It’s no secret that when it comes to video games I have a soft spot for visual novel games, which I made abundantly clear in my most recent review of Amnesia: Memories. But, imagine if you took a visual novel and combined it with Phoenix Wright and gave it the TellTale episode treatment with choices affecting everything in the game you would have Regeria Hope. Regeria Hope is an episodic court game from Golden Game Barn and was successfully Kickstarted with raising just over $7,000, also episode one is available on their website which you can visit here. Even though episode one is free to download and play on PC, Mac and Android it does give you the option to ‘pay what you want’ in the form of a donation, which I strongly recommend because from what I played at BostonFIG I can say that this game had a lot of work put into it and this will help them work on episode two more and also to help support a great indie studio.
The main thing about Regeria Hope that appealed to me was the art work, all the character sprites were hand drawn by Maesketch, and some of her work is nothing short of amazing (you should check out her deviantart profile.) Another honorable mention of sorts before I jump into talking about the game in more detail is Sendo, who hand drew all the of the backgrounds featured in the game, and as you know when it comes to a visual novel game the backgrounds and their appearance are just as important as the character designs, and Sendo did a phenomenal job with the backgrounds and gave them just the right amount of detail and color pallet to make the character sprites stand out but to also not lose focus on the setting in which you are playing as well.
Now onto the game itself, since it is a visual novel I won’t give away any plot details and honestly since the first episode is free there is no reason why you should check it out yourself, you won’t regret it. The best thing about Regeria Hope is that unlike most court styled games that are linear with their outcomes of each trial and where you obtain your evidence this game will allow you to fail or choose to fail a case, in one instance you can actually take a substantial bribe to throw a case, and later on in the game you now have a fancy decked out office and apartment but at the expense of your colleagues shunning and looking down at you and your professional integrity, or on the other side of things, you can win the case and miss out on all that cold hard cash and end up still in your crappy apartment and barely manageable office space. The best part about the little choices like that is that they will carry over into later episodes of the series.
Another neat feature of Regeria Hope is how the jury comes into play, before each case and while you are going through a trial you can actually see how effective you are in convincing the three jurors to believe what you are saying and make their decision in your favor, this can be done by presenting evidence, cross examining witness, and your closing arguments. Speaking of evidence, one of the more entertaining parts of the game is how you can find and even ‘procure’ evidence to use in the trials, yes you read that right you can have falsified documents and items created to use in trial, but be warned this will also affect the outcome of your morality per-say and at times can be just as bad as taking a bribe. All together this game is charming and I enjoyed checking it out at BFIG, plus when you talk with those who worked on the game you can tell they really enjoyed working on this and put themselves in really creating a game for everyone to enjoy.
Be sure to check back here at TGN as I’ll have a review up of Regeria Hope Episode 1 soon as well as more coverage on games we saw at BostonFIG.