Video Game Review – We Know The Devil

We Know The Devil is a short “group relationship horror” visual novel. The primary characters are three teenagers at a religious summer camp set in a paranormal world very similar to our own. Players choose pairs of characters to spend time with each other, learning about each of the characters from their dialog together. But one character ends up excluded more than the others, and this betrayal and jealousy can give the devil an opportunity…

Release Date: February 15th, 2016
Developer: Date Nighto
Publisher: Date Nighto
Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 1 hour
All endings play time: 3 hours total

Neptune speaks while Jupiter shrugs and Venus looks worried
Meet Venus, Jupiter, and Neptune!

Major Pros:

  • Believable characters

Minor Pros:

  • Multiple endings with one true ending
Neptune speaks deviously while Jupiter blushes
Which characters will you put together?

Major Cons:

  • Unclear setting

Minor Cons:

  • Choices only affect the ending
rotting wooden doors and ceiling beams
Most locations are described instead of shown

The primary characters in We Know The Devil are three teenagers at summer camp. Each has a distinct personality which can be loosely summarized as rebellious mean girl Neptune, easygoing tomboy Jupiter, and shy rule-abiding techy Venus. Together they share a lot of awkward moments and subtle or not-so-subtle self doubt. The player’s choices in the game affect who spends time with each other and their personality combinations play a big role in what side of each character the player gets to see. While I wasn’t particularly attached to any of the characters, I found them to be a believable group of teenagers with a reasonable depth given the length of the story.

Neptune looks annoyed while Jupiter and Venus smile
The game also has a moderate sense of humor

There are multiple endings to We Know The Devil based on which primary character spends the least time with the others, plus a “true” ending if they all spend an equal amount of time with each other. I enjoyed seeing the multiple endings and it encouraged me to replay the game and explore all of the dialog options. Having replayed the game to see all the endings however, I was disappointed that the decisions the player made only affected the ending of the game and not any of the dialog or options over the course of the game. For example, if the player was heavily excluding one of the characters, it would’ve been interesting to see them react to this and for the other two characters to have different dialog bits from spending so much time together. The endings other than the “true” ending also seemed like they were just a template filled out for each character, and didn’t differ much in what happened.

Venus covers their face while Jupiter sweats and Neptune averts her eyes
What ending will you get?

My biggest issue with We Know The Devil was that the setting of the game was very vague and poorly explained. It was something like modern day, except with paranormal aspects around the “Devil” and “God”. These aspects are pretty unique though, so there wasn’t an existing trope I could draw on to make things more clear. One character has a cell phone which seems to work normally, yet in another scene the player learns that radios are powered by crystals. Also radios tune into AM/FM channels as expected, but whatever they look like it’s clearly not typical. In several scenes the characters are described to be coiling or swinging their radios as if they are shaped like pendulums. On the paranormal side the character of God appears to only be a continuously talking voice on one radio channel while the Devil is more like some kind of curable plague that causes mutations and altered thinking. There were also several scenes that felt l significant, but I couldn’t quite tell what was going on even after repeating them. On my first playthrough I felt like I was so distracted by trying to figure out the setting, that I couldn’t fully enjoy the story.

the three characters stand together calmly
At least that part is clear!

Overall I found We Know The Devil to be a suitable visual novel for a player interested in getting to know characters, as long as they won’t be bogged down by a vague setting or disappointed in similar endings.

Find this game at the developer’s website or on Steam.

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