Village of Nightmare Review

Title: Village of Nightmare
Release date: 2011-11-28 (version v1.0)
2012-02-22 (version v2.0)
English release date: 2012-02-15 (version v1.0)
2012-08-16 (version v2.0)
2016-01-08 (Unattended Edition)
Developer: akuoti
English publisher: rabidchibi0 (as a fan-standalone)
duncanmac (Unattended Edition) (as a fan-standalone)

"Village of Nightmare" was a free Japanese doujin game made in RPG Maker XP and using 3D Custom Girl for character creation, thus it's kinda a surprise that there was some good soul, who translated the game to English for mass consumption.

"Village of Nightmare" (VON) bases itself entirely around the fetish of sexual corruption, with the added bonus of fetishizing hairy armpits and body odor and a dash of genderbending. In that regard it is a one trick pony, but a sturdy, well bred pony at that. VON sets itself as an erotic game aimed at a specific demographic and it milks (hah) its specific fetishes for all they are worth. Despite some stumbles, especially in the gameplay department, I really liked "Village of Nightmare" and consider it a pretty strong game in the sexual corruption department.
Soon we'll say goodbye to this manly avatar.
I actually have previously played VON in the past, but recently had a desire to replay it, especially because I have never sampled its sequel, and it's high time to rectify that mistake. While the game itself is made in an early iteration of the widely accessible RPG Maker engine, it's not an RPG, but rather an adventure game, with an emphasis on storytelling, though there are some mini-games thrown in here and there.

The story centers around the swordsman-for-hire Kain, who was tasked to find two villagers, who went missing under mysterious circumstances. He checks an ominous cave and comes eye to eye with a Succubus Queen Amuni, who was sealed there. Now Amuni, who is the last of her kind, seeks to restore the glorious past of the succubi and corrupt the world into her new kingdom. However, she will start small, with the corruption of a nearby Joyville village. Amuni proceeds to fuck morality and decency out of Kain and turns him into a succubus, whom she names Mea. So, I actually lied - the game centers on Mea and not Kain, whom you won't see ever again... unless you lose the game. Yes, dear reader, succubi in this game can turn other people of both genders into succubi, and the creatures themselves are shapeshifters and are able to acquire both male and female sexual organs at will.
Awful judge of character.
In a way, that is very close to the actual Western folklore, as one of the most prevalent theories considered both incubi and succubi to be the same type of shapeshifting creature, rather than two separate monsters of distinct genders. Hence, if you don't like futanari and some mildly yaoi scenes, this game might not be for you, however it was right up my alley. Slutty futa succubi! What can be better than that?!

Before proceeding with this review, I want to point your attention to the fact that Mea's name is a mistranslation. The original creators of the game confirmed that the name is actually supposed to be Mare (as in, short for Nightmare). The translator originally didn't know that, and after finding out, decided not to change the name due to aesthetical reasons.
Hotwife is the best wife!
While Mea/Mare struggles to corrupt Joyville and turn all its inhabitants into succubi, she is opposed by exorcist White, however he is not very capable and thus the game is not particularly hard, though it can be mighty frustrating if the player is not using a walkthrough. Basically, there is a day and night cycle in VON: the time passes every time you enter and exit a building, hence you can visit a limited number of houses during every cycle. Some events only happen during the day or during the night, but the greatest frustration is actually finding the events. There are no indications where the next event is, and you have to visit every location and talk to everyone, until you finally are allowed to proceed with the plot. In a way it is reminiscent of ya olden visual novels like "Divi-Dead", the only difference being that VON is not a VN. I personally didn't use a walkthrough and I have forgotten my first playthrough, so it took me just over 6 hours to finish the game, though I gather that the time could be shrinked to about 4 hours with the use of a guide.
Amateur gastroscopy.
I personally didn't find the gameplay too frustrating, even though there were some rough spots. Namely, there comes a time near the end of the game, when you have to stop Slayer from killing you. I probably spent an hour searching for the event and even checked that particular spot in a guide, but it was completely useless in telling the player that you have to sleep in Metallica's bed before you can initiate the next scene. I eventually discovered that on my own.

