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Neuronaut - Review

Neuronaut is a supernatural visual novel with romance and adult content (text and ecchi artwork only) by GUT.GAMES. The game features an unnamed male protagonist who is languishing at his day to day job as a software engineer in a modern Russian setting. The protagonist is attracted to his co-worker and apartment neighbour Milana, but had no idea on how to confess his feelings to her.

One day, the protagonist bumped into a mysterious old man on the street. The man offered him a mysterious booklet on becoming someone else, and left him with a grim warning. Afterwards, the protagonist realized he could jump inside and occupy the thoughts of another living being. Fast forward to a little time later, the protagonist is sitting on a bench on a rainy day and thought of jumping into the consciousness of a young man called Max who is going on a seaside vacation with his soon-to-be estranged girlfriend Lia. This starts his new adventure in helping others to be a better person.

As with 7DOT's artwork in other earlier visual novels such as Crystal City and Escape from the Princess, the artwork in Neuronaut is equally good, and doesn't require an uncensored patch. I hope this game will qualify for Steam trading cards and have normal Steam profile features in future. The game also has pleasant techno music by Aki Kato and Gunazy to match the supernatural themes and some technocrats in the story.

Sadly, this game suffers from having quite a number of translation errors in the English version. Although I can still follow most parts of the story in spite of the wording, some parts have a few words such as the use of "taxi" and "taxi driver" which are actually referring to the proxy the character can enter and see things from the person's perspective and influence that person rather than an actual taxi or taxi driver itself is confusing.

In terms of content, this game features four heroines on the cover, and there are numerous dialogue choices, CGs and endings in the game. However, the protagonist's relationship with Milana and Max, and Max's relationship with Lia, Annie, and Tessa feel very rushed and short. I feel this game could have been brought out better if the character relationships were developed more alongside a better translation.

Overall, Neuronaut has an interesting premise of a person with the unusual ability to occupy the thoughts of another person, and help that person to live and be a better person. The game also has nice artwork and background music. However, the game is short because all endings can be reached and all CGs unlocked in a couple of hours. Given that the game suffers from a rushed pacing in the storyline, translation that can be confusing at times, and doesn't have normal Steam profile features or trading cards at the time of this review, I recommend waiting until this game is discounted and qualifies for Steam trading cards before buying this game.

Initial gameplay video on YouTube by Corrupt

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