When seven people fall prey to a vicious curse, they will discover that horror rests not from the shadows lurking about, but within themselves. To what ends would you go in order to survive?
About the game
The Letter is an interactive, horror/drama visual novel inspired by classic Asian horror films, Ju-ON: The Grudge and The Ring. Told through an immersive branching narrative, the game puts the players into the shoes of seven characters as they find themselves falling prey to a vicious curse plaguing the Ermengarde Mansion for centuries.
In this game, your choices will shape and drive the story forward: will you mend a relationship on the verge of collapse, or will you let it fall apart? Will you risk saving them, despite the consequences, or leave them to die a gruesome death? The fate of all the characters is in your hands.
Being a hardcore visual novel in The Letter you can expect to read a lot. Apart from horror, the game puts heavy emphasis on relationships and character development. It features storytelling with seven chapters, spanning over 700,000 words across all routes. And there are seven playable characters with varying personality and approach to difficult situations. You should keep in mind that your choices heavily affect the story. And luckily for the English speakers there is an option for English Voice Acting. So you can read or listen with ease. The beautifully painted art style and the animated backgrounds bring this visual novel to a next level. There are over 80 backgrounds, 100 CGs and 50 Epilogue CGs. Music is another very important feature in The Letter. There are original soundtracks, with an opening, an ending and true ending theme songs. And Lastly if you forget a part of the story you can always go back and read it in a journal that narrates the events in chronological order, and jots down the clues found about the Ermengarde Mansion.
This is probably the highest quality visual novel I have ever seen. The graphics are so well done and the sceneries are always vivid and dynamic. Everything is just so beautiful. I really love this art style. It is a bit more of a realistic type of style than your typical “anime” visual novel. I was amazed by the dynamic backgrounds and the animated parts that make it feel more interesting and alive.
I enjoy the story and the characters. The way the endings can be so different makes your choices really matter. It makes you feel as if the characters lives are in your hands and you control their fate. The story is told from the point of view of many characters, each having a slightly different perspective on the same events. The best part is that no matter how many times you replay the same events you never hear or see the same things. The writing is amazing and really flows well with the dynamic of what’s going on. The sounds also fits it very well. The visuals looked great but I had no clue the story would live up to my expectations.
The game uses a graphical chart, which shows where you branched off on each character’s story arc. This gets even more complicated when you consider that you’re playing more than a single character. The menu allows you to check your friendship or romance levels with specific characters, and it also shows what path you’re on in your save.
The sounds in The Letter are timed so well that they can send chills down your spine. I can’t explain how good the characters voice acting is. The audio outside of the voice acting is great. Helped to bring life to the fictional world.
Not enough horror?
I could say there was just one thing bothering me. As I am a lover of horror I really think that the horror scenes weren’t enough. I really enjoyed them and wish there were more. Sometimes I found myself forgetting it is a horror visual novel. For those who can’t read or watch horror before playing The Letter please keep in mind it might contain mature themes. It shows scenes that some may find disturbing, unethical and triggering. It also contains offensive language, racial slurs, sexual themes, gore and violence.
All in all I think this is a visual novel worth purchasing and experiencing yourself. By the end of it you will be amazed by how your decisions actually affect the story. You can have as many endings as you want and try different paths to see how each decision forms the world around you.