Kasey is a teenage hacker who dreams of getting away from where she’s living. Through her hacking, she’s able to see what others do in their lives. However, after one fateful hack, everything changes.
Invisible Apartment Zero is a short, about hour long, visual novel. It is a choice driven VN, though the general story is always going to be the same with just a few dialogue differences. It is fairly easy to accidentally end it though, so frequent use of saves is a good idea.
The base concept of the story is that Kasey is stuck in a suburb of some big city, putting the game in a cyberpunk setting. She took to hacking after learning programming, and uses it to hack into security cameras to watch how other people live their lives. She dreams of getting out of this city and moving to somewhere she can actually make something of herself. After she promises her friend, Joel, she wouldn’t hack anymore, she decides to do “one last hack”. This final hack sets in motion the wheels of everything that follows, though the game still leads to a lot of open questions. This is a prequel title, so I suppose those are answered in the next VN.
As I said, it’s very easy to accidentally end it with a “bad” ending. The first time I did so, I was lucky I had at least saved, albeit I had to redo a bit and there’s no option to skip what you’ve already seen (at least that I could find). Even at what I presume was the end of it, I still wasn’t sure if I’d actually “beat” it. I presume so, as the screen that came up with Restart wasn’t the same one that was for the bad ending. An actual “hey you completed it, check out our other game(s) in this series” would have been good.
The script feels very poorly proofread. There are mistakes all over the place, some of them even repeated several times (like loose/loosing instead of lose/losing). This was a bit detracting from the story overall and made it feel very amateur.
While you have the option to mute the music, if you don’t I found the music fairly fitting. While I don’t understand the need of a vocal song near the start while you’re still reading through (I find vocals make it harder to focus on what you’re reading), it was a good overall fit for the cyberpunk setting.
Graphically it also works for the cyberpunk setting. You will see some of the same backdrops multiple times which did feel a bit awkward to me – for example, when Kasey goes out to her front porch, it looks the same as when she just goes to some random place to wait. Unfortunately, some of the backdrops make it a bit harder to read the text if they’re too bright. The background on the text could use to become a bit less transparent to help fix this issue.
I’m torn on Invisible Apartment Zero. It was an interesting concept, however the spelling issues are really abundant. There’s also not that many different scenes to see, and for the price tag of $6 (USD) it feels a bit too short. It especially feels this way when you take into account Invisible Apartment (the game this is a prequel to) is free. Invisible Apartment Zero is worth it if you can grab it on sale or in a bundle, but for the full price I have a really hard time recommending it.
Invisible Apartment Zero Review Score
Feels far too short for the price, has a ton of spelling mistakes, and the text becomes hard to read at times.