Dear Devere is an epistolary visual novel, meaning that it’s a story told through letters. Here, Angela writes a letter to herself as a way of venting, and she hides it in a rock outside of town so nobody will find it. Instead, the mysterious Devere finds it, and they start a loving correspondence.
This is an otome game, at least in that it’s GxB, though the narrator isn’t always the girl. The game download page doesn’t make it clear there’s any otome elements or romance, but there is. So I guess it’s otome/bishoujo?
Full disclosure: I was asked by the creator if I’d play the game and review it, though I’ve had a link to Katy133’s games in my sidebar a while, so I was going to play the game anyway XD. But yes, being asked to review it didn’t sway my opinion and I wasn’t compensated or anything.
- Where to get: itch.io
- Cost: Free
- Love Interests: One (male), one (female), but they get together without the reader’s interaction, so it’s confusing lol
- Endings: 2
- First play through time: About 30 minutes. This is with me listening to about…70%? of the spoken dialogue. Namely Devere’s parts LOL.
- Time to get all endings: About 32 minutes (so maybe around 45 listening to all dialogue)
The game starts out with Angela writing that first letter, and from there, the reader is shown their correspondence. The game is split into a prologue, three acts, and an epilogue for the good end. The game is inspired by The Griffin and Sabine Saga, a series of epistolary books. Some of the devlogs include behind the scenes looks at how the images in the game were made, such as this one.
The game has absolutely beautiful music. It is very Celtic-sounding to me, so it matches Devere’s and the general atmosphere of the game. The soundtrack is available on the itch.io page for the game for free. The game also has a lot of settings, including a dyslexic text option, voice to speech options, and other things to assist players.
The game is also voice acted for the two main characters! It added so much depth to the game. Even though we never get to see the main characters, the voice acting really makes you feel connected to them. I feel like I have a very clear picture of what Angela and Devere look like despite us getting very little description of Devere or Angela.
Before getting into plot points, I want to mention that this game was made for NaNoRenO 2020, so the game was made in a short time, and during a pandemic. The plot points that were a bit confusing were not so much so to make me enjoy the game any less. The game has a time skip, and then we’re presented with some drama. I don’t want to spoil it, but this drama felt show-horned in because there was a time skip. Had the game been longer, I think that would have solved the issue.
The narrator is basically always switching, as well as the point of view. Sometimes it’s Devere, sometimes Angela, sometimes someone else, and sometimes I wasn’t sure. It didn’t really distract me from the game or make me enjoy it any less, but I was confused at points.
Their romance also came very quickly to me, which initially felt unrealistic, but then I realized by that point I shipped them as well, so I can’t complain XD.
At one point, I had to solve a code, so that’s dope LOL.
Onto the characters!
Angela is a social outcast who starts up a book club, but then a girl who doesn’t like her joins and turns everyone against her. She is very independent, and I’m not really sure why she’s an outcast. Overall, she’s fine, and I felt really connected to her as the story progressed.
Devere is…it’s not clear. It’s very clear from very early on that Devere is most likely not human, though the game doesn’t say exactly what he is. I personally headcanon him as a wendigo as some descriptions seemed to match that, but regardless, I know in my heart, he’s hot. I know this. His voice is also really nice and soothing? XD Props to the VA because there was some ASMR going on. Devere has some sass sometimes, and he’s just great. We don’t find out how old he is exactly, but if people can sweat hundreds of year old vampires, we can sweat kind-of-old wendigo werewolf creature boys.
There’s only two endings, so no play order this time around. The bad ending was sad, but I think potentially hopeful. The good ending was great, and I love it. One part of the good ending wasn’t explained as some of Devere’s limitations and abilities weren’t fleshed out enough to know how they’d impact it, but overall, the ending was super sweet and I almost cried.
Going very “you can tell I’m a writing and literature student” here, but I think a strong theme of the game is that looks can be deceiving. People assume negative things about Devere and Angela because they don’t take the time to actually analyze the situation. They let their preconceived biases take hold of them at the expense of Angela and Devere. There’s more to this theme, but I don’t want to spoil more lol.
Should you play?:
Please do. This game was so enjoyable and unique. The writing is done really well, and you WILL feel attached to Angela and Devere. Their romance is adorable, and the letter correspondence really fleshed out their characters in ways that I’m not sure showing actual sprites would have done.
Fun fact: I misspelled “correspondence” four times in this post and had to fix it (apparently it is not “dance”). I also misspelled “misspelled” in the previous sentence, which must be some form of irony.