Headliner: NoviNews Quick Shot Review – Nintendo Switch

Developed By: Unbound Creations

Published By: Unbound Creations

Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs

Thank you so much to Unbound Creations for providing a review code

A world where you control the fabrications of truth. What you say whether it being real or not becomes the truth. You supply the public with the information they need to hear, or maybe it’s the information you want them to hear. You’re the “Headliner” for NoviNews.

Headliner NoviNews is an interactive visual novel that puts you in the position of the Headliner. You create your character and then are immediately put to work as editor of NoviNews. As editor you will be in charge of choosing which stories get published and which do not. The world you live in is almost a dystopian version of our own. There’s rampant mental health issues affecting society, political tension among countries, the rise of xenophobic sentiments, and so much more. It’s up to you to control the flow of media and decide what the world should and should not know.

Each story you approve, or disapprove has an immediate effect on society and it’s noticeable at the end of every day. Once you finish your work for the day you will have to walk back to your apartment. It’s during this walk that you will see everything that’s changed based on the news you shared. Buildings lined with graffiti, protesters marching in the streets, police brutality, and constant drone surveillance are just some of the events that are caused by your actions. One playthrough of Headliner can be as quick as 2 hours, yet the changes to your environment happen dramatically over this short time.

After work every day you’ll have the opportunity to interact with a few characters. Mainly, there are 3 characters you can interact with. One of them is your brother who is battling mental health problems while struggling to pursue a career in comedy. The second is your co-worker who is an immigrant from a neighboring country and has health problems due to genetic implementations. The final main character is a father who runs a local “ma & pa shop” and is trying to provide for his daughter, while the fear of a big business running him out of town looms over his shoulder.

These 3 characters act as devil and angel on your shoulder, constantly debating about the decisions you’re making. They also have a habit of voicing sharing their concerns with you about what’s circulating in the news. Sometimes they may provide insight on the pros and cons to the decisions you’ve made.

At the end of work every day you receive your pay which you can use to buy cosmetics for your apartment. I also recommend saving up some of your cash, because you may need it for some important decisions. Should you choose to, you’re also given the option to bring a pet dog home and later a pet drone! Having a pet is fun, but we’ll require you to feed it as well. I didn’t let the drone come home with me, because I didn’t want it spying on me…

At the end of your playthrough you get to see a recap of your decisions and their final impact. Primarily, you will see how your decisions influenced the 3 main characters. It’s sad to say, but no playthrough will yield all positive results. You may have to hurt someone or society as a whole to benefit someone else, that’s the nature of the game. Headliner does really encourage replayability as there are many different decisions and events that can occur. There’s also the ability to unlock a new character and event for future playthroughs.

Headliner isn’t necessarily a game for everyone. It’s short play time means that if you’re not a fan of games where there value is part of playing multiple playthroughs then you may not enjoy this game.

Overall, Headliner is a nice change up from the conventional visual novel style game. It has a deep and immersive story, decisions that matter, and a nice level of replay value. The game will most likely only take 1-2 hours, per playthrough, but as long as you enjoy replaying the story then that shouldn’t be an issue. I would definitely recommend checking Headliner out.

8/10

Pros

  • Deep & Immersive Story
  • Decisions Matter
  • Good Replay Value

Cons

  • Not For Players Who Don’t Like Doing Multiple Playthroughs

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