Refraction is a free-to-play supernatural student life visual novel with romance by Universe Zero. It features Jackie Shields, a female student at Big Lake University where she attends Intro to World Religions classes with her best friends Jun and Paul. She is also a member of the university's Journalism department and has an ambitious plan to do an exposé with her fellow department members on the university's president for corruption.
Jackie wakes up one day to find herself in an alternate reality in which her friends, and the Journalism department's plans may have changed. She also has to deal with her double Jacqueline Shields who is taking her place and doing things without her knowledge.
After spending over 2 hours to read through the visual novel and obtaining all the achievements, I can confirm that Refraction has interesting modern pop culture references with some choices that lead to 4 different endings. A Steam community guide is also available to help players get all the endings and achievements. In terms of artwork and background music, they are nice enough in bringing out the humor in the story, and I hope this visual novel will qualify for normal Steam profile features in future.
On the other hand, the short length of the entire visual novel causes the romance routes to feel rushed with little time to develop the character relationship properly. This is a bit of a pity as the characters have interesting personalities, backgrounds, and hobbies that makes it worthwhile to try every character route and ending.
Overall, Refraction is an interesting supernatural student life visual novel with some comical artwork, background music, and pop culture references. If you like the genre and the story description looks interesting enough, this is a nice free to play game to read for a few hours.
Initial gameplay video with author narration and commentary on YouTube by FlareBlitzed
- Interesting story
- Cute, funny artwork and BGM
- Guide available
- Free to play
- Rushed romance options
- Some coarse language
For more reviews or recommended free-to-play games, check the curator list in Visual novel, JRPG, Anime