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Doki Doki Literature Club Plus Review

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus adds fresh content to the psychological horror visual novel, and releases for game consoles for the first time.

Since its original release back in 2017, Doki Doki Literature Club has lured in a myriad of PC gamers with the combined allure of cutesy art, visual novel gameplay, and a disturbing twist. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus sees the release of the game on modern consoles, alongside new content that expands the game’s story.

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus Review
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus Review

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus puts the player in the role of a high school teenager who’s coaxed into joining a literature club by their childhood friend, Sayori. The game is heavily inspired by visual novel dating games, and follows the same general conventions, with the story being told entirely in text. The game does not include voice acting, so players should expect to do a lot of reading. The player character chooses to stick with the club after being charmed by its additional members, Yuri, Natsuki, and Monika, and from that point, the game begins a fairly generic visual novel dating game routine – at least, at first – with the player making an effort to woo one of the girls.

This process is accomplished through one of the few methods Doki Doki Literature Club Plus players has to interact directly with the game: writing poetry. The end of each day gives the player a chance to compose a ‘poem’ for the club, comprised of various words that are associated with the girls in the group. While it’s a simple mini-game, it’s also one of the first hints that the game is hiding some interesting revelations. Early on players may find themselves scratching their heads in an attempt to decide which terms appeal to which character, as the answers aren’t as obvious as they initially seem.

As most who have heard of Doki Doki Literature Club likely know, there’s a lot more under the surface of the game’s story than is initially revealed. As Doki Doki Literature Club Plus‘ included trigger warnings suggest, the game contains graphic imagery and shocking scenarios that one would expect to find more in line with horror games with visual novel elements, like Corpse Party, rather than what initially looks like a cheerful dating game.

Unlike in the original, players now have the ability to read about what they can expect in the aforementioned warning. It’s completely optional, so players can head straight in without any spoilers, but those who may have certain sensitivities can also be forewarned about what’s to come in this disturbing game. Players can choose between simply reading a general content warning or being alerted ahead of any major alarming moments.

For players of the original, it’s important to note that the core campaign is essentially the same. However, there is a great deal of additional content that’s been added to Doki Doki Literature Club Plus that extends gameplay time. Multiple side story campaigns can be unlocked as the player progresses through the main campaign’s various routes, which detail stories about the members of the club before the events of the base game. Players who wanted to know more about the members of the club or who wanted an opportunity to see what they were like before certain events unfolded get just that here.

The lore of Doki Doki Literature Club‘s world has also been a major matter of discussion among fans of the game, and DDLC Plus doesn’t let them down here, either. Players will find plenty of cryptic details to dissect that weren’t present in the original version, while others will likely lead to new questions regarding the nature of the game’s world.

The indie game also includes a lot of extras that can be unlocked, like an art gallery and music playlist. Both include new content that wasn’t a part of the original game. While the original already rewarded players for completing every possible route in the game, there’s now even more incentive to do so.

As Doki Doki Literature Club Plus isn’t a graphically demanding game, it ran extremely smoothly on the Nintendo Switch. DDLC Plus‘ visuals have been upgraded to 1080p, and it shows, with illustrations appearing crisp and vibrant on the screen. Unfortunately, the text the game relies so heavily on is fairly small, especially when played in handheld mode, and no options exist to change the size or color. While this is somewhat understandable given the importance visuals have in the game, it may create some difficulty for players who have trouble seeing small text clearly.

Doki Doki Literature Club is one of the most celebrated psychological horror games of recent history, and the Plus release adds enough new content to refresh the experience for veterans who’ve already experienced the original. Meanwhile, players who have never tried out Team Salvato’s original game will find the most complete experience yet from Doki Doki Literature Club Plus.

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus is available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. Game Rant was provided with a Nintendo Switch code for the purposes of this review.

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