Doki Doki Literature Club

Yes, I know, it sounds insipid, but give me a chance to sell this. Doki Doki Literature Club is a game I stumbled across the other day. It’s free on Steam, and the author has a tip jar if you decide you like the game enough. Anyway, the game ostensibly falls into the dreaded genre of the dating sim – an electronic “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style game in which you attempt to romance one out of a number of potential partners.

Ostensibly was the most important in that last sentence. A better clue about the true nature of the game can be found in the many content warnings the developer has included in the game:

I’m not going to spoil anything about what the game is actually about. This is something that you’re best to go in as blind as possible, so don’t google the game or read any reviews or anything. You can easily get into the meat of the game within an hour or two of playing, so it’s not a big time investment (and again, it’s free!).

Anyway, give it a try. I’ve not explored all of the nooks and crannies of the game yet, but it’s been a super fun ride so far.

JRPGs. :dubious: <shudder>

Is there any other translation for doki 時 other than “time”?

It’s not a JRPG. It’s not even a game from Japan, in fact. It just apes the cutesy tropes of a dating sim to set up the actual game.

Apparently it’s a common sound effect in romantic Japanese media to signify that a character’s heart is racing. And wow, I just got the significance of the title now and it’s perfect. Every aspect of this game is so well thought out. Seriously guys, just give the game a try; it’ll only take about an hour to get past the cutesy intro and to get into what the game is really about.

I played it last night. It was a very tedious hour (at least).

The concept for what followed that hour was interesting. But I was ultimately disappointed. It didn’t cause any strong reaction in me. And I really like games that do what it was trying to do.

Maybe if I was at least neutral to the dating sim part I’d rate it differently. But I was forcing myself through it to get to the good stuff, which increased how good that had to be to make up for the boring stuff. And it just ended up being kind of interesting stuff mixed in with boring stuff.

It’s an onomatopoeia for excitement (either romantic excitement or just general happiness - you could use it for kids running around the yard, for example) which, as Rysto points out, derives from one’s heart beating. it would only be written in katakana - ドキドキ.

And count me in with: JRPGs shudder

Downloading it to give it a try.

Worth it, even if it does horrible things to my Steam homepage.

I found the beginning part you describe to be boring also (if that’s what dating sims are, I’m sure glad I’ve never played them), but once through that, I thought the payoff was extraordinary. Without spoiling, I thought the game was creative, intelligent, well written, disturbing, and self-reflective. Although the beginning was overlong, it set a tone that served the function of the game very well, and outside of that, I was very impressed with it. It is one of the few games I’ve played that made me research alternative endings, secrets, and easter eggs related to it.