Mothmen 1966 review

2023-12-26 by Callum Andrews

  • Reviewed on

  • Platforms

    Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Linux

  • Developer
    LCB Game Studio

  • Publisher
    Chorus Worldwide Games

That old 80's charm

I'm not entirely sure if I've ever played a visual novel game. I know I've always wanted to but I can't remember if I have. I'm certain that I haven't played through one entirely until I played Mothmen 1966. The game is the first in the series of what the developers call "Pixel Pulps". It's a visual novel that's presented in 80's computer graphics with an 80's audio style to boot.

Mothmen 1966 takes place in West Virginia 1966 in which you'll lead a group of characters through the night when the Leonid meteor shower is taking place. Holt is a middle-aged gas station worker living with his grandmother. Lee, a history student on a date with his girlfriend and Victoria who is the said girlfriend. There is also a fourth character called Lou Hill who isn't a "playable" character but is majorly involved in the game events.

Player participation

The game will have you start off as Holt who we meet working at a gas station. This part of the game is a prologue which sets up the coming events that are about to unfold during the night that the game takes place. The game switches to Lee who we meet in his car with Victoria. They are on their way to a date which Lee has planned as a surprise. Lee has planned a date to take Victoria out of town, to see the Leonid meteor show that is occurring that night and that only happens every 33 years. However, things won't go as planned and the night will be all but romantic.

I don't usually dig particularly deep into a game's origins regarding story or setting. Basically taking in the happenings and events of the game at face value and not being rooted in reality in any way. The only time I can remember doing it was when I played The Last of Us many years ago. The reason for this is that there was a rumour going around that the "chemical" that turned humans into bloodthirsty zombie-like creatures was real. Turned out that the rumour was true to some extent and that it only had an effect on insects. Now playing this game something compelled me to do it once more. Not being familiar with the Mothman legend but having heard of it in passing I decided to look it up. And I'm really glad I did. Because once I finished the game, I got to thinking about why the game had the title that it had. Sure there are "Mothmen" prevalent in the game. They are, however, not nearly as prominent to warrant a game title after them.

But, after doing some digging it turns out that the events that take place in the game can somewhat trace its story to events and locations rooted in reality. Which I find quite interesting but also very impressive. Turns out that during the period between the years 1966 and 1967, there were reported sightings of a Mothman somewhere in West Virginia.

Another event that takes place in the game and that is rooted in reality is the Leonid meteor show that took place in 1966. All of this, to me at least. Adds to the game's charm and makes it more interesting besides its 80's throwback thematics.

Considering that this is a throwback to old 80s computer games, I would say that the game's presentation is excellent. Even though there aren't too many colours being used here, with blue, green, black and white being the main ones. I would say that the artist has done some great work. Just considering that you can see various expressions on the character's faces when they speak something quite commendable considering that we have AAA games coming out this generation that aren't able to pull off this feat. I would say that the developers have done great work with the limitations they placed upon themselves.

The music and the sound is serviceable and is something you expect from a game that might be considered coming out in the 80s. The writing is also serviceable and does the job of conveying what is going on and delivering the general state of things.

Not the end?

Being a visual novel players are expected to make various choices at various key points in the game. These events are set up in such a manner that the player is required to perform various choices in a particular sequence for them to pass. If choices aren't made in that certain particular order the event will fail and you'll have to start over again. These weren't particularly difficult and all of them had a certain logic behind them but could get frustrating after a couple of tries. It would have been nice if the game could have continued on in some manner even if the event failed only that it would take a different direction.

Mothmen 1966 isn't particularly long and will only take a couple of hours to complete and might warrant a couple of playthroughs since it has multiple endings. I really like liked the game's 80's throwback art style and the story was interesting enough to get me through. I'm already looking forward to seeing what the other entries in the "Pixel Pulps" series will have in store.


Might not be everyone's cup of the but if you are somewhat of an 80s nut like I am then this is most definitely worth checking out.