Sound of Drop – fall into poison –
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 8

Sound of Drop offers a captivating, horror-themed experience that is worlds away from the typical romance visual novels on Steam. Although it contains some blood and gore, most of the really gruesome scenes are left to the imagination instead of depicted visually. The multitude of endings adds to the replay value, and there are even some great new additions compared to the original Japanese version of the game.

Gameplay: The story is absorbing and features plenty of choices.

Graphics: The game features excellent character designs and beautiful backgrounds.

Sound: While the game lacks speech, the music and sound effects are great

Summary 8.7 Outstanding
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Sound of Drop – fall into poison –

Developer: aiueoKompany | Publisher: Sekai Project | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Adventure / Indie / Visual Novel | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Hospitals, schools, hotels, and amusement parks. When thinking about locations with the potential to be creepy and haunted, these are the ones that usually spring to mind. Now, thanks to Sound of Drop, aquariums can be added to the list. The story of this visual novel centers around the Manten Aquarium in Tokyo, where, according to urban legends, strange things happen during the full moon. The stories of water turning into blood and fishes with human faces prove too enticing for a girl named Himeno to ignore. Thus, she talks her friend Mayu into accompanying her to the aquarium to investigate. On the other hand, Mayu is less eager to go to the aquarium due to a family tragedy that occurred there five years earlier. Still, unwilling to disappoint her friend, she finally agrees to make the trip.

Sound of Drop is viewed from the perspective of Mayu, and while things start normal enough, it’s not long before everything goes very, very pear-shaped. We don’t want to give away too much about the story, but suffice it to say the urban legends turn out to be true, and if anything, the aquarium is even more sinister than the rumors suggest. Chasing after a phantom from her past, Mayu finds herself lost and alone in the aquarium, and it is up to the players to assist her in getting out alive again. This is no easy feat because the game has more than 30 endings, only four of which don’t involve a brutal death.

It is not uncommon for visual novels to lose certain elements when brought to the English market, but Sound of Drop bucks this trend by actually improving on the original and adding extra content. It features updated visuals and benefits from brand-new scenarios that flesh out the characters. The developers even managed to introduce a brand new character to the story, and there are two new “True End” scenarios for players to discover. Although Sound of Drop is not a very long visual novel, the story is engaging and well-written, ensuring players will stick with it right to the end. Since some routes and endings only become available after reaching one of the true endings, it also features plenty of replay value, so it is definitely a VN that requires multiple playthroughs to experience everything it has to offer.

Visually, the game is a treat with great character designs and some beautiful backgrounds. The Manten Aquarium is a fresh and original location that ensures plenty of variety despite its relatively small size. Unfortunately, The characters are not animated but appear more dynamic than they are thanks to changing facial expressions and sprite placement. As Sound of Drop is a horror title, there are plenty of scenarios involving blood or gore, but these are primarily described in text instead of explicitly shown. Depending on how good your imagination is, this can be considered either good or bad, but the developers definitely came up with some very creative ways to kill characters. Some of the bad endings are only slight variations of each other, but 27 is still an impressive number, and the game doesn’t pull any punches. Bad choices are usually punished immediately, but the game can be saved anytime, and some lovely Chibi artwork of your dead character softens the blow.

Unfortunately, Sound of Drop does not feature any speech but makes up for it with great sound effects and genuinely creepy music. The soundtrack is lighthearted in places where it is called for, making the darker song sound even more sinister. The controls are about what you would expect from a visual novel, and the text is advanced with a left-click or tap of the space bar. There is a lot of reading to be done, but as we mentioned earlier, the dialogue is well-written and very captivating. Unlike many visual novels on Steam, the focus is not on romance but survival, which might make it more appealing to players who are not usually fans of the genre. It is certainly not for the squeamish, though, and you’ll never look at aquariums in quite the same light again after this game.

Overall, Sound of Drop is one of our favorite visual novels this year. It is an excellent example of how to make a title that is already good even better when bringing it to Western audiences. It is not a game for people who don’t enjoy reading, but everyone who loves horror will enjoy it.

System Requirements

  • OS: Win XP+
  • Processor: Pentium3 1.0GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX® 9 Compatible Graphics Card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
  • OS: MacOS
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
  • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
  • Processor: Pentium 4 or better, 2GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
  • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space

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