//TODO: today is a visual novel and dating sim. You’ll follow the main character through a crisis involving life direction in the context of paying rent, becoming an artist, working in a bookstore, dating, and the help of a cute but invasive artificial intelligence named Joyce.
The game takes advantage of bright pastel colors and hand-drawn art. It conveys a message of getting out of a rut as an adult and using a motivation to solve life’s problems. The gameplay is a few hours and very interesting.
//TODO: This Game Is My Life, Circa 2008
You may notice in your game catalog browsing a very colorful game. “//TODO: today” is that game. It is common for indie games to use bright just as much as the opposite, some go the extra mile though. This is perhaps the main thing I love about //TODO. I do relate to levels of ironic relation to this plot, but also enjoy the story. And–this is an obvious one–if this color scheme in the screenshots is something you appreciate, you’ll love this!
Although the default character name is Teal, the name, gender, and romantic interests are fully customizable. Occasionally, the character avatars in games that attempt to represent characters mindfully are a bit off. I am happy with this design though.
//TODO: Legit Nostalgia
The game beginning seemed like the story was going to be about a computer repair shop. It is not though, even though that is where the story begins and I had failed to read the synopsis. The shop is a nice place to start with this art style in my opinion. I can assure you this is literally what independent computer repair shops look like and it shows you what kind of details are going to be in the game later on.
This comp shop reminds me of some of the ones from a period of my life. One in particular. Eventually, it was closed to the public, but this looks exactly like it, even the placement of the cables for sale on a pencil board. (But blasted with pastel colors from floor to ceiling.)
The game does not continue in a computer shop though, as surprised as I was, and the main source of story material extracted from it is a flyer to sign up for a paid medical research program that takes a computer. This is a pretty important plot element. The program is an A.I. with the name Joyce that is a personal assistant/counselor. Teal is sort of creeped out by it but soon finds it more entertaining than not.
When Teal gets their computer fixed in the game, it is apparent that they are not going to have enough money for rent. You might relate to this situation, as did I at one point before I moved out of the city. Luckily, their job at the bookstore is currently part-time but the boss is happy to hire you for more hours.
It Was Purple
The bookstore scenes were great. I used to work for a bookstore, so I seriously related to this a lot. There’s always the occasional clerk who is a bit judgmental. You might have noticed it if you’ve visited an indie bookstore. People need to knock that off. They don’t realize that people don’t just sit around reading books all day, especially them. But there are plenty of opportunities to really help somebody figure out something very important or enjoy a theme they want to read more of. It really did remind me a lot of the real thing.
I worked mostly in the warehouse or on the phone, but people would always be throwing curveballs. I’d constantly be refining my bookseller kung fu to handle these puzzles. It was quite fun actually.
There’s More, A Lot More
I was totally amazed by this game. Everything is just really really poignant. I think you would be stunned how much of it I relate to. One other play experience is playing an MMORPG you’ve been playing since high school with your guild on your time off. Okay, this is getting eerie. I love it though.
There is a dating sim element of the game that I just started to explore before I wrote this, but I think that could be a really nice balance in this story. I stopped around the time that the new clerk at the bookstore was hired and needed training. From screenshots, descriptions, and my own playtime, it seems there are a few hours to be had out of the game. Right now, Steam says it will be a “free to play” game, which if right means you really have no excuse not to play this. It is excellent and hits a relevant mood.
If you like this review, please have a look around. I mostly review indie games, but I’m pretty obsessed with visual novels. I have included a Steam link below. And as always, thanks for reading MrDavePizza.com!
The game is on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1259240/TODO_today/