You know what video games and visual novels needed? Fanfics based off of real people’s lives. This is exactly what Drusilla Dreams is – a fanfic about the lives of Rome’s Drusilla and Caligula.
If you recall, last month I posted a review about the game I Am Caligula. In that review, I stated that the game struggled to keep any sort of good pacing and had absolutely horrific English. Flash forward to this month and here we are with Drusilla Dreams, the “sequel” to I Am Caligula. The correct term for this game would be to call it a fanfic spin-off that follows both Drusilla and Caligula. It’s a bit hard to have a game be a sequel when the previous game had both of these people die during it.
You begin Drusilla Dreams with an introduction from original character (OC) “Lucca”. Lucca never existed in the real lives of Drusilla and Caligula, and is completely created for this story by the writer of this VN. Lucca talks about how she has been a slave to Drusilla for most of her life, but it’s okay, she doesn’t mind being a slave! It seems Drusilla has a bit of a drinking problem though, and we eventually switch to her point of view as she rambles on about a bunch of nonsense. The rest of this “story” stays in the realm of complete nonsense, occasionally attempting to bring in real life facts about the people who did actually exist.
The writing in Drusilla Dreams is absolutely dreadful. It’s a complete mess and just jumps all over the place. There are also grammatical and spelling errors everywhere. For example, “then” is used instead of “than” in every single case where “than” would have been more accurate. “Moment” is spelled as “momment” in every single location that it comes up (I don’t suggest Googling what “momment” means).
If you’re going to make a visual novel that is only available in English you should really make sure than your English is actually good, and get a proofreader for it before you publish it/put it up for sale. I can NOT stress this enough for anything where the writing is your primary form of communicating with the player. I have seen a lot of RPG Maker games and visual novels that just fail to use any sort of proofreading in their game, and these are two media formats that absolutely need a proofreader.
The art in Drusilla Dreams is… I don’t know how to describe it. The same main character models that were used in I Am Caligula are also used here, so I will at least give them points for consistency. However, what was not necessary was the ass shots of all the females. Have I mentioned that, at least at the time of writing this review, this game does not have any sort of age gate on it? Why am I mentioning an age gate? Well, as I said, there are quite a few bare ass shots, as well as quite a bit of sex talk present within the writing itself (talk of what Drusilla does with her “tounge”, and how she and Caligula went to have a lot of sex and get pregnant in one of the endings are a few examples).
Unless the writing is cleaned up tremendously and the whole fanfic-vibe of the writing is stripped from this story, you should just avoid it like the plague. There are far, far better visual novels out there that cost less than this does (and considering this is only $1). Finally, as I said in my I Am Caligula review, if you want to find out more about the lives of these people, their wiki pages are easily accessible and will give it to you in readable English. You should just avoid both this game and I Am Caligula at all costs.
Drusilla Dreams Review Score
I won’t even get into the fact that people who backed this game on Kickstarter had tiers higher than the eventual cost of the game that didn’t really offer any bonuses to what those who can just pay $1 get. While I didn’t back it myself on Kickstarter, this is information I found from browsing the forums in a stickied topic. Let’s also not forget that the music is fairly annoying, and that there are completely unnecessary volume meters in the settings.