Doki Doki Anomaly is a short visual novel by FlightyFelon Games released as a submission to the Brackeys Game Jam 2021.2. The game takes place in the SCP Foundation collaboration fiction universe – detailing the exploits of an organization dedicated to securing, containing and protecting anomalous items and preventing mass panic. Through the newly obtained SCP-8008, an abnormal pair of novelty glasses, it is possible for a person to fall in love with almost anything and perceive them as a real person, even the hideous, neck-snapping sculpture SCP-173!
Developer: Rebecca Harrison
Released: 29 August 2021
Available on: itch.io
SCP-173 as a girl!?
As a visual novel, Doki Doki Anomaly requires little inputs aside from advancing the text and handling the occasional choices. As one of the few remaining researchers working on documenting SCP-8008’s effects, you are given clearance to test it on SCP-173. Surprisingly once you wear the glasses, the ugly peanut-shaped sculpture turns into a somewhat cute human girl while keeping some of the original sculpture’s features.
The choices offered to you mostly boil down to following the Foundation’s strict protocols or treating 173 as a girl you like. Even with the glasses on, don’t get too comfortable around 173, as her original form will still snap necks if everyone in the room blinks at the same time. In addition, after each session with 173, you get to dream up a match-three minigame which you need to beat!
Sounds cool but also ominous. Is this worth it?
With the help of the Unity engine, Doki Doki Anomaly’s few visuals are rendered in 3D scenes, with the human version of SCP-173 exhibiting full movement including expressions such as glaring and being surprised. This is accompanied by a soundtrack featuring typical upbeat dating sim tunes, and creepy ambient music for every other scenario.
Although the premise of the game sounds like a cute dating sim but with anomalous objects, the horror elements, by and large, dominate the story. Even with the glasses on, you can’t help but feel uneasy and on edge. In this way, the game doesn’t feel way too out of place from the Foundation’s universe and its scariest tales. Perhaps the only real problem with the game’s storyline is there’s no article for SCP-8008 yet, and it can be a completely different item in the future.
If you have about thirty minutes to spare and a penchant for creepy short novels, Doki Doki Anomaly will satisfy your itch and at no cost to boot. Plus if you couldn’t get enough of the game, a full version is planned to feature two more anomalies to choose from, coming out this October!