This post discusses suicide and Toma from Amnesia: Memories.
Don’t Take This Risk is a short visual novel developed by Poison Apple Tales. You play as a young woman who picks up the phone in the middle of the night and hears a hesitant man with a french accent ask you if this is the suicide hotline. Right from the start, the game fills you with tension and does not let up. You don’t want Unknown (who will be referred to as Blanket Guy in this review) to kill himself, right? But what are you willing to sacrifice to make sure that doesn’t happen? And make sure you answer quickly, many answers are timed.
You may pick from two actors who voice Blanket Guy (I personally like Cool and Alluring, but Fun and Charming has some better delivery). There are nine endings in total and they are all terrible, save one which is a tad less terrible but still creepy. Based on this description, you may think I hate the game, but that is far from the truth.
While I have been less than impressed with some Original English Language Visual Novels (OELVNs), who sometimes miss the mark on developing an intriguing plot, Don’t Take This Risk pushes all boundaries and sheds light on an important subject without being preachy or heavy handed.
If you want to save Blanket Guy, you must tell him that you love him. This prompts him to invite you to his house, and if you want access to the majority of the endings, you must accept. This is where things get real. You are in the danger zone now.
Once you are at his house you have several options. Many are not pretty, and the one not so bad ending where you keep him alive but establish some sorts of boundarires is hard to get and took a walkthrough for me to find. It is also easy to end up with blood on your hands if you try to get this ending, if you know what I mean…
If you keep up the charade of loving Blanket Guy, you are trapped in an relationship with him and in house for rest of the night. But if you insist he call the real hotline, he will threaten to kill himself in front of you. Now different things could branch from there…but you are in deep now. Death is on the table.
A friend and I played the game together and while I was very sympathetic to Blanket Guy, she had another take. She thought he was selfish in how behaves towards you, especially once you get to his house and say you want to leave or suggest he calls the hotline and you’ll stay in the room with him. While Blanket Guy is a deeply hurt person, he is also not in a rational state of mind. My friend compared him to Toma of Amnesia in the level of delusion he had (note that we both like Toma). But that is a good comparison to make. Blanket Guy, in some ways, wants to live which is the right thing, but his methods of keeping himself alive (you entering a relationship with him) are inappropriate to say the least. This doesn’t make him a bad person, but it creates more questions than answers as to why he would do that, just as we had thought with Toma.
I don’t want to spoil too much more because Don’t Take This Risk is meant to be experienced. I’ve seen all the endings several times and the game still gives me chills. The game hits home for those who ever had a loved one threaten suicide or considered calling a hotline themselves and takes a chance encounter into a literally heart-pounding situation (literally because when there’s a tense option, you will hear a heart beat).
The developer, Poision Apple Tales, is also working on a dating sim called Beauty and The War: X Playing Pieces, where Blanker Guy will be one of the datable characters. So don’t delay, and download Don’t Take This Risk today, it’s free so why not?