htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

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  • Summary: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary focuses on Mion, a young girl with amnesia who is lost in labrynthine ruin. Unclear of where to go, Mion follows two fireflies – one light, one dark — as they guide her through the maze. Players manipulate the fireflies using the PS Vita’s touch controls, leadinghtoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary focuses on Mion, a young girl with amnesia who is lost in labrynthine ruin. Unclear of where to go, Mion follows two fireflies – one light, one dark — as they guide her through the maze. Players manipulate the fireflies using the PS Vita’s touch controls, leading Mion through the World of Light and the World of Shadow. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. 90
    A game that offers a brutally dark theme and sheer precision with its atmospherics, combined with incredibly difficult, but incredibly well designed puzzles to overcome. The result is a visionary project that might not resonate with every player, but everyone should try it because if it does resonate, then it's going to be an unforgettable experience.
  2. Feb 24, 2015
    Although htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary is cursed with a flawed control scheme, the total package did enough to keep me intrigued throughout.
  3. Apr 17, 2015
    In all, htoL#NiQ is a decent platformer that is wrapped in a truly beautiful and terrifying experience.
  4. Feb 23, 2015
    I won't lie: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary feels like an ordeal to play, but it is worth noting that historically, surviving an ordeal was often taken as a sign of being blessed by a higher power. That notion may appeal to some types of players, and it's they who'll find the fun in this gorgeous, cruel game. Everyone else should just hang back and ask how it went.
  5. Mar 3, 2015
    The core experience of this game is beautiful, but it becomes frustrating because of the control system. If you can get over these issues, you might find a surprising adventure.
  6. Feb 23, 2015
    For as great as The Firefly Diary looks it’s really unfortunate that the gameplay can be so frustrating. Cheap deaths, unresponsive touch controls, and a number of other smaller annoyances really hurt my experience with the game by the time it was all said and done.
  7. Feb 23, 2015
    htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary has an interesting story and some decent art, but the touch controls and trial and error puzzles make it a hateful affair.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Aug 23, 2021
    I was nervous about going into this game because I had never played a horror game before. Fortunately, this game is about building atmosphereI was nervous about going into this game because I had never played a horror game before. Fortunately, this game is about building atmosphere rather than being actually scary, so for people who prefer to avoid scary stuff like me it's a perfectly suitable game. That's not to say the game isn't spooky, it can get very dark and can be pretty disturbing. The story is really good despite there not being any text. It can be pretty confusing but I love the idea of finding memories to slowly uncover what happened. The presentation is also amazing. The hand-drawn look of the game is beautiful to look at, and the music and sound design perfectly builds the atmosphere for a quiet but tense experience. When it comes to the gameplay, the game shines just as much. Some people won't like the tough trial and error gameplay loop, but I love it. It feels incredibly rewarding to figure out your way through a hard section, and the level design is some of the most creative I've seen in recent years. The game does what a lot of platformers fail to do: keep things interesting. It constantly introduces new mechanics, and also finds way to keep them interesting without getting old. I'm a huge fan of Nippon Ichi Software games, and this is definitely up there as one of the most memorable ones. The director of this game also made 2 other games after this: A Rose in the Twilight and Void Terrarium. It's better than Rose but not as good as Void. If I were to score these three games based on a score out of 100 Rose would get an 84, NiQ an 88, and Void a 95. I really hope we get news of a 4th game soon, I bet it will be just as amazing as the first three. (Technically there is a 4th game but it's a Japan exclusive). The moral of the story: this game is amazing but PLAY VOID TERRARIUM! I could gush about it for paragraphs, but I already did a review on how amazing it is. Expand
  2. Dec 13, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game gives me the different kind of chill. The decent art with the dark atmosphere, the deadly traps and monsters, and the music. The memory fragments are kind of tricky, which is worth to replay the game to collect all of them. Normal puzzle games make you go all kind of places to find things and read stuffs, but The Firefly Diary requires your skills, quick reaction and right timing which are something I like. Cute Mion is the reason I keep playing this despair game because I cannot allow to see her never be saved by my own hands (funny is in the artbook limited edition, the book says quite the same thing about Mion).
    When you actually try to figure it out what the hell is wrong in this game, you try to find each memory fragment and the truth about Mion and the world she lives. When you collect everything, each chapter makes sense to you. Like the boss in chapter 2, the forest and Mion's corpses in chapter 3, the plants can kill shadow monsters, and the shadow parents. When I understand that, it makes me feel this game is better than I thought, NIS shapes the game perfectly.

    To make the game less fearsome like trying to collect all memory fragments but you really hate to go through 100% the game, you can select chapter and specific area to find them. For example, I didn't know there was a fragment inside the box hanging in 1-3, so I go to select chapter 1 -> 1-3 to find it, then u can select other area like 2-2 to continue your searching without going through the whole nightmare (Also to skip sometime to unlock secret place).

