Rakuen Image
Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 94 Ratings

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  • Summary: Rakuen is a story-based adventure game about a little Boy who becomes bored with living in a hospital, and eventually asks his mother if she'll escort him to the fantasy world from his favorite storybook. Throughout the game, the Boy begins to learn more about the patients who live aroundRakuen is a story-based adventure game about a little Boy who becomes bored with living in a hospital, and eventually asks his mother if she'll escort him to the fantasy world from his favorite storybook. Throughout the game, the Boy begins to learn more about the patients who live around him. They each have their own secrets and struggles that are mysteriously tied to the strange hospital. In helping those around him, the Boy deals with questions about empathy, hope, and what it means to leave behind a legacy by coming to terms with his own story. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. May 23, 2017
    95
    Don't be fooled by its unassuming facade: Rakuen is a one-of-a-kind adventure that brings tears and smiles in equal measure.
  2. May 12, 2017
    95
    Rakuen gives full range to the power of its truth. It’s thoughtful, beautiful, sad and funny. It presents itself as a childlike narrative game, but it offers unsettling and affirming truths about the way we live. I feel privileged to have spent time with its characters, with their weaknesses and their strengths. This is an extraordinary game.
  3. May 23, 2017
    88
    Like “To the Moon” Rakuen sends you on a bittersweet journey between two worlds, emotionally charged, with clever puzzles and a beautiful soundtrack.
  4. Jun 22, 2017
    87
    Rakuen is the kind of game that makes me want to be a better person. It reminds us that we are all part of a community in some form, and each person in that community has their tale to tell, challenges they struggle to overcome, and a need for some form of companionship. Deeply human, Rakuen visits all sorts of worlds that give insight into what it means to be alive, face loss, and take advantage of the now. I won't soon forget the gift Shigihara has given us, and I have enough here to think about and reflect on for years to come. Thank you.
  5. Jun 1, 2017
    83
    It may have some flaws, but Rakuen really is an adventure worth taking. It successfully executes on modest heartfelt ambitions, and perfectly captures the vision of its creator - a rare occurrence in modern game design.
  6. May 24, 2017
    80
    Rakuen offers all of the emotional themes expected from a game inspired by the excellent To the Moon, including a very good story, a great music, an appealing art design and interesting characters.
  7. Sep 5, 2017
    60
    Without question, Rakuen is an ambitious indie endeavor and I admired many aspects of it—the Boy’s authentic child-like wonder in the face of real human tragedy, the funny and endearing inhabitants of Morizora Forest, and the mystery surrounding the Boy’s hospital stay, to name a few. But my dissatisfaction with the puzzles and ending make the game difficult to wholeheartedly recommend. It really comes down to what kind of game you’re in the mood for. If you want a game that’s mostly story, then the number and type of puzzles in Rakuen will likely turn you off. If you’re looking for more of a story-puzzle balance regardless of how well the two are integrated, you’ll probably have a better time with Rakuen than I did. And if you’re in the mood for a game to make you cry—well, this one will, I guarantee it. I just can’t promise it’ll be the catharsis you’re looking for.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Apr 24, 2020
    10
    Real RPG with all positives and negatives. For me in real rpg there is too much searching and to much dialog. What is most interesting aboutReal RPG with all positives and negatives. For me in real rpg there is too much searching and to much dialog. What is most interesting about this game? Five stories told in a pretty unexpected way. There are two worlds the real one and fantasy world. In both of these worlds you find same characters. Each story contains realistic and fantasy elements. All of this is sewed together and adds deepness, colour, understoodment of characters. Nice storytelling. Thanks for release. Expand
  2. Feb 2, 2019
    10
    This game truly is amazing. It has everything an amazing game should need. Fun enough gameplay. An amazing story that in my opinion canThis game truly is amazing. It has everything an amazing game should need. Fun enough gameplay. An amazing story that in my opinion can compete with Oscar winning films. The beginning of the game is slow, but it allows us to get a grasp on the amazing world that Laura Shigihara has created. The latter end of the game is something only the Gods could’ve made, because it was extremely beautiful. The music is superb, it’s what drives the story from amazing to masterpiece. The game’s plot looks very childish at first, as you are in the eyes of a young child who has recently gone to the hospital and soon entering a magical world, but this game gets deep and very mature during certain story arcs in the characters you meet, dwelling on death, child abuse, loss of loved ones and diseases. Truly an amazing game. Expand
  3. Jul 1, 2017
    10
    A beautiful game that disguises itself as a children's story, but in reality touches upon some deeply mature themes (dementia, spousal/childA beautiful game that disguises itself as a children's story, but in reality touches upon some deeply mature themes (dementia, spousal/child abuse, racism, loss, etc.). The part I found the most remarkable, was how much the game made me feel as though I was looking at all of these themes through the eyes of a child. I experienced a sense of wonder, vigilance, fear, loneliness, humor, and everything in between; all the while getting to know a cast of very interesting characters. The writing was very effective in that each character, each news clipping, each narrative element felt as though it had its own distinct and realistic voice. Even the most obscure NPCs had entertaining dialogue worthy of being read. The soundtrack is excellent; some tracks are complex and mysterious (Spirit Envoy, The Keepers), some are bittersweet and perfectly simple to match their purpose (My Little Girl, Yours). The puzzles are cleverly intertwined with the gameplay and narrative (when I realized the meaning behind the anagram puzzle in Gemma's section, I got chills).

