In a world where the Master Program links everyone together, Nanashi, and a girl who lost her memories, Misane, must find out who is trying to hack the Master Program. Along the way, Nanashi tries to learn about people and make friends since he’s a shut-in.
- Where to get: Steam or vgperson’s site
- Cost: The Steam version costs $3, but it has some extra content, including a whole bonus chapter. Vgperson’s is free
- First play through time: I went the most efficient method and actively avoided making any friends I didn’t have to, so my first bad ending play took about 6 hours
- Time to get all endings: About 10 hours to get all the endings and achievements
1bitHeart takes a lot of elements from Danganronpa (DR), which isn’t surprising since Miwashiba is known for being a big Danganronpa fan since they made a fan DR story. The game has interrogation scenes where you use different facts you’ve acquired to bring up points and question what people say. DR or Ace Attorney fans would be pleased. A lot of the interrogation moments I found hard. You have life points here and if you mess up, you lose one point. You have different options during the questioning, including “present topic,” “ask for more,” and “Wait a sec!” Wait a sec is basically the DR interjection, and it even has a pic that’s basically that lol.
You walk around different towns and can meet the residents. The game is an RPG and VN hybrid. One of the goals is to make friends. How many friends you have chooses your ending. As I said, I did the most efficient way, so my play time was shorter. Making friends consists of giving them items during free time (much like Danganronpa’s free time). To get money, you have to log onto Nanashi’s computer which then leads to a Pokemon-looking screen where you walk around a house. You can play Tetris-like games to earn money, though there is an achievement for finding the way to get a crap ton of money with just a click or so, so…….find that first XD. That is one problem I had. You’d have to play an absolute crap ton of Tetris to buy everything if you didn’t find the money-making thing, so if you’re not looking for it, have fun playing Tetris.
The game also has a rhythm aspect??? When you fight viruses, you have to press z, x, c, and the keypad buttons in a certain order. I didn’t go particularly fast, and yet I never timed out or anything, so it felt a bit pointless.
This game has a diverse cast of characters. There are almost 50 different friends you can make, all with their own subplots. Befriending all of them took me at least two hours. Some story lines were significantly better than others, but it was just so fun seeing plots for every character in the game. It was a bit disappointing that a lot of the characters you never have to speak to in the main story.
Nanashi is a bit weird, and he knows it. His whole thing is that he views himself as insignificant and loves people in general. He’s willing to do anything for anyone so long as it’s not deadly. Sound familiar? He’s Komaeda from Danganronpa, but less creepy LOL. Seriously, he’s Komaeda, but a better person. He really grew as the game progressed.
Misane is a fine protagonist. She gave me Kyoko from Danganronpa vibes…….quite a lot actually. Though she’s a bit more personable than Kyoko is.
The ages of Nanashi and Misane were a but confusing to me. I assumed they were high school age, but apparently they are in middle school.
One of the other characters, Nomiya, seems like a reference to Sho Minamimoto from The World Ends with You. They look similar, and they both say things like “zetta.” I don’t know if that was a translation choice, or if they sound similar in Japanese as well.
There was also a character in a wheelchair, Sora, but I had no idea he was in a wheelchair because the chair looks like a fancy Victorian chair, so I was really confused when him not being able to walk came up.
Now, a few warnings about the game. One of the characters, Misato, has an optional horror event where you can walk around and there’s jump scares. Now, they’re not intense, but if you’re not expecting it, it can be scary.
There is also a transgender character, Shitara. A character assumes she’s male, she corrects them, and it’s not really brought up much again (at least directly). According to vgperson’s translation notes, a tumblr post by the creator ( I couldn’t find anymore?) listed her gender as “♂?”. As I said, I couldn’t find the tumblr post anymore, so perhaps it was taken down. Here’s a link to the translation notes to see for yourself, though I’d avoid it until after you’ve played the game: http://vgperson.com/posts.php?p=1bitheartnotes
I was a bit shocked when I read that as I felt the actual game handled having a transgender character really well.
Also, I figured out who the villain was cause I thought they were hot and I tend to like the villains. So yeah XD.
Should you play?:
If you enjoy Danganronpa or Ace Attorney, then definitely play this game. If you like character interactions, having almost 50 characters to interact with is really fun. I had a great time and I highly recommend the game. I would recommend getting the Steam version of the game as it adds an epilogue chapter that was really fun and I felt added a lot to the game.