“You better not die. You might actually go to hell.” – Anne Rice
Twice Reborn is a Vampiric visual novel in which players take on the role of teaching assistant and newly-turned vampire, Mark Delaware. Choices matter as Mark navigates this dangerous and mysterious new world.
Developer: First Step Cinematics
Released: 17th June 2022
Content Warning for Twice Reborn: Flashing images, blood, violence, alcohol, moderate swearing, and drug references.
Twice Reborn’s gameplay is typical of most visual novels and uses intuitive mouse-only controls. Players click to progress the narration and dialogue and direct the cursor to select from choices that pop up. The game features over twenty different endings, however, it is not clear which decisions are instrumental to the story and will have any impact. That being said there is a free and comprehensive ‘walkthrough’ DLC available for anyone wanting some direction for replays.
Players can check the status of various alliances with vampire houses and humanity as well as the status of their relationships with different characters throughout the game. It is also possible to view conversation logs and a bloodlust meter that indicates how urgently Mark needs to feed.
The narrative is delivered through a mix of detailed and descriptive narration as well as dialogue and centres around teaching assistant Mark Delaware. Recently turned into a vampire he is faced with a series of moral and ethical choices. There are a bunch of different paths available and multiple endings to reach meaning that each player will experience a different story. However, Twice Reborn’s narrative tackles romance, murder, secret societies and more, taking players on an intriguing journey full of suspense and unexpected turns.
The detailed 2D artwork ranges from vibrant to dark and ominous. There is a diverse range of environments and backgrounds with beautifully drawn characters overlayed and some simple animations to help bring the scenes to life. The soundtrack is varied ranging from dramatic metal to Chilled out lo-fi tunes to melancholy strings but consists mostly of various types of rock and primarily features guitars and drums. This suits the style and themes of the game well and helps to further immerse the player in the experience.
There is a cast of over thirty voice-acted characters in Twice Reborn which helps break up the task of reading and brings the characters to life. However, despite the well-written dialogue, some lines fell flat with a slightly stilted delivery that somewhat hindered immersion. There were also a number of spelling and grammar mistakes in the text that were a bit jarring.
Twice Reborn lacks a bit of polish but overall is a good example of a visual novel with a pleasing aesthetic, fitting soundtrack, twisting narrative and difficult choices. The characters are diverse and distinct and the many possible paths and endings mean that there is a heap of replayability. Being a visual novel, Twice Reborn won’t appeal to everybody but I’d absolutely recommend it to fans of the genre and those who like a good vampire story.
Courtesy of First Step Cinematics we have a Steam key for Twice Reborn to giveaway on our Discord server. Come join us there for your chance to win, or just to stay up to date with Indie Hive content and chat about indie games! We’d love you to join our buzzing community!
Looking for more visual novels? Take a look at the reviews:
Pumpkin Eater: A Disturbing Tale of Death and Decay! – Homunculus Hotel – Another New Narrative Gem from Team SolEtude – A YEAR OF SPRINGS – Hard-Hitting Visual Novel!