Lovefield General: Back to Work is the first and so far, only game developed and published by Pixel Purrfection. Although they are working on a new game set to release in late 2019, it’s still a nice surprise to see new developers publishing medium-high quality Visual Novels.
We play as Hitoshi, an ambitious young man whose medical career was flying all over success, until an accident sent him into a coma. After waking up, things hardly went back to the same. There were no permanent damages to his body, except his leg, that he can't move without feeling pain. Yet, he tries to get back on the job as soon as possible, at Lovefield General Hospital.
The facility remains the same, but his job doesn’t. He now will work under the supervision of others to further evaluate his condition, not only psychological but physical skills while operating. The young surgeon understands, is devoted at work, and excited to meet all the new staff. The new head practise director Mr. Anderson, is quite the change from his previous mentor, a lot more demanding and rigid. New friendships will arise, and others will be strengthened, but there’s a strange feeling in the air...
Although he doesn’t remember much, he surely recalls working under perfectly normal conditions, however, ever since he returned, all sorts of creepy events happen all the time. The power goes out, a mystic fog sometimes appears out of nowhere, and to top it all off, mysterious stories of Mr. Anderson’s past come into the open. What is going on at Lovefield General?
Lovefield General: Back to Work is a mystery Visual Novel with some romance mixed into its concept. Inspired by The X-Files, and other works of its kind, this game is surely a surprise, based on how well it portrays the setting, character involvement, and the events. Presented through a soft and smooth style, the narrative is interesting, smart, and has a good story to back it up.
The dialogues are a strong point of this title, making our protagonist a curious but interesting to follow, plus he has small interactions with the player, which adds to further amusement. There’s a fantastic placement of the narrative, with very detailed character's emotions, thoughts, and actions. There’s some catchy humour, drama, and even a light dose of thrilling suspense across the well written plot, with twists that show how well constructed the whole script is.
Anyone picking up Lovefield General: Back to Work exclusivity for the romance element, will come out disappointed, which on its own, shouldn’t be a reason at all to play a Visual Novel. However, be warned, this title does not contain that much romance. There are plenty of options that determine a romantic route, but it’s not the main focus of the game, even though it plays an important plot-role. Sexual content is also not included, it’s subjectively suggested, but not included as in many other games.
Players have a large amount of choices at their disposal, and they are definitely tied to the romantic outcome, with five possible girls to date at the end. Increasing their interest is connected to decisions of dialogue and choices, although it does not change the cursor of the main story, which was the best possible cause of action. Easily a 10 hour Visual Novel, with a great story and very distinct different endings.
As seen by the store images, visuals for this really good adventure are basic, but we’ve seen design direction like this before, and by no means does it affect the story or its content. It’s simple, and does what it is set out to do; deliver a basic presentation. Renders are drawn in a western approach, and kept to a minimum of traces, but still using light works for relevance and contrast.
Although in the same art line, backgrounds are equally basic and, at best, generic. However, their large amount make up for the plain contents. The transition between locations is always pleasant, exactly due to how many different backgrounds are included, and yes, they do look amateurish, but are well placed and detailed (in their own way). Every character displays a lot of changes in their eyes or posture, which is really cool. Sometimes the slightest change in the eyes is enough to make it feel more immersive. Body language is also present, but in much less contrast to other head expressions.
The user interface is simple and offers a good read, without any special font being used, instead, the text is displayed in a simple and very understandable way. Letters could have been increased, and I personally noticed they were one size down from my personal taste, but considering how much reading there is, it does fit the text box entirely. Another nice feature is how they blend nicely with the background, becoming darker or clear depending on the visuals behind them.
Sound effects aren’t present, but the soundtrack is good enough to follow the narrative, with decent pace changes and it induces a cool rhythm when needed. Based on soft drums and guitar chords, with the occasional atmospheric piano/synth, somehow repetitive but induces a smooth atmosphere.
Lovefield General: Back to Work is highly recommended for anyone looking for mystery/thrilling Visual Novel, with paranormal events and a simple romantic interaction with your favorite character.