WARNING! THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE VISUAL NOVEL "A DARK SECRET" AND MAY ALSO CONTAIN CONTENT INAPPROPRIATE FOR YOUNGER VIEWERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN THE IMAGES USED IN THIS POST. I GOT THEM FROM THE INTERNET."A Dark Secret"... Yeah right! I stumbled on to this game a few months back when I was browsing through The Visual Novel Database looking for some visual novels to play. I'll just quote the entire description of VNDB for the game.
"Oh sweet revenge!I'll be honest, when I read this, I was expecting something similar to Lucius. I know it wasn't a Visual Novel but I was still expecting the story to delve into how Shyria (Funny name, by the way) goes about getting her revenge. Perhaps give the player some say on this. Perhaps choose what kind of revenge she decides on or choose the method of execution or at the very least, delve into how Shyria carefully plans and executes her revenge. But this isn't what I got, and I'd be okay with it if not for what I DID get. I'll elaborate on that a bit later.
A young girl. Abusive parents. Pain.
And finally? Bitter sweet Revenge.
Shyria has spent her whole childhood in a family that didn't love her, living a life full of abuse. At the age of 16 she gives birth to a child -- Chyla. With her daughter she finally has something in her life to give her joy. As her father kills the baby, something in her heart breaks and the last bit of light fades away, being replaced by darkness.
As she looks up from the grave she finds herself in the small garden of an abandoned house. In that moment she realizes that she has a goal in life and uses the house to develop the greatest things in her life, and to take bitter revenge..."
If you ask me, I'll say that this game can be divided into two parts. The first part was pretty good. It tried to set the mood and get the player immersed in the game. And it almost succeeded. The key word here is "Almost" 'cause a few problems damaged it's cause pretty badly. First off, the confusing and somewhat out of place background images damaged the immersion. And both the mood and the immersion were totally shattered by the occasional spelling and grammar errors.
Let me explain, though spelling and grammar errors are something that you should always avoid as it destroys the immersion and the mood of the game, it can be overlooked in most genres. However, mood and immersion are of immense importance in a horror game. You must avoid spelling and grammar errors at all cost in a horror game.
Moving on, in spite of everything, the first half of the game did do a descent enough job of building tension and in my book, is good enough. It's just a shame that it could've been great instead of descent.
The second part is where the game starts to really stink. As I said earlier, Shyria plans her revenge in the abandoned mansion. How does she do it? She finds demon powers in the basement of the mansion which make no sense. Seriously, I can't figure out how to make sense of what description I was given of the basement. And while I was a bit busy with that, Shyria got demon powers and I said to myself "Just go with it. Don't question it." You could argue that the plot of a lot of games like Doom don't make much sense. But when your game is a visual novel, plot is pretty much all it's got going for it. You can't put stuff like literal demon powers.
Shyria then transforms into a OP and probably a Mary Sue character and has "Bitter sweet (and very easy) revenge" and kills everyone who wronged her. The second act tries to deliver the scares with "violent" depictions but it didn't do much. It's really hard to scare someone with violent imagery when your only medium of delivering said violence is text.
The soundtrack was not bad. It wasn't too good but it wasn't bad either. It did fit some segments of the game and I personally believe that this soundtrack is responsible for all the immersion and mood this game tried to set.
All in all, "A Dark Secret" had a very promising first act but it very quickly went to shit.
I rate this: 37/100
Thanks for Reading!