Trapped within a nuclear power plant, nine survivors must do whatever it takes to try and survive. Join in their story of friendship, trust, loyalty, and betrayal as they try and make it through the day.
Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- is split into two initial paths. In one path, you’ll be following the amnesiac rescue squad captain Watase Kasasagi in the hours following the disaster. In the other, school boy Natsuhiko Tenkawa in the days leading up to the disaster.
Within the nuclear power plant, a Case N has been declared and fires have broken out everywhere – including within the area housing the nuclear reactor! There’s only a limited amount of medicine to be found to help protect them from the effects of the radiation, and these people – people whose fates become intertwined throughout the story – will need to work together or die.
For the most part, I found the story within Root Double to be absolutely fantastic. The writing is overall very good, and I definitely grew very attached to the different characters. With that said, I did feel like the “good” endings were somewhat weak and tended to leave a bad taste in my mouth. The bad endings did all feel well done, even if they did result in my character dying in some horrendous way. The good endings just turned me off from wanting to continue reading the other paths, but I did push forward anyways in hopes of them getting better.
One of the key elements you’ll encounter in Root Double is the Senses Sympathy System (SSS). This system is basically another way to do the typical VN decision making. Instead of being a simple “choose this option to continue”, you’ll be given a bunch of meters to lower or raise within a diagram depending on how you feel towards the characters. Depending on the gravity of the situation, the diagram will either show up as blue, yellow, or red. Blue means that it’s not a terrible thing if you miss it, though you may miss a bit of exposition. Yellow means that it’s a bit more important to mess with it. Red is the “life or death” choice, and choosing wrong here will almost always result in your death.
The system used in the game feels like it’s a bit more complicated than it should’ve been, and it can become a bit confusing trying to figure out what is right in terms of choosing the right options. Having these options simply be choices would’ve definitely been a lot less confusing. So while it is an interesting system, I do think that simply having dialogue choices would’ve been much easier to understand.
Root Double’s music is quite well done and almost always fits the situation it’s in. If you’re in a dire situation, and dramatic piece will play. If you’re in a moment of rest and happiness, a happier piece will play. Given the length of the VN though, I did start to get tired of hearing the same tracks over and over, even with finding the music fitting for what was happening in the story.
I found the game’s art to be very good. The regular portraits were quite nice and would often reflect the situation – clothing would end up being a bit burnt and dirty after they’d been in there for a while. The CG art was even better, and really did help to capture the moment.
Root Double is an overall very enjoyable VN that will work to keep you on the edge of your seat as your characters try to survive and find a way out. While the endings did leave a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, the overall writing is very good. The music and art really help in adding to everything that is going on, though some of the music does get a bit old after you hear it for the 25th time. I did find the SSS to be a little confusing and would have much preferred if there had just been dialogue choices instead. With all that said, this VN gets a very easy recommendation from me.
Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Review Score
Root Double is available now on Steam.
I would like to thank Sekai Project for giving me a code for review purposes.