This is a mini-review crossposted from review blog Dragon Quill. The original article can be found here.
I would somewhat recommend Lisa.
I found the sexual abuse aspect of Dreaming Mary to be wholly appropriate. Lisa would be an example of when it isn’t. It isn’t even grabbing low-hanging fruit at this point, it’s picking it up off the ground. I will, in fact, go so far as to say that while the sex aspect is handled with decently unsettling symbolism (and a lot of variety), the game would have been stronger without it, because it really added nothing to a setting that already overflowed with obvious grossness.
It’s actually a disappointment, because the obvious grossness was actually a pretty strong point. It’s as inescapable as the father – you run away only to find yourself in new areas covered in both of them. It’s a videogame and a poor resolution one at that, but it still managed to make me feel trapped and disgusted by the worlds I was trying to explore. I also liked the touch that the character throws up if you interact with the toilets. Everything just hammers in how awful the places are. And the areas are enormous, which is one of those things RPGmaker makes too easy and too many people use without thinking, but it largely worked here because of how you didn’t want to spend any time there and yet had to.
(It also does the looping room thing, mind, and I’ve yet to see any decent use for that one.)
Anyway, I’d suggest playing it but don’t concern yourself with finding the “ending” tapes, as they’re just “hey so did you know this is about sexual abuse? sexual abuse!!!” Yes, game. Everyone got that within ten minutes of play, max. You had us complete a statue by attaching a sword between the legs. Subtle you were not.