Developer: Petit Depot
Let?s get the obvious out of the way right off the bat: Gnosia is a social deduction RPG set on a spaceship, where you have to deduce who the imposter is and vote them out before they can eliminate everyone. Like, I?ve never even played Among Us and even my mind jumped there right away, so I imagine if you?re someone who?s played a lot of that game, you?ll see the similarities even more clearly.
On the bright side — at least for me — because I?ve never played Among Us, I didn?t go into Gnosia burdened by the weight of expectations of how I thought it should play. I was able to experience its story and its gameplay with fairly fresh eyes.
And based on that…I still found it to be kind of derivative. Not, as many might think, of Among Us, but rather of another game that a) features visual novel elements pretty heavily, and b) calls on you to deduce who the murderer is via a series of interrogations and voting — Danganronpa. It?s not as insane (or as gory, or, to be honest, as good) as Danganronpa, but for me, the similarities were pretty hard to ignore.
Mind you, even if it falls short of the game(s) it emulates, Gnosia still has a few things going for it. First off, not only is its gameplay loop incredibly addictive, it also does a great job of making the game more and more tense the further in you get. Each round (or loop, as the game calls them) finds you interacting with your shipmates — both one-on-one, with occasional opportunities to privately chat with others, and in groups, where you?re subjected to a lightning round of interrogating the others, listening to what they have to say, defending yourself/your allies, and then voting on whether you want to send someone to deep freeze. It all moves very quickly, and with each round adding in new people and new twists, it?s very easy to get sucked in.
The other thing working in Gnosia?s favour is that it doesn?t skimp on the visual novel aspect of the game. This is kind of essential, since it?s single-player rather than multiplayer like Among Us, and it?s done well. While it doesn?t come close to matching Danganronpa in terms of insanity, Gnosia still features a set of well-defined characters that each stand out, and couples that with an engaging, creepy story.
Obviously, the big problem with Gnosia is that it seems to exist more in relation to other, better (or at least better-known) games, rather than standing out on its own. While this status is mostly deserved, compared to most visual novels I?ve played/read, there?s still lots here you?ll find interesting if you want to give it a chance.
PLAYISM provided us with a Gnosia Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.