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Sacred Reviews: Quest for the Lost Dentures

Intro

"Quest for the Lost Dentures" is a short, comedic visual novel developed by mjshi using Unreal Engine 4. An engine that really isn't geared towards creating visual novels. As a result the developer had to get a bit creative in order to make this project fully functional. After all were using an engine geared towards creating 3D worlds for a project whose world is flatter than Flonne and Etna's chests in "Disgaea: Hour of Darkness". A factoid which just begs why this project was created with such a powerful tool. Thankfully there is an explanation for this in the comment section for this game. Apparently this project was created as part of a game development class where the participants were tasked with creating a game using Unreal Engine 4, but weren't given any restrictions in terms of genre. As a result the developer decided to test themselves by trying to create a visual novel with Unreal Engine 4.

Story
Summary

In this visual novel you take on the role of Alex and decide the fate of our comrades/friends. These choices range from forgoing the adventure to find the dentures, getting lost in the woods, getting absolutely wrecked by a super slime. or returning with the dentures for a reward so meager it'd barely count as enough money to pay for one meal at McDonald's. In other words this is truly a story told in a way that is pretty similar to a choose your own adventure story. And your choices truly do matter in this one.

Comedy

Sadly the only joke this visual novel really has on tap is just how mundane your quest target is. A joke that probably won't get that many laughs out of most people since there are even older projects on this site like "Quest for the Ultimate Cake" by Irili or "This is a Game" from one of the Indie Game Maker Contests where the player is tasked with recovering panties for a slime since it gives them power. Or if you want a professional game with a similar quest premise there is "Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?" where your tasked with finding the ingredients to create the ultimate dessert or the sequel where you need to recover Etna's stolen panties. All I'm saying is giving adventures a super mundane task in and of itself isn't that funny in a day and age where this joke was already the better part of a decade old when "Quest for the Lost Dentures" was made.

Greatest Strength/Weakness

On the plus side this visual novel does provide the player with meaningful choices which is more than I can say for some other visual novels I've covered over the years where your choices barely impact the overall plot beyond a few lines. At the same time the outcomes of the various paths are very predictable. If you combine this with just how limited this novel is in terms of unique facial expressions for the playable cast and your left with a short story that struggles to leave a meaningful impression on the reader.

Gameplay

There really isn't that much gameplay to be had here. For the most part you'll be spending your time advancing the dialogue and every now and again your presented with a major decision to make. Of course after you've beaten the game you can use the skip option to fast forward through dialogue you've already experienced in order to check out the other ways this short story can end.

Graphics

Graphically the game uses what I presume are photos of the real world that have been put through a filter or two in order to make it mesh better with mjshi's hand-drawn character portraits. A decision that really doesn't pay off in my opinion since the hand-drawn character portraits still stand out from the background in a pretty noticeably way in my opinion.



On a more positive note though the hand-drawn character portraits are leagues above what I can do, but on a more negative note the developer didn't include that many different facial expressions for the playable cast. As a result they tend to feel like they have as much emotional depth as a teaspoon.

Audio

On the audio side of things the game only contains a few tracks at most. Though I suppose that isn't much of a detriment when this game can be beaten in under 15 minutes in it's entirety.

Conclusion

"Quest for the Lost Dentures" is a short, comedic visual novel that just doesn't go over that well in my opinion. It's jokes or only apparent joke were already dated when this project was made and without comedy to fall back on this mundane quest about recovering false teeth isn't that interesting. As a result this project isn't even a good time waster in my opinion.