Lily of the Valley
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Lily of the Valley is a great update of the free visual novel released by ebi-hime in 2014. In addition to some stunning new artwork and a great soundtrack the story is still as unique as it is captivating. Don’t let the visuals fool you, this novel is not as lighthearted as it first appears and thanks to some great writing the story is a lot more memorable than expected. The game is short enough to complete in a single sitting, but still manages to have a bigger emotional impact than stories that are ten times longer.

Gameplay: Pretty much a kinetic novel with only a single choice, but the story is so good that it is hard to stop playing.

Graphics: The updated artwork looks really nice, but the option to play with the older visuals is a nice touch.

Sound: The hauntingly beautiful soundtrack is definitely a highlight

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Lily of the Valley

Developer: ebi-hime | Publisher: ekai Project | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Indie / Casual / Visual Novel | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam / itcho.io

A small town in Wales is probably the last place we would expect to be the setting for a visual novel, but then along came Lily of The Valley. What’s more, the protagonist is a 34 year old man with the soul crushing career of being employed in the call center at an insurance company. The game opens with our protagonist attending the funeral of his mother, who died by choking on a bran muffin of all things. What follows is thirteen short chapters of the protagonist reflecting on his life and the choices that brought him to where he is. Since there isn’t much to do at the family home apart from talking to his father and teenage sister, our protagonist goes out to roam the countryside during his stay. It is here where he meets a fascinating young girl who not resembles his childhood sweetheart, but also appears to have had some connection to his mother.

Lily of The Valley was actually originally released in 2014, but has now been revamped with brand new art as well as an updated script and a new soundtrack. The new art created by Sillyselly, who also the art for other ebi-hime titles like Empty Horizons, Strawberry Vinegar and Asphyxia, is absolutely gorgeous. Fans of the original art, which is a little bit more anime inspired, need not worry either as the option exists to toggle between the two styles on the fly. However, the game does feature a couple of new CGs which are displayed even when using the old sprites. The majority of the novel also still consists of text as only the protagonist’s sister, Hazel, and Lily, the girl he meets on his walk, have sprites. While the game still doesn’t have any speech, it does boast a brand new soundtrack with some great tunes. We are suckers for good piano music and enjoyed every one of the 8 tracks featured in this visual novel. The composer is actually yuzuki, who also contributed to Strawberry Vinegar and Windswept Night, so fans should know what to expect. We definitely recommend also getting the original soundtrack as it is available as a separate purchase .

At only about 25k words Lily of The Valley isn’t a very long novel, but it does feature some great writing. The main story is viewed from the perspective of the protagonist, who has a pretty bleak outlook on life. His thoughts wander everywhere from the ex girlfriend who broke up with him over the phone to family picnics in his youth that got spoiled by rain. While this might not sound particularly captivating, ebi-hime definitely has a way with words and her writing effortlessly drew us into the story. Contrary to the light and beautiful visuals, the game actually deals with some very dark themes. Glancing at the screenshots might make it seem like this is just another romantic slice of life story, but nothing could be further from the truth. Since the game is very short, we don’t want to spoil anything and recommend that players go into this title knowing as little as possible about the story.

Lily of the Valley is short enough to complete in one sitting and since the story is so good this is probably what most players will end up doing. There is only a single choice to make in the game, which leads to one of two slightly different endings. Viewing both endings unlocks a short epilogue, but there is also an intermission and some notes to discover, which shouldn’t be missed. In addition, the game features a handful of Steam achievements to earn and seven Steam Cards that can be used to craft Lily of the Valley themed emoticons and backgrounds.

Although the original release of this visual novel was free, there is no question that the extra work done on this revamped version justifies the small price tag. Players who are only interested in visual novels with fan service and goof-ball characters will probably find Lily of The Valley a little somber for their tastes, but anyone who can appreciate great dialog and relatable characters should definitely give it a go. It is one of those visual novels that you’ll find yourself contemplating long after the credits have rolled, which is not something that happens very often.

