Caught by a Lure
Created for the International Love Ultimatum, Caught by a Lure is an unconventional examination of a condition most of us have experienced. With only a month to work, MakioKuta and Racheal created a short visual novel centered on the theme of romance. The approach they took is somewhat non-traditional. It isn't of the 'fairy-tale' variety many of us think of when imagining that subject. In fact rather than focusing on the joy of romance, the story asks an essential question:
Do you love me or the idea of loving me?
This is text based, essentially a story whose outcome is determined by the choices made by the player. That means, of course that there are multiple endings. Four according to the developers although I confess I've only seen three. The story itself is intriguing and well developed despite being a bit rushed in spots due to the time constraints of its creation. There is a science fiction slant but not enough to put off someone who doesn't care for the genre. It does create chances for the story to go in directions a 'real life' tale ouldn't.
Those same time constraints may have affected the artwork, which I would have like to have seen made a bit sharper and more detailed. One character in particular seems to be drawn in a way that clashes with the written description and I found that to be just a little distracting. The story can be navigated smoothly with only mouse clicks although there is keyboard access for those who prefer it. The game menu is easy to access, as is the Save Game feature. It is a download rather than an online game but I found that it worked quickly and well. I was playing in moments. There's a bit of humor here and there to lighten the mood but that doesn't appear to be the writers' goal. It would seem that they want us to think. Why do we love? What will we do for love? Possibly even what will love do to us? Captivating questions, and each one raises others.
For so short a work of fiction, this catches the imagination, maybe not at first glance but long before the end. Which choices will you make?
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