Rumours become a reality in this horror visual novel that makes the most out of your smartphone for the occasional jump scare.
Out of boredom, I downloaded a visual novel app with zero expectations but a lot of interest by the title alone – Mysterious Forum and 7 Rumours.
The storyline was intriguing: the school’s newspaper club runs a secret forum where people post anonymously about various rumours. If the stories aren’t addressed, they eventually become real. The newspaper club decides to investigate each rumour before someone gets hurt.
It was my first time playing a game by Entrabridge Co., Ltd, and I’m so glad I gave this a shot.
Less is More
The entire game comprises of 7 chapters. Each chapter focuses on a story that’s associated with one person from the newspaper club. Before the chapter starts, you read about the rumour on the forum then dive straight to the newspaper club reading and discussing the gossip amongst themselves. It’s an effective way to jump to the point while keeping you engaged.
Each story is not overly complicated. It’s specific and focused with multiple endings (either good or bad depending on your choices.)
Despite the stories being strong enough to stand on their own, there’s still an overarching plot that ties them all together. You learn about how the club was formed near the end and what the forum is. The final mystery is when the feels really hit.
Character design is also simplistic yet beautiful. While the background illustrations are more detailed. It’s a nice contrast. The full-blown pictures are detailed enough to add that jump scare or extra oomph to make you more on edge.
The game is specially designed for phone users. So, you’ll get the most out of it on your phone rather than a tablet. The biggest takeaway from Entabridge’s game design is player engagement and keeping it personal.
When you first read about the rumour, the post is full-screen on your phone. In other words, it feels as if you’re actually reading it on your phone rather than playing a game.
Sometimes you’ll enter chat conversations between the characters. This is in an original chat form, which makes you feel like you’re part of that crowd. Sometimes, you might get phone calls. You can probably guess how this is executed.
No, not all chapters are based on cliché horror tropes. While some of them you may recognize, their story developers also made their own twist. My personal favourite is Someone is Here.
Not all stories have jump scares. Or, their creepiness level is kept to a minimum. But some, especially with the illustrations for bad endings, can send a chill.
The stories aren’t restricted to a school setting. Yes, the protagonists are in high school, but some of their adventures take place in a graveyard, someone’s house, an apartment complex, and more.
There were some glaring grammatical errors. However, it didn’t ruin the overall experience.
A voice-over would be compelling if appropriately integrated. Cut scenes with voice-over to build up suspense would be cool too. While I don’t know how great it would be if the entire game was voiced, but definitely for those more dramatic moments.
Some bad endings are abrupt.
If you’re looking for a quick game, I’d highly recommend this one. There are multiple endings, but you can quickly jump back to where you were by watching an ad. If you get all of the endings, you can buy the bonus chapter at the end.