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Lost Girl’s Diary is a roughly one-hour story session with a group of friends who are waiting for the strike of midnight to summon the Queen of Spades. As they wait, they decide to share their scary stories with each other. Most of the girls know each other’s stories but the two guys, Stas and Styopa who join in, don’t. Made by Russian developer SmoleVN, they use the character, Queen of Spades, inspired by a popular story by Alexander Pushkin which has supernatural themes about human greed. Think about this like a campfire story telling session among friends and this is what you are experiencing.
Visual novels are a curious experience. You never quite know what to expect. While they are frequently in the casual gaming category, Lost Girl’s Diary is not a gaming experience but more of a viewing experience with clicking to progress the story and read the next passage. The focus then turns to the story, the characters, and the environment. Luckily, there is not a lack of colorful characters in Lost Girl’s Diary. In fact, the characters are of various age groups and these girls are quiet and stylish, sporty and flirty, even grounded and mature, add in the younger little girl cutesy and they have it all covered in personality. Plus, there are also two guys that show up and they are quite distinct as well.
The story component is definitely very fun more than scary. It won’t have the spine-tingling, looking over your shoulder feeling but the way they tell the story and the character they build are much scarier than they probably will turn out to be. Perhaps a younger audience will find more intrigue in it. Especially with the added visuals of the characters on screen as the story progresses. Another perk of reading a visual novel which Lost Girl’s Diary highlights well is having suitable sound effects and music in the background to accompany it. While most stories are purely fun and won’t have lingering nightmares, the music does have a eerie feeling at times creating an engaging environment.
If you are looking for an interactive experience, Lost Girl’s Diary will not fit the bill. However, as fun story moments with some intermissions between stories (aka chapters) among these charming characters, even the storytelling and language they use, this is quite a treat. If you are looking for an actual scare, this may mildly be more suitable for a younger audience. However, it could make for a nice family fun reading night. The atmosphere sometimes looms with dark and eerie music in the background to build the mood but the stories always have a fun little twist.
Lost Girl’s Diary was released on Steam as a free game in March 2016.
Game description: Lost Girl’s Diary, developed by Russian developer SmoleVN, is a visual novel that uses its colorful characters to share a collection of ghost stories told by friends that get together on an evening together.