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Game Info:

Last Stanza
Developed by: Innocence
Published by: Sekai Project
Release date: November 9, 2018
Available on: Linux, macOS, Windows
Genre: Visual Novel
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $7.99

Thank you Sekai Project for sending us this game to review!

High school is a unique time in a person’s life. The school workload gets harder and hormones really kick in and make it difficult to focus on studying. Last Stanza revolves around the suicide of a classmate and shows the different perspectives of several people including the girls’ father, boyfriend, and the other girl that has a crush on the guy as well.

The first perspective is Liam’s who rides the bus with Beatrice and has known her since childhood. Without her initiating conversations, it would be a silent bus ride as he often has his head in the clouds. Liam is totally oblivious to Beatrice’s feelings toward him and he views her as nothing more than a friend. He’s taking the loss of Charlotte pretty hard and Beatrice tries to comfort him without overstepping her bounds.

Last Stanza
Highlights:

Strong Points: Interesting story told from multiple perspectives
Weak Points: Only three hours long
Moral Warnings: The story revolves around a suicide; alcoholism; minor swearing (d*mn); churchgoers depicted in a negative light; God is mentioned in lowercase

As the story unravels, you’ll get to meet several characters and learn about them and why they chose the school clubs they did. Gregor is Liam’s best friend and can always be found playing on the football field so him joining the sports club comes as no surprise.

Gregor does throw out a couple of sexual jokes, but Liam is a gentleman. In the 70,000 words of dialogue in this kinetic visual novel you’ll find a couple of swears (d*mn), some references to God with a lowercase ‘g’, and a reference to local Christians acting like phonies. Lastly, one of the characters is an alcoholic. Other than these moral issues, The Last Stanza is pretty tame.

Last Stanza
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 70%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 2/10
Sexual Content - 8/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

The art style is rather unique and the characters are nicely detailed with a handful of different expressions. I’m not really a fan of the blurry backdrops, but they consistently appear that way. Perhaps with them appearing blurry they look the same regardless of the screen resolution.

I enjoyed the background music and it fit in within the story appropriately. There is one classical music performance using one of Beethoven’s pieces. The looping was obvious and they should have used a longer piece in my opinion.

If you’re on the fence with this visual novel, there is a free demo available on Steam. I can’t imagine it being too long since the whole game is a little over three hours. Since it has no choices, there is only one ending and it’s hard to not earn all of the eight Steam achievements available for this title. If you want to 100% a game, Last Stanza is a good option. The asking price of $7.99 is reasonable and a better value than a movie ticket for a film that’s half as long.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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