Pale Cachexia
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 9

Pale Cachexia is a kinetic novel with Gothic undertones featuring two young women who meet under strange circumstances. One suffers from a life-leeching plague called the Pale Cachexia, while the other lives on her own in the middle of a forgotten forest. Despite the differences in their backgrounds and personalities, the two girls become friends, but there are outside forces that will put their bond to the test. The unique story, setting, and characters make Pale Cachexia an interesting read and the gorgeous visuals, as well as the haunting soundtrack, certainly doesn’t hurt either.

Gameplay: This is a kinetic novel, but the lack of choices doesn’t hamper the compelling story.

Graphics: Beautiful character sprites and CGs as well as detailed backgrounds.

Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is excellent

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
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Pale Cachexia

Developer: Argent Games | Publisher: Argent Games | Release Date: 2021 | Genre: Casual / Visual Novel | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Pale Cachexia opens with a young girl named Esther setting off into a foreboding forest on her own. It soon becomes apparent that it was desperation that drove her to such a dangerous place. Esther suffers from a life-leeching plague called the Pale Cachexia for which there is no cure. Instead, the illness leaves those afflicted with it in a constantly lethargic state, and without medication to keep it under control the end result is pretty horrifying. Esther has heard rumors of an apothecary living in the forest and hoping that he might have a cure, she ventures into the unknown.

Much to her surprise, Esther discovers a large manor deep in the forest, but instead of an apothecary, the occupant is a young girl named Seina. It turns out that Seina has been living in the manor all alone ever since her father passed away six years ago, but she welcomes Esther in with open arms. Seina’s father suffered from the Pale Cachexia too and Esther hopes that going through his extensive research she might find some clues about a cure. It’s a long shot, but she doesn’t have a lot of other options.

During the course of this 48,000 word kinetic novel, the friendship between Esther and Seina grows as both of them battle with their own personal demons. Although the two have very little in common due to their circumstances the story paints a believable picture of them building a tight bond. However, Esther can’t shake the feeling that despite Seina’s bright and optimistic demeanor, the manor and nearby cemetery hold some dark secrets.

Pale Cachexia only takes about five hours to complete, so we don’t want to reveal more about the story, but despite its length, it never feels rushed. It is also great that the developers did not shoehorn a romance into the game and instead focused on the friendship between the two girls. Pale Cachexia is not just the story of Esther and Seina, though, as a third character also gets his turn to shine. However, his scenes are set in the past and crop up occasionally to flesh out Seina’s backstory a little more. Overall, the writing for Pale Cachexia is very good and the Gothic atmosphere of the game is relatively rare for the genre. The story also incorporated elements of fantasy, drama, and a bit of horror to keep things compelling.

The game is the work of a very small team, but they did a remarkable job with the presentation. Pale Cachexia looks and feels very polished and along with the usual text speed and audio volume options also features some accessibility options, such as the OpenDyslexic font, audio cue subtitles, and the ability to disable bright flashes. A CG gallery and music player also round out the package nicely.

Visually Pale Cachexia puts a lot of big-budget visual novels to shame with the beautiful character sprites and detailed backgrounds. The story is mostly confined to a few rooms inside the manor and surrounding woods, but the limited amount of locations adds to the intimate feel of the game. The character sprites are not just well-drawn and shaded but are also expressive enough to convey the emotional turmoil that they are going through. Finally, the handful of CGs for some of the key scenes in the story also looks great.

Unfortunately, Pale Cachexia doesn’t feature any type of voice acting but makes up for it with a beautiful and haunting soundtrack. There are 12 tracks in total, so there’s plenty of variety and each one of them sounds great. Even the most upbeat tracks have a melancholic feel to them but fit in nicely with the tone of the story. The game has no shortage of sound effects either to add a bit more atmosphere to the scenes. The controls are straightforward and since this is a kinetic novel there are no choices to make or branches in the storyline.

Pale Cachexia doesn’t exactly feature the most cheerful setting or story, but the characters are genuinely interesting, which makes the overall experience very compelling. The fact that there are only three characters also allows the story to take its time and flesh things out without feeling rushed or contrived. Players looking for something humorous and carefree might find Pale Cachexia a little too bleak, but the characters do share the occasional moments of joy and happiness. If all you want is another goofy visual novel filled with gags and fan service, then Pale Cachexia is definitely not for you. However, if you are looking for a story that can pull on your heartstrings featuring memorable characters, this game comes highly recommended.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: 1GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL compatible card
  • Storage: 600 MB available space
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.6+
  • Processor: 1GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Storage: 600 MB available space
  • OS: Linux x86/x86_64
  • Processor: 1GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX or OpenGL compatible card
  • Storage: 600 MB available space

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2 Comments

  1. Rootion April 19, 2021
    Reply

    This reminds me of ebihime titles! The game sounds good and I will pick it up IF the devs add some cards and backgrounds. With art like this it is a crying shame that these are not already included.

    • Silmarilia April 19, 2021
      Reply

      +1 for emotes and cards

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