The Novelist Review
Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers here to share my thoughts on The Novelist by The Orthogonal.
Disclaimer: I purchased the game recently so I didn’t receive this one for free.
The Novelist is a first person adventure game with some stealth elements. The game puts you in the role of an unknown creature/ghost that, more or less, spies on the inhabitants of the house. The creature can impact the inhabitant’s life choices but it’s neither benevolent or evil, but based on your choices, it can impact their lives in good or bad ways.
The current inhabitants of the house are the Kaplan family which consists of 3 people. Dan is the father, who is a novelist who’s hit a roadblock on his current book. Linda (Dan’s Wife) who is seeking to bring her family closer together. Finally, their son Tommy, who is a young boy who is having trouble in school.
The game revolves around a central question “Can You Achieve Your Dreams Without Pushing Away Your Loved Ones.” It uses this as the basis for the gameplay.
In each chapter your objective is to learn their current wants. To do this you must read notes, letters, diaries and look at pictures to discern what they want. Once you’ve found all the clues, you’ll need to step into their memories to find further clues. Once every clue has been found simply read their mind and the final clue will be revealed. If you’re playing on stealth mode, you’ll have to do this without being seen. In story mode you’re free to walk around freely.
Once you’ve found the final clue for each character you’ll be able to choose a single character’s want to finish off the chapter. Be careful with your choice because choosing one will make the other 2 characters disappointed and will cause them to have a negative outcome. If you manage to stay hidden and uncover the final clue for all characters, you’ll be able to choose a compromise which will force a neutral outcome but still make the character somewhat happy. This will leave only one character with a completely negative outcome.
Your choices impact the ending to the game and because there’s multiple choices to make with multiple outcomes, the game has a lot of different endings as well.
Overall, The Novelist is an adventure game with a powerful message. It’s also a deeply personal game as well and you really get to know the Kaplan family and their daily struggles. It’s also sad to see the negative outcomes that each character is faced with as well. In the end I had Dan abandon his book because to me, his family was more important than wasting away while writing a book. It’s a touching game all around and it does a really good job of putting what’s most important into perspective. Very well put together game.
Thanks for taking the time to read the review folks and I’ll be back with my next review soon, happy gaming folks!
Shaun Meyers Out!
Features of Interest
- Excellent and Deeply Touching Story
- Great Cast of Characters
- Good Voice Acting, Where Applicable
- Interesting Game Mechanics
- Gameplay Is Pretty Repetitive
- Voice Acting Isn't Widespread, Only On A Few Notes
- Might Get Boring Quickly For Some/Slow Paced