Dry Drowning REVIEW 🙂
Dry Drowning, is a condition that can appear after a person has drowned. Its symptoms include shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, coughing and drowsiness. It’s not by chance that the game has this name, because that’s exactly how the characters feel throughout the plot.
Developed and distributed by VLG, it was originally released for PC in 2019, it wins its version for Switch now in 2021.
➡ Dystopian future
Dry Drowning is a visual novel with a futuristic and dystopian theme about the city of Nova Polemos. In 2066, you are Mordred Foley, a private investigator who has been hunting a serial killer named Pandora for years.
Along with his assistant/girlfriend/it’s complicated called Hera, the two must overcome past mistakes. Meanwhile, they also struggle not to participate in a corrupt system.
Unfortunately, in 2066 human society almost collapses due to an immigration crisis. And so Nova Polemos was created, a city guarded 24 hours a day and with a strict immigration policy.
Although the story is in the future, it presents a background full of very current problems. And that were only accentuated over the years (as well as all dystopia).
The story begins with Foley’s agency in decline after a long lawsuit. He was accused of forging evidence and convicting innocent people.
And like every detective story, Dry Drowning’s begins with a mysterious woman visiting Foley’s agency. It comes on behalf of a great New Polemos politician who was caught at the scene of a crime.
Therefore, her request is clear: Mordred must investigate the murder and find out who the real perpetrator of the crime is. However, things are not as simple as he would like.
➡ Chasing pandora
Upon discovering that the modus operandi is the same as the serial killer Pandora (murders inspired by Greek myths), Mordred finds himself in a place he never expected to find himself again: chasing this figure.
Past choices will come back to haunt our protagonist as he tries to solve the mysteries.
But not everything will be so simple. The city of Nova Polemos is full of intrigue, corruption, prejudice and control over its citizens.
With three options for endings and countless choices that really make a difference in the story, Dry Drowning has a plot that will hold you from start to finish.
However, for the story to really feel complete, you’ll have to explore the other routes. But do not worry! She will manage to hook you in a way that you will want to know all the endings. Even if most of the characters lack charisma.
Travel between Foley’s past and present as he works to unmask Pandora for good and tries to survive a dangerous political plot.
➡ Find the truth!
If you are not familiar with the visual novel genre, we already have a review here on the site. But, Dry Drowning has its differential in relation to the classic style of reading and choices.
You have the dialogues and a menu that gives you access to the investigation of the place (similar to Ace Attorney). In addition to a file with the profile of the characters, evidence and clues from the investigation, important documents and the record of all the dialogues that took place.
In addition, you also have a map to move between the important places and a puzzle mini-game tab!
There are certain moments in the story when you investigate the crime scenes, for which the gameplay becomes the famous point-and-click. It is at this point that you explore the entire scene in order to collect evidence.
When it comes to dialogue, it’s when Foley questions the suspects and witnesses that you have options to choose from.
At the time of this review, Dry Drowning had a color palette that made dialog options mostly unreadable, but that was fixed after an update.
Some testimonies have highlighted words, which are questioned to add even more details and clues to the case.
At key moments, you’ll have to make a decision between two options that will change the course of history. Right at the beginning, the game explains that there are no wrong options, only those that lead to different endings.
However, the game’s most interesting mechanic is its Living Nightmare System.
➡ Living Nightmare System – unmask the lies!
Mordred Foley is a character with a peculiar condition: when a person lies, he sees macabre masks on their faces.
And to unmask the lies, we entered the state called the Living Nightmare System. Here, this system distorts reality and you have only three chances to hit the confrontation options and extract the truth from the character.
Even if you use up your three chances, you can still go back to the last checkpoint and try again.
➡ Art and soundtrack
Dry Drowning’s artwork offers a futuristic noir vibe. With the portrait of the characters in black and white, we are only reminded that the story takes place in the future, as the background illustrations are all in color.
The only strangeness it causes us is when key illustrations appear on screen. Those are usually more elaborate, made to represent an important scene. Often, the feeling is that the artist who made the art for the characters is not the same one who illustrated the scenes.
As for the soundtrack, have you ever felt embraced by a song? Dry Drowning makes you feel exactly like that!
From suspenseful soundtracks to calming piano music, the game offers several wonderful tracks that will make you stop the gameplay to enjoy!
➡ Don’t drown!
Dry Drowning is an excellent suspense and investigation story that keeps you intrigued from start to finish. Since it has many avenues to explore and a critical background to our society, it is a great example in the visual novel genre.