Check out this visual novel that blends 3D and 2D visuals in a story about teens who’ve (mostly) avoided the end of the world

jdQTAFmJ75hgnSBAcJbyaG-1200-80 Check out this visual novel that blends 3D and 2D visuals in a story about teens who've (mostly) avoided the end of the world

New visual novel Until Then is getting pretty dang positive reception not only for its story and characters, but also its distinctive visual style that blends 2D characters with 3D environments, as well as a unique use of social media as a plot element. 

Until Then is set in a kind of alternate universe Philippines and stars teenager Mark as he explores his relationships with his classmates and his world—which has just escaped some kind of ill-defined brush with an end of all things.

“A fateful meeting sets off a chain reaction, upending Mark’s life. People disappear and memories prove unreliable. Uncover a hidden truth with Mark and his friends in this narrative adventure and race to unravel the mystery before it’s too late,” says the developer’s official description.

Until Then is very much the same lineage of game as Life is Strange, where there’s just as much, if not more chatting and drama between its teenage characters as there is anything paranormal going on. There’re minigames like a rhythm game for practicing piano, or a flash-drive-flipping game to insert a USB key, or the ever-vital battle for freshly-fried fishballs.

The narrative itself is touted as branching to some extent, but the most interesting bits seem to come after you’ve finished it once through. Until Then is structured for multiple playthroughs, with iterative endings revealing more and different aspects of the secret behind its world. As you go, posts on in-game social media can help you figure out the wider political and social landscape that Mark’s growing up in.

Until Then has been very positively received by its audience so far—picking up a fairly impressive 97% positive Steam review scores of 279 reviews at press time. You can find Until Then on Steam, where it’s $20, though there’s a 10% off sale running until July 9. 

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