I have something a little different to share with you all today, and I think you’re going to like it!
I recently discovered these “books” while looking for an app for my phone, and I may have discovered an interesting form of reading entertainment for us bookworms.
Every game in Choices is a Visual Novel. Each game is divided into volumes known as “books” (and some games span multiple books), and each book is divided into chapters. One of Choices most defining aspects is the fact that it is a Genre Roulette at its heart; although the gameplay remains pretty much the same, the story, setting and theme change entirely from story to story (and some stories have different art styles than others), allowing each game to tell something different. For books that are currently updating, new chapters are released weekly (the day of release depends on the title).
I am currently reading my fourth “book” and while I’m enjoying the experience (Read addicted), I have quickly come to the conclusion that this is an expensive habit. The app and the game itself is free, as are the chapters, provided you are willing to wait an extended period of time for a “key” to unlock the chapter.
Two forms of in-app currency (or even larger transactions if you’re really invested) exist; these are “Diamonds” and “Keys”, and your balance for both are shared among all of the stories in the collection. Each story requires you to give up a Key to play a chapter, and in each story some special choices will require you to pay Diamonds to make them. Keys refill over time at one key every two hours, but you cannot hold more than two keys obtained for free at once. You’ll get two diamonds when you complete a chapter for the first time. What this means is, the more diamonds you have, the more options you will have within the story. For example, having a choice to spend one on one time with another character will cost you. So, If you want to build a special relationship with a character beyond the free storyline, you will need diamonds.
In the game above, you also need diamonds to unlock spells, or uncover secrets. It all varies depending on the story you choose. This Harry Potter-esque story requires a ton of diamonds to get the full experience, and though there are cheaper bundles, it quickly adds up.
That said, you can “read” these visual stories without spending a penny, as long as you’re patient and are willing to wait for keys, and slowly collect the diamonds at the end of the chapters. You may collect enough to unlock one special thing. But you know what? It’s damn hard to do it and I applaud those with the will power and patience to wait it out and play free. Actually, there was one six chapter ghost story that I really enjoyed that I didn’t feel the need to spend any money on. I guess it all depends.
So, how would I rate this? It’s tough! If I had all the money in the world to spend on these, I would probably rate the experience a solid B+ to an A depending on the story. Playing free however is not as fun and is closer to a C-.
I will say, that it was a fun experiment, one I’m willing to continue with, if the diamond bundles were a little cheaper. It’s something different anyway.
Any of you have experience with these?