Divination (Review)

Source: Cashmoneys
Price: £1.69 (£3.36 Collector’s Edition, £2.09 for artbook, soundtrack, other extras)
Where To Get It: Steam
Other Reviews: Itch release

Content Warning: This game has themes of self harm and suicide, and a depiction of suicide. As such, the review has been age gated, and this content warning has been added to the original review.

Last time I looked at Divination, it was a review. It was, technically, done. But Mojiken went that little bit further, and now… Well, here I am, reviewing it again. And I can give a lot more clarity to how dark the game is.

Your answers can very easily mean life or death.

And oh boy, it’s dark, as if the content warnings (apologies for not putting them in the last review, this is fixed) didn’t make that clear. Themes of self harm and suicide run throughout, and… Well, things will become clear… You see, it all starts with the suicide of an AI, an AI that had previously run the entire city, predicting everything. But when it did commit suicide, it also spread one message, far and wide.

Life is pointless. And that message took, to the point where robots had to have anti-suicide protocols installed, and the city is now heavily policed. And this… Is where the Diviner comes in. A mysterious being, who predicts the future. Just like Mother did. And it has a goal. But is it the goal you think it is?

Like I said: It’s very dark.

That would be spoilers. But what I won’t spoil is that your choices could save lives… Or end them. All of them, in fact. And while there is a twist in the final ending (I will spoil that the ending is grisly, and contains depictions of suicide, for content warning purposes), that twist is then… Well, it’s twisted.

Still, what I said before still holds. Aesthetically, it sticks damn well to its mood. The slow tap of the Diviner’s finger to change news channels and open the door for the guests. The ominous synth music. The painful situations some of the characters find themselves in. The equally grim writing overall, of a state that tries to hide its deep wounds… And all that is only slightly marred by a bit of mangled English scattered here and there. The red text, infinite and scrolling, that makes the Diviner’s answer clear, not only reminded me of other cyberpunk works (I mentioned Cyber City Oedo 808 last time, and I stand by that), but final, portentous, and ominous. Which, funnily enough, is most of its mood.

– The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats

It’s a short game, it’s true, as even replaying it to get the various combinations can take about one and a half to three hours. But if you’re looking for some horror, and the content warnings won’t set you off, it comes recommended, and is the price of a bag of sugar and some milk, so complaints about length are scoffed at here. We’ve had several tight, short, and focused experiences, and this is another one.

A good demonstration for The Mad Welshman that sometimes, even in SFW games, it’s important to see every route.

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