Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critic Reviews

Critic 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. Dec 21, 2017
    87
    An emotionally addictive adventure with simple gameplay. Its moving story will stay with you for a long time.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Jul 10, 2017
    70
    There's no denying that Rakuen has some incredibly strong components. At the same time, it's hard to shake its more basic shortcomings, be it the technical limits of its engine or the plodding exploration. Its most brilliant and glowing scenes stand out and stick with you, but Rakuen remains just a dose or two short of healthy.
  9. 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.
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  1. I adore this. I am so frustrated that it’s very hard to convince people to pick up an RPGMaker game, so I’m also very relieved it has the To The Moon alumni tag that will hopefully convince people to grab it. Grab it you absolutely should. Yes, it’s maudlin in places, and yes, it’s undeniably a bit twee, but it earns the right to be by being just so good.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 98
  2. Negative: 13 out of 98
  1. 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.
    Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  3. 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. Full Review »