Thanks to my debit card expiring and the bank taking its time getting me a new one, I am unable to purchase games for the time being. In my bored search for new games to play in the meantime, I stumbled upon this one, which looked black and white and dark enough to satisfy the current black and white and dark mood I'm in.
You start off alone in an alley with no memory of who you are or how you got there, but preoccupied with the thought that you're very hungry. Who are you? How did you get there?
I know that my above description of the plot is extremely lacking. But I'm loathe to spoil the game for anyone. It starts you off with little information and then gradually reveals what's going on in a way that really got to me. There are multiple plot twists within and they all took me off guard, in a way that hasn't happened in a while. Maybe it's obvious to you what will happen, but I'm not going to ruin it either way.
Unlike most visual novels, this game has no sprites; it relies on its background art and its story to move things along, putting it slightly closer to traditional interactive fiction games. The art has the look of glitchy photography and fits the atmosphere quite well. While there are plenty of sound effects, the background music is almost non-existent. It's an unusual choice, but it didn't detract from my experience; it almost made things...creepier.
This isn't a long game; there are five different endings and you can probably get through them all in about half an hour. There are a few flaws to be found: some of the decision points have typos, and the sound effects when moving your cursor over a button can be distracting. But overall, this has been put together very well. This is the studio's first game, and I'm interested to see what else they come up with.
I feel like I haven't said as much as I normally would, but that's out of my desire to give you the same experience I had: one untainted by knowledge. I had no idea what to expect going in, and I had a good experience for it. The game is short enough, it won't take you long to play, and it's enjoyable and intriguing. I guess that I can't really say much more than "give it a shot."
Pangs (you are hungry.) is available on itch.io.
Final verdict: A few minor flaws here and there, but nothing that takes away from an atmospheric game with a story full of plot twists that will take you by surprise.
Pangs (you are hungry.) is developed by stardust★soda. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was not compensated in any way for this review.