System Requirements

  • OS: Win XP+
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX® 9 Compatible Graphics Card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 250 MB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectSound-compatible sound card
  • OS: MacOS
  • Processor: Any 64 bit processor
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
  • Storage: 250 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Any audio output
  • OS: x86/x86_64
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
  • Storage: 250 MB available space

Related posts

Peggle Deluxe

Peggle Deluxe

Like all the best puzzle games, Peggle Deluxe is almost insultingly simple to grasp, but once you get into it you'll be hooked. It is horribly addictive and the whole package is just put together so well one can't help but be charmed. Gameplay: Very simple and very addictive. Graphics: For a casual game, it is pretty good with some nice backgrounds. Sound: The tunes are OK and the sound effects serviceable.

Vertical Drop Heroes HD

Vertical Drop Heroes HD

Vertical Drop Heroes HD is simple enough that you can instantly jump in and have fun for a few minutes, but addictive enough to keep you hooked for hours. All the procedural elements keep things interesting and there are tons of skills as well as traits to unlock. The game offers a lot of value for money and will keep you coming back again and again for "just one more go." Gameplay: Simple, but very addictive. Graphics: Cartoonish visuals with some nice 2-D artwork. Sound: Catchy tunes.

Left in the Dark: No One on Board

Left in the Dark: No One on Board

Left In The Dark: No One On Board is yet another hidden object puzzle adventure with a supernatural storyline and some spooky locations to explore. Unfortunately, it faces some stiff competition and feels a bit lacking compared to other similar titles in terms of puzzles and hidden object scenes. It is certainly not a bad game, but being short and average definitely counts against it when there are so many other titles sharing the same genre. Only considering picking it up if you are a big fan of the genre or find it on sale at a great price. Gameplay: The story failed to really grip us and feels a bit generic. Graphics: Decent enough artwork, but not that really sets it apart from similar titles. Sounds: The music is unmemorable and some of the dialog sounds very unconvincing.

Trapped Dead: Lockdown

Trapped Dead: Lockdown

If you are not tired of killing zombies yet, Trapped Dead: Lockdown invites you to a small American town to get acquainted with the undead locals. The game features five different playable characters, hordes of zombies and buckets of blood, but because it is a linear experience it can also become rather repetitive. The game is still entertaining and features a lengthy campaign as well as multi-player with four players, but if you are not a fan of the genre this is unlikely to sway you. Gameplay: Enjoyable, but repetitive and there are a couple of minor annoyances. Graphics: The visuals are detailed and the locations varied. Sound: Decent voice acting, but the music and sound effects are largely forgettable.

The Way We ALL GO

The Way We ALL GO

Anyone looking for a well written visual novel where the focus is actually on the story and not any fan service will enjoy The Way We All Go. It offers a great combination of slice of life drama and horror which makes for quite a compelling experience. With more than 20 different endings the replay value is also very high considering the price tag. As long as you can look past the visuals there is plenty to enjoy about The Way We All Go. Gameplay: The story starts off rather slow, but remains compelling and definitely ends with a bang. Graphics: Decent, but a far cry from the best that the genre has to offer. Sound: Good music and sound effects.

Close to the Sun

Close to the Sun

Close to the Sun puts you in the boots of Rose Archer, a reporter exploring the quarantined depths of the Helios research ship to find her sister. The Helios is the creation of Tesla as a haven for the greatest scientific minds, but right from the start it is clear that something went terribly wrong. Close to the Sun is inevitably going to draw some comparisons to the Bioshock titles, but it is more of a walking simulator that has a few puzzles and chase sequences sprinkled in for good measure. It's not a bad game, but does feature a few annoying bits and never reaches the heights it could have. Gameplay: Slowly walk through beautiful surroundings while solving puzzles and running away from the occasional foe. Graphics: The levels look great, but the character models and animations let things down slightly. Sound: Decent music and the voice acting isn't too bad either.

Leave a comment

9 − 4 =