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

Devil May Cry® 3 Special Edition

Devil May Cry® 3 Special Edition

If you are the kind of gamer that sneers at console ports or action games that require a fair amount of finger dexterity then DMC 3 probably won't appeal to you. If however you stare longingly at the button mashers on console while your PC gamepad gathers dust in the cupboard this is the game for you. Fast paced and action packed with only some minor niggles DMC 3 is a solid game despite its console roots. Gameplay: Action packed from start to finish. Graphics: The console roots are obvious but not too shabby overall. Sound: Nice music and cool voice-overs.

Isbarah

Isbarah

Isbarah is not a game to approach if you are looking for an easy challenge or rewards that you don’t have to work hard to earn. The game requires quick reflexes, plenty of practice and a lot of dedication to master. It is definitely rewarding though, and taking down bosses many times your own size while they are covering the screen in projectiles is quite a rush. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you are up for the challenge you simply must try out the game. Gameplay: The blend of platforming and bullet hell works brilliantly. Graphics: Beautiful 2D art with excellent character designs. Audio: Adrenaline pumping tunes.

A Kiss for the Petals – Remembering How We Met

A Kiss for the Petals - Remembering How We Met

Remembering How We Met is the latest entry in the A Kiss For The Petals franchise and gives English players a chance to see what all the fuss is about. It is an all ages title, so rather tame compared to other entries in the series, but this also broadens its appeal. Players looking for a sweet and romantic yuri title should definitely not miss out on this one. Gameplay: There are no choices as this is a kinetic novel. Graphics: Restricted to a 4:3 ratio, but still looks very good. Audio. Japanese voice acting along with some very nice background music.

NaissanceE

NaissanceE

NaissanceE is not a game for players that want to know exactly what is going on at all times. Instead of offering any explanations the game simply drops you into a surreal and intimidating gameworld that thrives on your confusion. The result is an experience quite unlike anything else and one that will stay with you long after the journey is complete. Gameplay: First person exploration with a dash of puzzle solving and platforming. Graphics: Beautiful and imposing in equal measures. Sound: Atmospheric audio that greatly enhances the whole experience.

Tasty Blue

Tasty Blue

Tasty Blue features a very simple idea, but it is done quite well. The amount of difficulty settings makes it a game that can be enjoyed by player of all ages and skill levels. Although it can get repetitive after a while the humor and sheer amount of carnage that you can get up to definitely make it worth a second look. It is also a great game for playing a level or two when you don’t feel like firing up something a bit more demanding or involved. Gameplay: Simple and repetitive, but quite addictive and entertaining. Graphics: The 2D visuals are charming and colorful, but rather basic. Sound: The tunes are nice at first, but there are too few of them and they start to become annoying.

Anna’s Quest

Anna's Quest

The way that Anna’s Quest manages to combine its engaging story and charming characters with plenty of humor and even some darker elements make it a treat to play. It is a really entertaining title that is made even better thanks to its logical, but challenging puzzles and hopefully there are more quests waiting for Anny in the future. Gameplay: Puzzles that are challenging, but logical, ensures that the game remains entertaining. Graphics: Charming visuals and great animations. Sound: Nice music and very good voice acting.

Leave a comment

8 + 20 =