Phenomeno: Visual novel review

Developer: Nitroplus

Release date: 16/06/2012

Genre: Horror/mystery

Phenomeno is a freeware game so here’s links to the offical site where you can download the game and Translation patch


Yamada Nagito, a university student living away from home, needing a cheap place to live he finds out about a mysterious “House that grants wishes” on the market for a ridiculously low rent; he snaps up the house and starts living there. Afew nights in he starts hearing strange creaking noises. Each and every night he’s assaulted by these torturous noises. The last straw is when he finds the number 7   carved into the wall, as if counting down to something. Yamada having an interest in the occult seeks help from a website he frequently visits “Ikaigabuchi” which specialises in occult topics.

The review bit

Phenomeno is a youth horror novel written by Hajime Ninomae and illustrated by yoshitoshi ABe, adapted in visual novel format, and my does it work well.

ABe’s artwork is truly beautiful, capturing the mood of the story to a tee, it’s almost eerie.

Phenomeno uses for it’s backgrounds alot of Photographic images, Though these images have been blasted with various effects and filters in order to create the right kind of creepy atmosphere one would expect to see in a horror story.

(Quite the spooky house, being located in the woods doesn’t really help either.)

(Dark room, an example of the photographic BGs)

To help create tense suspenseful atmosphere, alot of animated effects and tense music is used in Phenomeno. Flashes of blood red, fuzzy vision and black outs are well used within the visual novel; mixed with suspenseful music, eerie sounds such as scratching and creaking.

 Phenomeno is a splendid example of how to make a horror/mystery visual novel work, the music, sounds, visuals and story all mix together to make something that’s actually worth experiencing, with afew slightly unexpected twists thrown in. While it’s fairly large for a very short visual novel, I think it comes to just under a gig, all that space really seems to be filled with effects.

Nitroplus have done a great job in adapting this in visual novel format and I for one would like to see them continue to adapt more, If it does just turn out that it’s just a advertisement for the novels, well it’s definitely done a good job in getting my fancy.

Here’s to hoping for more

Uuchujin’s ramblings

~doesn’t need to be read~

God first review I’ve written in awhile, While I have lots of games I’ve played I could review it’s really just a matter of motivating myself to do it being the lazy bum I am. Anywho Hoping to write up some more reviews, namely saya no Uta, and  Narcissu  1+2 are two I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. Anyway see you next time.


3 thoughts on “Phenomeno: Visual novel review

  1. Hmm, okie dokie. I’m up for a short read that will give me some chills. I have so much other stuff I want to post about that a short VN would hit the spot as an appetizer when necessary.

  2. Thanks for the review and recommendation. I wanna play this one.
    Regarding its lasting apeal, is it as short as Saya no Uta?

    • It’s a fair bit shorter than Saya no Uta, not something your going to spend much time on frankly but well worth the read.

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