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Solve a decade-old murder in visual novel Root Letter, out on PS4 & PS Vita this month

PQube brings Kadokawa's handsome adventure to PlayStation Store on 28th October

Imagine if you had an old pen-pal who mysteriously stopped writing to you while you were in high school. Imagine if you find her final letter, 15 years later, telling you she killed someone and then offered a final farewell.

So begins Root Letter – a mystery visual novel which sends you to your pen pal’s home town in a bid to find out what happened to her.

The backbone of Root Letter’s investigation is the letters your old pen-friend sent to you all those years back. In them, she describes her old friends and her old haunts – details which you must now use to uncover the truth about her disappearance.

Of course, 15 years on, her school friends are all adults – and they’re not about to give up the truth easily…

Real world, rural and suburban setting

Root Letter is set in the real-world town of Matsue, in the beautiful prefecture of Shimane – and great pains have been taken to ensure it represents the reality of the town as closely as possible.

The prefecture of Shimane and Kadokawa Games worked very closely together to make sure that Root Letter has an incredible sense of place. Shimane is a mysterious, traditional, and romantic town. The in-game reproduction of its landmarks, streets, restaurants, and buildings are nothing short of stunning.

Root LetterRoot Letter

 

This was important as it’s the hometown of Kadokawa Games President, Yoshimi Yasuda, who wanted the game to accurately reflect the region.

Kadokawa felt that so many games set in Japan focus on urban areas – specifically Tokyo. It was important for gamers to get a real feel for a new, very different kind of location in Japan, and also to feel as though they have come to know the place well from the time spent there.

It’s all about feelings of nostalgia

Lost loves, hometown memories, and old friends – feelings of nostalgia are very powerful as you get into your 30s and 40s. Kadokawa Games employed the services of renowned character designer Minoboshi Taro, placed Noriko Hidaka (of Ranma fame) in the lead voice actress role (the game offers Japanese voice acting and English language subtitles), and lastly composer Takashi Nitta for the haunting soundtrack.

All these combine wonderfully to create a mood, an atmosphere of nostalgia and longing, and the romance of times gone by.

Root Letter

At the same time, the story plays around with this feeling, subverts it, and makes it dangerous.

Old friends – old grudges – a darkness that stirs underneath the peaceful suburban setting. All of this is for you to uncover – armed with only a series of 15 year-old letters and reminiscences. It makes for a game with an atmosphere like no other: at once whimsical, magical, but also tragic and sinister.

The investigative visual novel on PS4

Critics have been drawing comparisons to the likes of Danganronpa and the Ace Attorney series, and there are certainly similarities. While a visual novel on one hand, Root Letter is much more interactive than many VNs.

You’ll need to navigate your way around the town, interrogate people, search for clues in the environment, and then build up a case with indisputable facts and snippets of evidence to help uncover the truth from seven reluctant witnesses.

Root Letter

Eventually, you’ll be able to face off against individuals and make them crack under pressure. Present the right evidence at the right time and catch out their lies.

Visual novels have long been the poor relation of games and increasingly PlayStation is playing host to the very best that the genre has to offer, with Danganronpa, Steins;Gate and the Zero Escape series. Root Letter is the latest, and most gorgeous new addition to this massively underappreciated genre.

The game will release both physically and digitally on both PS4 and PS Vita on 28 October.

Root Letter

21 Comments
3 Author replies
crimsonidol-de 04 October, 2016 @ 13:12
1

I’m already excited to get my copy at the end of the month. :)

But as you mention Steins;Gate:
When will you announce the release for Zero? :D

Harrison Lewis 04 October, 2016 @ 15:52
1.1

It’s quite likely we’ll announce the release date soon. :)

crimsonidol-de 04 October, 2016 @ 18:11
1.2

Good to hear. Stil hope that soon is rather soon than late. ;)
And keep up the good work at Ricedigital and PQube. :)

madmanwithabox12 04 October, 2016 @ 13:13
2

Trailer only says PS4 in the title. Sony…

“The investigative visual novel on PS4″… and Vita. Considering that’s the header before talking about handheld exclusives like Danganronpa or Zero Escape… weird messaging.

I really doubt that Sony participates in these things. Probably just a weird cheapa*s attempt at marketing from PQUBE, pretty disappointed in the guys, didn’t expect it from them.

Just be thankful a physical version for Vita is still coming. I hope they keep delivering on that front. Lots of Vita owners hungry for VNs <3

not sure

Thank you PQube for localizing all these wonderful games as of late. You’re on a roll! Please don’t stop! ♥

The art-style from the game caught me right away. Seem to be such a beautiful VN. Really hope you guys keep this roll going!

Now we just need Steins;Gate 0 release date. Surely you guys can’t hold it back much longer! :P

Harrison Lewis 04 October, 2016 @ 16:17
4.1

Thank you very much! We’re looking forward to bringing over even more titles in 2017.

(Though you’ll have to hold on a little longer for the Steins;Gate 0 release date announcement!)

And yep, Root Letter is absolutely beautiful! Kadokawa Games have done an exemplary job making Shimane Prefecture look – and feel – warm and welcoming.

Wish there was English VA too…

I’ll have this but still need to finish stein gate, play amnesia then code realize and gal gun firsr

Harrison Lewis 04 October, 2016 @ 15:49
6.1

That’s a pretty awesome back catalog!

6.2

And I had bought senran bon appetit digital and got shinovi versus on physical
Way too many games not enough time

6.3

Bullet girls is also fun on vita

7

Excellent news. Can’t wait for this.

So happy you are releasing these kind of games here! I’m excited to get my copy. <3

reggyx3clover 04 October, 2016 @ 20:05
9

Yes another Visual Novel for Vita, I wish Amnesia Crown and After also get localised.

Think the general vibe can be summed up with: Nice, it’s all nice.

Don’t forget that “dark mystery” vibe too tho

11

So many good VNs coming…
but will ANYONE localize Higurashi Sui?

Any Higurashi/Umineko game on console would be awesome, tbh. It happened with Steins;Gate so it’s not totally impossible.

SatoshiOokami 05 October, 2016 @ 08:30
12

Great seeing an article on it here :)
Hopefully people will buy it.
If nothing, at least for the art :)

jason-bridges 06 October, 2016 @ 00:16
13

looks fantastic this is just the sorta game i’ve been looking for.

This looks great!! Will definitely be pre-ordering. The only hard decision now is which console to get it for, since I recently got hold of a PS4. (P.s. Like many others here, patiently waiting for Steins;Gate Zero. I’m guessing it’s going to be delayed til next year, but as long as it comes over, I’m fine with that >___<)

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