Bite-sized Review:
End of Lines

Developer: Nova-Box

Release Date:25 May, 2023 

Platform: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Switch

Genre: Visual Novel

By Chris Picone, 27 May 2023

I want to write an in-depth review for End of Lines; I want to really dig into the story and the characters and the world, and talk about my experiences.  But I won't, because I don't want to risk spoiling anything and taking any of the magic away from your own experience.  So I'll keep this short and sweet. 


The artwork initially threw me a little bit - if you just caught a glimpse as you were doom scrolling on Twitter you could be forgiven for thinking they were snaps from some sort of low poly adventure game.  The trailer threw me even more, it really didn't give me any idea what to expect.  In the actual game, though?  Exquisite.  This is a graphic novel, and the hand-painted illustrations with their slightly surreal quality really brought the world to life and added a sense of atmosphere that I don't think any other art style could have matched.  And, thankfully, all the text features and UI fit in beautifully, adding to rather than detracting from the experience.



It's an interactive novel, but this thing's on a whole other level compared to most of its peers.  The artwork and presentation's high quality, the story's high quality, and there's a surprising amount of genuine interaction.  The crux of the story won't change, sure, and there will be plenty of repeated lines across run-throughs.  But equally, every decision you do make matters, and in a meaningful way.  In my two play-throughs, for example, I wound up with two very different parties - characters may join or leave you throughout the game depending on circumstance.  Running out of food, for example; there are strong survival elements throughout.  It's not just a survival game though.  It's deeply thoughtful, with well-designed characters and a story that will take you on an emotional journey.  Further, each play-through introduced me to a distinct area in the game that I never experienced in the other - never even caught a glimpse of - and led to very different endings.  And totally different experiences along the way, two of which I won't mention here but they genuinely made me catch my breath and I'll be thinking about them for a long time. 



This is hands-down one of the best visual novel experiences out there.  If you're a fan of the genre or enjoy role-playing and story-heavy games, do not miss it.