    In reality, I would rate this game a 9 or 9.5 because of the limitations that come with rpg maker (which I believe the game was made in). You can't change the screen resolution from 640 x 480, controller support is just alright, etc. However, none of these things actually detracted from the overall experience. The reason I gave the game a 10 (as opposed to a 9 or 9.5) is because I've found that user rating on Metacritic seems to be quite binary. 10 means you recommend the game, 0 means you don't (or that you're trying to lower the overall score by giving a more drastic, but unfair rating). I think this is a good reason Metacritic should implement a thumbs up/thumbs down system and display the percentage of users who recommend the game, as it's a more accurate reflection of how the population has received the game.
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  4. Aug 17, 2020
    10
    It's that moment when you don't want to write a review or pros/cons.

    Everything is great in this game. It's relatively simple, but the
    It's that moment when you don't want to write a review or pros/cons.

    Everything is great in this game. It's relatively simple, but the topics it raises are very... Very complicated.
    This is the most touching story about death I've ever played in my life.

    It would be perfect to play with your child.
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  5. May 29, 2017
    10
    The game is simply amazing. The characters are remarkable, every one of them especially onion. This world created by Laura feels so warm andThe game is simply amazing. The characters are remarkable, every one of them especially onion. This world created by Laura feels so warm and entertaining. I'm glad that I was able to experience this story, I think it's impossible to ever forget what you saw there, once you entered Rakuen. Expand
  6. Jun 24, 2017
    10
    An excellent indie game that has an amazing soundtrack. The story is transcendental and is guaranteed to make you cry. And the artwork is topAn excellent indie game that has an amazing soundtrack. The story is transcendental and is guaranteed to make you cry. And the artwork is top notch. You can't go wrong with Rakuen. Expand
  7. Jul 1, 2017
    8
    I'm actually rating this higher than it felt like for me for an interesting reason: the way the game tries to convey emotions doesn't work forI'm actually rating this higher than it felt like for me for an interesting reason: the way the game tries to convey emotions doesn't work for me, but many people have reported that it DOES work. I can't say I know for sure why this is the case, but it apparently is.

    I doubt I'm the only person like this, so I'll say that it might not impact you the way it's intended, and it might come across as a little blah. But for most people, it should be quite the experience.

    Even without that kind of experience, I do find it a cute game with a good soundtrack. Far from perfect, but still enjoyable, and still very good for a developer's first published game.
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See all 15 User Reviews