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Today we’re introducing you to Mr. Saitou and Unwording, two adventures that you can both play through in one evening.
Mr. Saitou is a spin-off of Laura Shigihara’s Rakuen adventure game with a play time of approximately one and a half hours. The game was released on March 22, 2023 on Steam (£9.99, €11.79, $11.99) and for the Nintendo Switch (£22, €24.99, $24.99) as part of the Rakuen: Deluxe Edition. We were able to try this Deluxe Edition extensively. The main game Rakuen seems to have been converted 1:1 from the PC despite the engine change. Additionally, both animated short films The Farmer in the Sky are included. The third in the collection is the new spin-off Mr. Saitou.
Mr. Saitou begins similarly to Rakuen: our protagonist experiences a terrible event and we find ourselves in a hospital bed. Also just like in Rakuen, we make friends with a little boy who takes us into the fantasy world of Rakuen. Unlike in Rakuen, we don’t find ourselves in a lush forest, but in a sterile office. Mr. Saitou is also an office worker in his imagination, and all his colleagues and the boss are derivatives of him. There is the strict Bosstou, the chatterbox Irritatou and the inquiring Archaeolotou, to name just a few. As in the main game, the writing ranges from hilarious to heart-breaking. The gameplay is largely limited to classic point’n’click tasks and smaller puzzles. Except for a puzzle towards the end, in which a lot of backtracking is interspersed, we enjoyed Mr. Saitou in terms of gameplay. Laura Shigihara’s (Plants vs. Zombies, To The Moon) piano melodies are fantastic as per usual. A certan Tea Party close to the end is the culmination of the symbiosis between plot and music.
If you enjoyed Rakuen, we can wholeheartedly recommend Mr. Saitou to you. On the other hand, if you missed this adventure hit, the Rakuen: Deluxe Edition is the ideal collection to get both games. Mr. Saitou successfully pokes fun at the monotony of everyday office life and also deals with more serious topics with the usual sensitivity. Now let me feed my Minimoris and hopefully we’ll see each other again soon in the world of Rakuen.
Mr. Saitou Demo Gameplay with exclusive final scene
In Unwording you take on the role of Tom, who – whether at home or at work – is plagued by negative thoughts. The game world visualizes Tom’s emotional world and so everything is sparsely represented and he can only move around to a limited extent. Our job first is to put words to Tom’s observations, and they’re not exactly nice. We use letter cubes to complete words and, as the game progresses, whole sentences. In the course of the game, Tom’s point of view changes gradually due to several fateful events and so the graphics and the puzzle design also change for the player – 2D becomes 3D. Fortunately, the puzzles have several help functions should you ever get stuck. There are also one or the other Easter egg to discover.
Unwording borrows from games like Florence, Epistory and classic text adventures and combines them into an interesting two-hour genre mix that challenges our brain cells and is also thought provoking. Armaan Sandhu aka Frostwood Interactive’s one-man project Unwording is now available on Steam and GOG for a mere £4.29 / $4.99 / €4.59.
Publishers have provided us with Unwording for Steam and Rakuen: Deluxe Edition for Nintendo Switch. The screenshots of Mr. Saitou were provided by the publisher.