough, albeit a bit mundane. The forced-choice scenarios at the end of each chapter draw you in emotionally, and I found myselfThis is one of the most unique and satisfying gaming experiences I've had in a while. I've always been drawn to games that were more story-driven, and there's been a recent wave of indie games designed to scratch exactly that itch. The plot is compelling enough, albeit a bit mundane. The forced-choice scenarios at the end of each chapter draw you in emotionally, and I found myself genuinely struggling with some decisions. There are a few things I would change snooping around the same house over and over for clues got to be a bit tedious. The stealth mechanic did help mediate this quite a bit, although I think they could have made it much more challenging. Only twice in the entire game did I unintentionally "spook" a character. I'm not sure how the game will hold up during subsequent replays, but I'm already looking forward to my next play-through. The Novelist isn't perfect, but it's easily worth your attention. Moreover, it represents an exciting trend in story-driven indie gaming, one that I'd like to see explored further in the coming year. Expand
  4. Dec 29, 2014
    8
    The Novelist is a breath of fresh air in an industry that's getting clogged up with repetitive money-grabbers. Though that's not to say it's without it's flaws.

    The Novelist is about a family of three: Dan, Linda, and Tommy. Tommy being the son of the other two. The story follows the three of them around their new, secluded home while they run into conflicts and the game throws hints
    The Novelist is a breath of fresh air in an industry that's getting clogged up with repetitive money-grabbers. Though that's not to say it's without it's flaws.

    The Novelist is about a family of three: Dan, Linda, and Tommy. Tommy being the son of the other two. The story follows the three of them around their new, secluded home while they run into conflicts and the game throws hints your way to let you in on what each character is thinking and how THEY want things to go in the next few days. It's then your job to fulfill the wish of one or two of them, but there is always that third character's wish that is forgotten about.

    The game does get repetitive; many visual "hints" are even repeated across levels, and all other hints are in the form of writing on paper; there really isn't much variety. But the story-telling is top-notch, even down to the camera angles. It's a very fresh looking game as well, very polished and sure of it's art direction.

    The game focuses on relationship conflicts and time-management as well as compromises; will you be selfish and make sure Dan's book is a best-seller? Or will you spread your love and sacrifice your career for your loving family? Personally I love looking at emotions and feelings and relationships like this game explores, but I understand how it's not for everybody.

    The Novelist lasts about two hours--it's short, yes--but I believe game length doesn't matter, it's the experience you have while you played the game and the memories it left with you for the rest of your life, and for that, I give The Novelist a slightly generous 8/10.
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  5. Jan 3, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really loved The Novelist's focus on story telling, just letting the player exist in a small but well built and well thought out world at a time when a normal family is standing on the precipice of great change in their own lives, and I think the small scale is important. Your choices don't decide the fate of a city or a nation, just a small, three-person family that almost any player can fit themselves into and appreciate and the level of intimacy that it brings gives weight to the choices before you even invest the characters as people.
    The only major problem I had with the game was that I wish it was more of a game, the story could have been told through a text-based or hidden object and would have lost very little for me. On a more minor note, despite having power over the entire family's future I felt irrelevant in the game, like a bystander (which may be the point?). It would have been nice to be able to act to influence the family by maybe hiding Linda's mother's letter that makes her worry about her parent's relationship before she reads it, or to directly leave Dan's notebook somewhere he could find it. Anything to give me, as a player, a feeling of agency in the game.
    In all The Novelist is extremely refreshing to play after so many action-heavy games and being "the prophesied one" or "the hero".
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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.