Omen Exitio: Plague review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Developer: Forever Entertainment/Tiny Bull Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Even though I?ve never read HP Lovecraft, in recent years I?ve become pretty well-acquainted with his influence on the world of gaming thanks to games like Moons of Madness, The Sinking City, and Conarium, to name just a couple of titles. Via those games, I?ve developed a passing acquaintance with various eldritch horrors and whatnot.

To that list, you can add Omen Exitio: Plague. It, too, draws from the Lovecraft tradition, though with one key difference from all those games I listed above: it?s a novel.

Technically, I suppose you could say it?s a visual novel, though I?m hesitant to use that term, seeing as it usually invokes all kinds of pervy weirdness — which this game most definitely does not have (well, maybe it has the weirdness). Rather, it?s a visual novel in the same way that a game like Wanderlust Travel Stories is a visual novel. There are no characters popping on and off the screen here, just pages and pages of text for you to read as you direct the story one way or another with your decisions.

In this respect, Omen Exitio: Plague draws from Choose Your Own Adventure books — though, as its Nintendo store page says, it would also say it draws from ?gamebooks of the ’80s and ’90s” (which, I?ll admit, I have no experience with). Whichever it is, this game is very much focused on having you guide the story with your decisions. Not only do you pick the story beats, you also decide how you want to interact with other characters, how you want to approach decisions, and all kinds of other granular details that have an impact on how the plot unfolds. What?s more, you keep track of your character?s stats and relationships with other people, which adds to the feeling that you?re in control.

It?s an interesting approach, made even more interesting by a thrilling tale of war, illness, madness, and horror. Obviously, different people will have different experiences in the game based on what decisions they make (which is why I?m so hesitant to talk about any specific experiences, since there are enough choices that everyone will have different playthroughs), but in my experience the game does a very solid job of giving you lively characters, intriguing choices, and a plot that keeps you hooked all the way through.

In other words, it might just be the best of the current batch of Lovecraftian games. While a lot of them have visual horrors, few of them are scary. By contrast, Omen Exitio: Plague only has a few sketched drawings here and there, but it captures the creepiness of its influence spine-tinglingly well.

Forever Entertainment provided us with an Omen Exitio: Plague Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B+