November 08, 2018

PAX Australia - Hands on with Quantum Suicide

Attending a show like PAX Australia is always interesting, simply because of the number of indie developers that are one man, two man or in this case one woman shows. Being asked to check out a Visual Novel game, my initial thought was no, sorry, not my thing, but stopping and thinking, I decided why not.

Quantum Suicide is the game in question and is all about you and the relationships you create, with people aboard a spaceship. You are one of the children that were born in space, to your parents, who set out into the depths of Space to locate a new home, as Earth is dying, so some countries got together, hatched a plan and launched the best and brightest into space, the result is what you see when the game begins.

The build that was on show at PAX Australia was a little way into the game and had my character, waking from a night sleep, with some slight stomach trouble. Here I was given my first choice, I could return to sleep, go get something to eat or get some medical advice, deciding that food was likely the reason I hit up the mess hall, only to find it empty. Having another choice ahead of me, I headed for the bath, which is themed like a Japanese bath house, giant mural of Mt Fuji and all and it was here, where I had my first interaction with another character, Beatrix.

I was lucky enough to have the developer, Tina, alongside me for my playthrough and she was happy to report that whilst Beatrix might look like your average annoying Japanese manga character, she is anything but. She is one of the medical staff onboard, along with her twin brother and trained by her parents, both of whom were the medical staff in the first place. She clearly has ambitions to bed my character, but before she can act on those desires, the ships AI, funnily enough is named Ai, steps in to explain that Nikolas, her brother is looking for her. She makes a hasty retreat and my character steps away from the bath, now no longer feeling the desire for one and makes for the mess hall and there, he runs into the ship's captain Kimiko and the current love interest.

That is what Quantum Suicide is all about, the relationships, because the main goal of the people on board, is to keep the number of people up, so they can complete their mission, and save the people of Earth. However, while you can choose what gender you can be, there is no limit to who you can form a relationship with, though one at a time, no one wants to be the first person to have a revolving bedroom door in space. But forming lasting relationships is not the only worry, you also need to deal with Ai, who has a bug in her software that causes a sadistic version to emerge, known as Dai and when it does, it likes to play the Deletion Game, which results in the vanishing of someone on the ship.

After the crew interacted over the meal, Kimiko requested that I return to my quarters, where she would join me, discussion of the newly announced round of the game, pushed aside for the moment, however when I returned to the room, Kimiko was already there, except it was not her and whomever it was, stabbed me and fled into the bathroom. The real Kimiko arrived not a moment later and then the fake one emerged and the demo ended, which was something else that Tina highlight, your choices will have a consequence, be that the death of someone you care about, or your own, each choice matters.

If you die, the game is over, so if you want to last to the end of the game and see the story through, you will need to ensure that your choices matter. Tina was happy to confirm that the game does feature full English and Japanese voice acting, which is always welcome and that the game is hoping for a release in early 2019.

While I would not have normally given a visual novel game, a second look outside of PAX Australia, I am glad I did, as someone who loves story and puts that above most everything else in games, I might have found a new way to get my fix.

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