Developer: Arrowiz
PublisherGiiku Games
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 26/10/2021
Price: £17.99/$19.99
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.

In Hermitage: Strange Case Files, you take the role of a bookstore owner. The owner has no name nor can he leave to store. To be honest, he is seems very disinterested in most things. That is until he gets a customer that seems to be upset about something or is troubled. He will help them, almost like he finally has a focus.

However, as mentioned, the book owner cannot leave the store for some reason. He has connections that do all the legwork for him and will find more information. There is an over aching theme of strange and mysterious and even happening that takes place in the city. Each of the cases is separate from each other, but all are connected.

Hermitage is not your usual bookstore. It is full of the occult and unknown literature that can only be found there. These books are also integral to the story. Strange Lovecraft style happening throughout the city takes place over the city. These books can share some incites with what is happening.

The writing in Hermitage is fantastic, engaging and intriguing. There are a few translation errors, but nothing that will break the overall experience and feeling of the game.

Hermitage-Strange-Case-Files-gameplay

Detective Novel

As you play though the usual Visual Novel reading and loads of exposition, the game opens up somewhat and you are let loose to find information on your own. It is a simple change. You can go to the store owner’s room, watch tv, read newspaper and check online forums for information pertaining to the mystery.

There is loads of information out there to read through. A lot of it will not be helpful to the case but, it helps build the world up and drags you deeper in to the mythos that is being set up. I recommend reading every bit of it.

When the store owner gets a bit of information that is important, he will make a note of it. Then it is up to you to sort out what information is useful and what is not by matching them up with what he is t.

This is a simple change to mix up the normal Visual Novel gameplay, and it a welcome one at that. Yes, Hermitage: Strange Case Files is not the only visual novel to add detective element but, it is up there with the best.

Visuals

Hermitage is a mix of manhwa/manga and western comics in the visual department. With characters having that manga feel to them, along with the looks of items and so on. Then some cutscenes have a more western comic book feel to them, with a sort of grittiness to them.

When I started, Hermitage was on the fence regarding the visual choices. But the more I played, the more this style grew on me, especially the grittier art work.

Overall, Hermitage: Strange Case Files is a game that will fly under the radar as so many Switch titles do. But it is a great visual novel. With great writing, story, world, characters, and gameplay. It needs love and attention.

If you are a visual novel fan, then Hermitage: Strange Case Files is a must buy.

9-10
AMAZING

For more reviews, check out Root Film and DUSK

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