If games have taught us just one life lesson, it’s that war never changes. However, Leviathanimation’s Tyrania – A Kinetic Visual Novel attempts to twist this time-tested narrative through the actions of just one man. However, despite its grandiose vision, this title falters at getting its point across.

Tyrania – A Kinetic Visual Novel Review

In a land where cities are burning, children are crying, and war is never ending, Edo lives in the neutral area of Dominence with his guardian Mr. Smith. Times are tough for him in this distraught world, with the talented pianist Anjeru serving as his only source of happiness. Though he is in a relatively safe area, he wishes to seek out an end to the war by any means necessary.

However, everything quickly changes when he finds a bracelet in a piano, one that has the power to control technology. When Edo wields it, he hears a voice from an alternate reality that tells him that he can achieve his dreams in exchange for his humanity. What follows is a struggle to figure out what he is truly fighting for, and where his place lies in this crazy world.

It’s a cliche tale, one that is overly melodramatic at every turn. Everything is placed straight, and edgy personas are the norm. The moment you learn that Edo’s brother is working for the enemy is the moment you realize that the development team has watched one too many shonen anime series. The moment you see a dramatic outcry like “NONESENSE!!!” [sic] is the moment the cheese is laid on far too thick.

This dynamic extends to the rest of the cast – it’s not uncommon to see high ranking officers be evil for the sake of being evil, or generic warscapes to show the horrors of war. It oftentimes feels like the development team wanted to create dramatic setpieces that showed shocking things, rather than tie them into the narrative.

The narrative also has a problem with cohesion as things progress. There are times where Edo desperately cries out about Anjeru’s death, only for her to be perfectly fine without any fanfare less than 15 minutes later. There are also times where the scenery will change from somebody’s bedroom to a conference room to a dreamy alternate reality in a matter of minutes. These images were likely taken from stock assets and blurred, but they do not make sense in the context of the story.

The character designs do not fare much better. Anime eyes, spiky hair, and scruffy guys with a cigarette in their mouth are the norm. Everything is poorly drawn, with the perspectives coming across as somewhat odd. There’s a distinct lack of detail in its design, and nothing in this visual novel ever seems to mesh well together.

Those who know even the most basic of anime tropes will be well acquainted with all the major beats of Tyrania. This visual novel is as basic as they come, and the lack of polish makes it an easy pass.

This review of Tyrania – A Kinetic Visual Novel was done on the PC. The game was freely downloaded.
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