Perseverance: Part 1 is a horror visual novel released from Tap it Games, a Polish studio created in 2012. You are introduced to Jack, a husband and father living in the small town of Grey Ville, which isn’t an exciting town by any means, but it does have something unique just outside of it: a military base. No one in Grey Ville knows what goes on there, but as is the case in many small towns, there is a lot of talk and speculation.
The story builds up so slowly that it creates a dull beginning, not to pick up until near the very end. No doubt all the backstory is an attempt to give the reader a reason to care about the characters, but it falls short of being exciting. You’re soon introduced to a second character — a female who remains mysterious except for the fact that she’s tasked with finding and capturing a fugitive — but the bulk of the story follows Jack through his family drama.
Unfortunately, Jack is hard to like. He doesn’t seem to treat his family well, and while the story displays a bit of internal struggle, he doesn’t appear to develop much as a character. The dialogue between Jack, his wife, and daughter often feels awkward and unnatural, leaving you unsatisfied. The dialogue overall leaves something to be desired, and some typos certainly don’t help the feeling that not enough attention was paid where it counts. The use of the familiar “patient zero” plot also makes the story predictable, which is yet another problem with the writing that this visual novel doesn’t need.
DO I HAVE A CHOICE?
You do get to help Jack make some “important” decisions on what to say or do. While these decisions change the next part of the story that you are in, they disappointingly don’t seem to have any effect on the ultimate outcome. The choices you help Jack make can be described as arbitrary at best, and superficial at worst.
THE VISUAL PART OF “VISUAL NOVEL”
What Tap it Games did well with Perseverance: Part 1 was the graphics. The art is on point. You can tell time was taken to make sure that the art matches the dialogue. Still, there still could’ve been improvements in this regard as well. The background could be changed a bit more often, for example — but what was included was stunning, and ultimately is the saving grace of Perseverance: Part 1. What isn’t conveyed through words is made up for in part through the chilling, captivating visuals.
NOT QUITE THERE
This title is lacking in far too many ways to be a truly successful visual novel. There is no voice acting to accompany the visuals, with only background noise and the sound of keystrokes as dialogue appears. Coupled with the fact that a playthrough will only take you about an hour, depending on your reading speed, Perseverance: Part 1 comes across as unpolished. A great visual novel doesn’t need voice acting, an amazing soundtrack, or a ton of meaningful choices to be decent, but it does need to hold your attention and create suspense for the next installment in the series. Sadly, Perseverance: Part 1 didn’t make me want to persevere through Part 2 if and when it comes out.
The Verdict: Average
As Tap it Game’s first excursion into visual novels, it isn’t entirely successful. However, this is only Part 1, and there is much more story to come. Only time will tell how this story plays out and if Tap it Games learns from the mistakes made in the first part of their story. Overall, the story was okay, and combined with the graphics, it was at least worth the time it took to read. One can only hope for more developed characters and story in the future.