Films, books, and games set in a dystopian future are nothing new. Consequently, the plot, characters, and artwork can feel tired and well-trodden. Usually, this undermines the experience while impacting the originality of the story. Luckily, however, Athanasy counteracts this with a unique tale, fantastic character development, and wonderful art style.
Developed by Wirion and published by 7DOTS and Phoenix_co, this is a dark and sordid visual novel. Luckily, its short story is filled with interesting choices that alter the course of the game. You may choose to be a hero, a loner, a coward, and more. Whatever you decide, you will experience nothing but doom and gloom. Subsequently, its 1984 inspired dystopia is uncomfortable and a little creepy.
Athanasy has no light at the end of the tunnel.
Unlike its peers, there isn’t a positive ending. Instead, you are treated to different levels of sombre disappointment. Loneliness and failure occur no matter your choices, and oddly, this was great. This sorrowful style works brilliantly with the theme, even if it was a tad depressing at times. Now, I don’t mind a bad or horrific ending, as it keeps you on your toes. However, to have little to fight for was a step too far. I mean, if the future is this depressing, I’m not sure I want to live long enough to get there!
You control Josiah Kaviani, a bright and brilliant mathematician and statistician. He has the world at his feet and he can do whatever he wishes. Yet, he isn’t happy. His mind is considered perfect, but he is lonely and tired of his worthless existence. Sadly, though, this desire to meet someone is his downfall. As he begins his journey, he experiences gory sights and meets nightmarish monsters. His perfect, albeit shallow, existence, is about to be turned upside down and maybe he shouldn’t have pried into matters that were above his pay grade.
Excellent characters and a well-paced plot.
Visual novels usually drift off into the realms of over-sexualised Manga/Anime nonsense. Now, I know this market is strong, but it is an instant turnoff. On the other hand, I prefer more depth and grit to my stories. Luckily, Athanasy delivers this on so many levels, because of its many endings and its well-written dialogue. What’s more, the characters are interesting; the relationships have meaning, and the environments are common and feel familiar.
In short, the action resonates with “ordinary” people. However, I understand that the bleak nature of the plot is far from realistic, but the rest of the elements are uncomfortably close to home. Alongside this, you experience a well-paced plot that comprises many twists and turns. Therefore, your choices impact the protagonist and the surrounding world. This, in turn, funnels the story to each of the grim finales. With many endings available, I was glad that each playthrough lasted no longer than 2 hours. This short playtime ensures that you return for more to tackle each unnerving subplot.
Athanasy is grim but captivating.
I adored the writing, characters, and many twists and turns. Yet, it was the graphics and audio that captivated me! I’ve read countless visual novels and graphically, this stands out amongst its peers. Its use of earthy tones and simple animation allows you to focus on the well-structured text. Furthermore, the backdrops are varied, and this adds depth to the sombre plot. You’ll adore the portraits of the protagonists, the intriguing world, and the grim and eerie setting.
This is helped further by the atmospheric music, as the heavy soundtrack is dark, unnerving, and uncomfortable to listen to. Therefore, the slow but well-paced songs complement the writing style throughout. You’ll grimace as the hero’s world crumbles and the sinister music plays. With few positive moments, there is rarely a break in the sombre tones. However, this mattered not, as it enhanced the suspenseful nature of the story.
Standard visual novel controls.
Expectedly, Athanasy is simple to play. With a skip function, and easy to master controls, you’ll play this with ease. Like its peers, this was great, as it allows you to focus on the plot and little else.
Thanks to the large array of endings and short playtime, this has longevity and replay value. If you love a sombre and dark story, this will keep you going for hours. What’s more, the interesting character development and many subplots ensure that it stays interesting throughout.
Athanasy is a cracking visual novel.
I love a great book and Athanasy is certainly a fantastic read. If you are a fan of sci-fi and 1984-inspired titles, this will be right up your street. Its characters are great, the writing is phenomenal and well-timed, and its artistry is second to none. Consequently, I recommend you to buy it here! Life is eerie, uncomfortable, and lonely. However, why rock the boat?