Game Info:

2236 A.D.
Developed By: Chloro
Published By: Sekai Project
Released: May 11, 2018
Available On: Linux, MacOS, Windows
Genre: Visual Novel
ESRB Rating: No Rating
Number of Players: 1
Price: $14.99

Thank you Sekai Project for the review code.

People always look towards the future in many ways. Some people are excited to see what it holds for them while others are terrified of it. Sometimes, the past, and the future is a judge of character. Finding yourself, your purpose, can be a lifelong journey for many. One of the scariest things for a person to experience is themself, but what happens when a seemingly small situation leads you on an adventure of self-discovery and worth?

The visual novel 2236 A.D. stars our protagonist Yotsuba, a young boy attending school in the distant future. This future doesn’t have flying cars or instant teleportation like how many futures are portrayed. What differs from this reality and our own is that the people of the future are capable of telepathy, which for the most part bypasses verbal communication. Telepathy can also be used on objects to see who previously had them and what they have done with them. Some of the people even have special devices called Smart Tools, which act as personal assistants.

2236 A.D.

Strong Points: An engaging philosophical and scientific story that is much deeper within than it leads on. A strange, yet appealing soundtrack that fits the tone of every situation.
Weak Points: Character art is sub-par. Dead inputs quite frequently, requiring multiple inputs to achieve an action.
Moral Warnings: Various sexual acts and situations. Full frontal nudity of characters, some who may be quite young. Mild and strong language usage. Some characters submit to their more lustful urges. God’s name is used in vain quite a few times. Blood is sometimes shown in scenes and some instances of descriptive violence. 

Our protagonist finds himself drawn to the only two classmates that are incapable of telepathy, which makes it very difficult for the two to complete their tasks as most forms of communication are by telepathy. He takes a special interest in one of these classmates; a girl named Haru Shion who stays completely quiet in the classroom, of whom he finds very intriguing. After class ends, he finds a screwdriver on the ground when walking home. Using his telepathy on it, it leads him to an abandoned house, where he then meets a motionless girl, also by the name of Haru Shion. Opposite to the other Haru Shion, this one is only able to communicate by telepathy. Are the two Haru’s the same person, and why do they look so much alike?

As 2236 A.D. is a visual novel, it puts a heavy emphasis on story, character interaction and dialogue. Some visual novels have gameplay aspects to it, but this one is like most visual novels, where there are some dialogue choices to make. There are not a huge amount of choices in this one, but like most, choosing the wrong dialogue will lead to a sudden and abrupt end. It is pretty obvious what choice or choices to make when the time arises. 2236 A.D. differentiates itself from other VNs by taking a more philosophical approach to its narrative. It really peers into the mind and thought process of a person. It will make you question why people do the things they do, and what things make them act the way they act, and frankly, it does a great job at it. When going through the VN, many different kinds of emotions will be felt, and some situations will hit the heart very heavily. As the game goes on, it takes a more scientific approach where it will talk about various theories that scientists have made in the past, but still keeps up with the philosophical questions about the natural curiosity of a person and ones self-worth.

As this strange world is based on a possible future of our own, the developers took this liberty to make most of the backgrounds pictures of real life. There are many effects added to these photos such as inverted colors in some of them which give off a bizarre and unsettling feeling. The backgrounds also contain these little subtleties that make the world feel more organic such as wrinkled bed sheets, scattered items throughout and natural settings such as rain and snow. Even though the backgrounds are beautiful and eye catching, I unfortunately cannot say the same for its character design. For a game that originally released in 2015 in Japan, the art of the characters are mediocre and even border around the edge of bad in some scenes. I’ve played low budget VNs that have come out in the late '90’s and early '00’s with vastly better character art. Contrast to the scenery, it makes the characters stick out in a bad way even more and left me very unimpressed.

2236 A.D.
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 53%
Violence - 6.5/10
Language - 1.5/10
Sexual Content - 0/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

Most VNs utilize voice acting to bring more life to it, but as the VN was created by a smaller team on a smaller budget it does not have voice acting outside of a few intro scenes and credits. With the lack of voice acting, they more than make up for it with the music and sound production. The music covers all sorts of genres, at times focusing on classical pieces and other times focusing on modern sounds. Whenever a strange scene happens, strange music accompanies it, with distorted notes and beats, really giving an abnormal feeling. Even though I did not experience any crashes of the sort, there was some odd moments where the game just would not accept my input. I have a computer that far exceeds the system requirements, so it is rather annoying to experience random pauses and eaten inputs.

Visual Novels have many subgenres to them and one of those genres are of the eroge (erotic+game) variety. 2236 A.D. was originally an eroge, but to be distributed through the Steam client, it has to have its graphic sexual scenes removed. Thus, the version on Steam is an “All Ages” edition. As such, there is an “18+” version distributed via Denpasoft if one is interested in the additional scenes. Even with the removal of the H-scenes, it is still a game marketed and meant for adults. Instances of mild and strong language are shown, with frequent F-bomb usage, as well as some instances of using God’s name in vain. Even by omitting graphic sexual acts, there are still sexual moments such as the groping of breasts or instances of masturbation. Frontal nudity is also shown of a few characters, and some of these characters are of a fairly young age as they are depicted as being in middle school and high school, but their exact age range is never specified. Violence is never outright shown in any of the scenes but there are some scenes where blood is shown, as well as a few scenes where violence is described in detail.

2236 A.D. takes you and its characters on a crazy journey, letting you see a similar, yet different world through someone’s point of view. It is a coming of age story where many emotions are experienced: anger, jealousy, fear, cowardice, but also joy, and happiness. As the story goes deeper and deeper, it starts to make you question yourself. Do you accept yourself? Do you even love yourself? How far are you willing to go to achieve your dreams and find a place where you belong? 2236 A.D. ends up being a very enjoyable visual novel with a strong narrative, a complementing and compelling soundtrack, and realistic characters that is great for VN veterans and newcomers of the genre, even with its rather unappealing character design. Lovers of science will get enjoyment out if it due to its views and how it tackles the subject. Just be aware that since the game in its original form is of the eroge genre, it still has many sexual situations, and content to match. As such, I would advice caution when considering this title, as there are many tamer games in this genre to enjoy.

-Cinque Pierre

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Cinque Pierre

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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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