    The cons of this game are the controlling in either the touching screen or the joystick are really getting my nerve sometimes (especially when I have to guide Lumen out of her dead zone). Puzzles of this game is its strong and also weak point. Several places when you need to be extremely careful can kill you a dozen of time before you can proceed further. In fact, there's a high chance that you need to die before you can solve the puzzle.

    Those reviewers who give the game bad scores is because they are impatient about the controlling system and the puzzle. You can't accuse a horse is bad because you can't ride on it when you don't have the skill and try to spend time to train. In my opinion, I feel they try to make the game look bad. Mion is slow because she is a young frail little girl in a dreadful place. When you actually finish the game, you can make sense why she's slow + fast pace is not what this game made of.

    In my conclusion, it's a strange horror puzzle game that you, who are reading this review should try. For anyone who is emotional, you would try to finish the game 100% story, and the same for anyone who is like me, doesn't want to abandon Mion. This game has no text but you can figure out everything. One thing I want to say after I finish the game is "Screw the war".
  3. Feb 24, 2015
    Most "professional" (check the air quotes) reviewers are giving it a bad score on this game because of the "touchscreen-only" controls inMost "professional" (check the air quotes) reviewers are giving it a bad score on this game because of the "touchscreen-only" controls in despite you can easily switch the control schemes (C scheme for analog controls) in the options.

    However, htoL#NiQ is a game that focuses primarily in trial-and-errors, pretty much like Limbo, which is also available on Vita and have a great artstyle too. If you liked this kind of game however, then you'll definitively love htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary.
  4. Feb 25, 2015
    Full Review from Middle of Nowhere Gaming, by Lou Contaldi
    When it comes to developing and planning
    Full Review from Middle of Nowhere Gaming, by Lou Contaldi
    When it comes to developing and planning video games, the puzzle genre is arguably the hardest to nail. It requires balancing the intellect of your audience with the difficulty of the puzzle — a proper puzzle will give players the pieces needed, challenge them, and bring an “Aha!” moment to tie everything together. While nearly all puzzle games make or break it based on the puzzles, htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary for PlayStation Vita is made artificially difficult by the plodding controls, making for one of the more painful games in recent memory.

    The Firefly Diary has a beautifully realized atmosphere with a complimenting creepy story. With a very minor inspiration from Limbo, a little girl named Mion wakes up with no memory of where or who she is. Guided by a green firefly and a purple one that lurks in the shadows, you are tasked to guide her out of the post-apocalyptic waste and find her family, all the while picking up hidden memory fragments to explain the disappearance. That all sounds great, right? Well it is! The first chapter is an absolute joy as the game introduces the mechanics while slightly ramping up the difficulty.

    Unfortunately, those same mechanics begin torturing the title before it hits its stride. For some reason beyond my comprehension, Nippon Ichi Software decided to use the front touch-screen and rear-facing touch-screen as the default controls for the game. With the front touch-screen, you guide Mion around with the green firefly, controlling her movement in a “follow the leader” fashion. With the rear-facing touch-screen, players shift to the shadow world to interact with a variety of puzzles.

    Ignoring the way-too-common accidental touch of the back screen (which pauses the entire game), the sensitivity, the slow pace of Mion, and the sheer difficulty of movement that follows was more rage-inducing than any of the puzzles within. To name one (of many) examples, early into the game you are tasked with navigating a complex maze using the front touch-screen — a nearly impossible task for me and the three friends I asked to help. When push comes to shove, the touch-screen control scheme quickly dissolves into an unplayable mess.

    Luckily, players are given the option to swap controls to a traditional twin-stick/button format (both on the PlayStation Vita and the PlayStation TV). Unfortunately, there was not much of an improvement; instead of spending 40 minutes on a puzzle, it may only take 15. An arbitrarily difficult, painstaking 15 minutes. Very rarely did I have to restart because of actual confusion of the puzzle; instead it was the sheer navigating difficulty which artificially made each 20 second puzzle hard.

    I can’t say that I beat the game — while I gave it my full attention and sank hours into it with varying control settings with different systems, eventually the game became too difficult to get past sections (somewhere in Chapter 4). It was like hitting your head against a cement wall trying to break it down. After long enough sessions, it may eventually crack and be an achievement to the few people committing themselves to the torture. However, many of us on the sideline are sitting there wondering “What’s the point?”

    At the end of the day, htoL#niQ: The Firefly Diary is a beautiful setting with a fascinating story, complex gameplay mechanic, and interesting puzzles. However, htoL#NiQ is a prime example of how poor controls jeopardize an otherwise good game. While all of the positive aspects had me chomping on the bit to play more, my interest would wane after each and every unnecessary death. What could have been a challenging two or three-hour game was rendered nearly unplayable due to odd design choices, plodding controls, and poor level design. It is clear that there were some terrific concepts, both art and gameplay, that were created for this game — somehow they just got lost on the way.