My Dear Frankenstein is the latest English localization from Moonchime Studios, arriving just in time for spooky season. Developed by Japanese indie team Number7, this point-and-click adventure visual novel features a gothic tale inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and is available for PC and Mac as a digital download for $4.99 USD. If you’re looking for an atmospheric adventure game that deals with some dark themes without scares, this quaint game is the perfect Halloween romp.
You play as Adam, an adorable monster boy who has just awoken for the first time. He is quickly introduced to the other inhabitants of the house finds himself in, and encouraged to make himself at home. When a friendly ghost appears before him in his room, encouraging him to sneak out at night to explore the city of Shipberry and recover fragments of his scattered heart, Adam happily agrees.
The story that unfolds takes place over a series of nights where you explore the town as Adam, solving puzzles and talking to various residents. Gameplay consists of visual novel segments where you occassionally select among multiple choices and point-and-click adventure segments with puzzles to solve and objects to collect that will aid you in completing main missions as well as side and EX missions.
I was concerned that the point-and-click portions would be very obtuse, but the developers did a great job of providing hints and requirements to unlock the different things within the game. Once you complete the game with one of the five endings, there is even a chapter tree with information on what is generally needed to unlock the different endings without revealing too many details.
I personally am not much of a puzzle-solver, so I had some difficulties on a couple of the game’s puzzles, but I have a feeling it would be pretty standard fare for those more well-versed in point-and-click-style games. What kept me interested beyond the puzzles was the game’s gorgeous gothic aesthetic, which extended from the backgrounds to the eccentric cast of characters.
If you’re familliar with the Frankenstein story in general, you’ll probably have some ideas about where the mysteries of the story are headed pretty early on in the game. Still, I enjoyed learning about the town and its inhabitants. The game takes approximately 7 hours to go through, depending on you puzzle-solving speed, and greatly benefits from completing the side missions and different endings. If you prefer, it’s also possible to finish the game by only focusing on the main story and puzzles, and it’s very clear what about signposting what is and isn’t required for completion.
As long as you are comfortable with themes of suicide, cruelty, and references to death and the occult (content warning via Moonchime Studios) and don’t mind scratching your head over some point-and-click-style puzzles, My Dear Frankenstein is a gothic adventure with the perfect ambiance to get you in the Halloween spirit. I’m always glad to see more Japanese indie games available in English, and would definitely like to see more titles from Number7 in the future!
Note: A sample code was provided by Moonchime Studios for the purpose of this review.