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Casey Scheld ReviewsGame ReviewsPC Reviews

In The Rural Village Of Nagoro Review

Official Score

Overall - 60%

60%

In The Rural Village Of Nagoro has plenty of character, but sadly does not have the substance to match. This walking sim ends up telling players the plot, rather than actively showing it through gameplay. It’s a fascinating vignette, but be ready to do some digging if you’re looking to learn more.

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A small village on the Japanese island of Shikoku in Tokushima Prefecture, the titular Nagoro village awaits in Sohun Studio’s narrative adventure In The Rural Village Of Nagoro. Should players back their bags, or is this trip to the countryside less than idyllic?

In The Rural Village Of Nagoro Review

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Even if you’ve never played a game in your life (you picked a great website to catch up!), The Rural Village Of Nagoro is incredibly easy to play. Players take control of a little girl as she meets and greets the denizens of the area, holding the left and right arrow keys to move around. There’s no fail state or any way to get lost; a walking sim at its core, its world is designed for players to get immersed in, rather than frustrated.

And greet you shall do! With a press of the F key, players can have the little girl wave to the people of the world. There are plenty of people to meet: Workers, students, and even cats are a friendly bunch. Again, if you struggle with games, this is easy to keep track of, as a giant “F” key appears when these moments occur.

However, for a walking sim, In The Rural Village Of Nagoro doesn’t show nor tell. Taking a scant 10 minutes, players will get immersed in the village for the first half, only to return as an adult for the second. This isn’t bad in and of itself; brevity can work well if done right. However, there’s not much context or much to go off of.

Rather, players will have to figure out exactly why the main character is placing scarecrows around the area of Nagoro. There is the occasional text screen that lists a sentence, but it just feels more like an artistic choice than something actively done to move the plot along in any sort of meaningful way.

If anything, the entire plot of the game is dumped on the player to read at the very end through a number of cited websites. It is great to learn more about the Nagoro Scarecrows Festival and Ayano’s workshop. However, it comes across like reading a college paper, which isn’t quite the right format for a game of this sort.

However, In The Rural Village Of Nagoro does an admirable attempt to immerse players into its world. It’s far from a raytracing NVIDIA marvel; a potato could run this without breaking a sweat. However, the soft colors and drawn style give it a feeling of warmth, one of care. It’s just a shame that little to no time is actually spent within this world.

In The Rural Village Of Nagoro has plenty of character, but sadly does not have the substance to match. This walking sim ends up telling players the plot, rather than actively showing it through gameplay. It’s a fascinating vignette, but be ready to do some digging if you’re looking to learn more.

[infobox style=’success’ static=’1′]This review of In The Rural Village Of Nagoro was done on the PC. The game was freely downloaded.[/infobox]

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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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