It's interesting to mention that there exists a "Village of Nightmare" port (Unattended Edition) to Ren'Py engine, which is most often used for the creation of visual novels. Sadly the port is pretty obviously inferior to the original. The porter probably wanted to simplify and streamline the gameplay, and in a way he succeeded in that manner. Now you advance the day/night cycle manually and can visit all the places and talk to all the people you want without the changeover, however the gameplay looks weird as fuck without a controllable avatar and the scenes look somewhat disjointed. Moreover, there is no BGM, which is a capital crime as the spooky soundtrack of VON really added something to the game's atmosphere. Additionally, I have no idea how the port treats various fast minigames, as I didn't play it far enough, but I have a pretty good guess that they were excised, thus dumbing the game down.
Difference between the original and the Unattended Edition.
It's really my suggestion to only play the original version, unless you are lethally allergic to RPG Maker or something... Anyway, let's talk about the game's main attraction - corruption. Just being in the succubus' presence can arouse the people, however it takes some actual sexual contact to induce the change. The more sexual contact, the more slutty and immoral the person becomes, until the final push strips them of their humanity and turns them into a demon. There is a large cast of characters in Joyville, thus all of them just couldn't get an equal treatment by our resident succubus. Hence, some people have long, drawn out corruption sequences, while others get a "wham bam thank you ma'am" quickies. It's a bit disappointing, as I personally really enjoy long drawn out corruption, where the person becomes more and more depraved, but I understand that to have that, either a game should have been longer, or the number of characters lower. And in the latter case, the village wouldn't have looked so alive with a small cast.
Smoking is good for your (sexual) health.
Anyway, even now there are some fucking awesome sequences, as the nun Theresia's corruption is probably one of the best in the whole game. Additionally, Metallica's and Daiya's romance is just so sweet and cute, that it's almost a shame that the best scene in that sequence is missable, if you don't visit Metallica at a certain moment. Moreover, some of the characters are definitely not "18 and older", thus the developer noted on their blog that if the game is ever translated into English, those scenes would have to be excised. Luckily, we got a fan-translation, rather than an official one and do not have to worry about such things, anymore.

Overall, I really enjoyed all aspects of corruption, even though I wish some characters got longer sequences, but if there is one thing I would change in the game, it would be this: As the characters transform under the succubus influence, they also acquire body modifications (piercings, tattoos) and a new wardrobe of slutty clothes. I found it kind of silly and would have changed it, that after transformation, newly born sluts go on a shopping spree for slutty clothes and get tattoos/piercings at a salon. It would have been so much hotter, and I can even imagine a scene where a clothier wonders in puzzlement why so many girls in the village suddenly got a desire to dress in trashy, barely-there clothing. Oh, well, that is just my opinion, how the game might have been improved, but it doesn't change the fact that I really like "Village of Nightmare".
The brewing of beer 101.
It would be amiss not to talk about the graphical presentation, so, let's continue with that. The core game graphics are, of course, the usual RPG Maker fare, but the character and CG art is what gets our attention. As I have already mentioned, those assets were generated using 3D Custom Girl, and anyone who has ever played a game that used this program, knows what to expect. That is to say, 3DCG assets never look really good, but I have seen much worse when it comes to this program, and the characters generated for VON look surprisingly delectable. Moreover, the game has a surprisingly large number of CGs , which I honestly loved, even though they will never win any beauty awards. Still, I'm glad that these days there are much better rendering programs out there and 3DCG is mostly obsolete. There is a reason it didn't become really popular in the Western community - it's artistic capabilities are fairly limited.
The sex scenes themselves are pretty fetishistic and include such themes like submission/dominance, sniffing, worship of hairy bodies (I'm getting an inkling of what were the developers' fetishes), prostitution, incest, consumption of body fluids, fluid gender lines and all the other depravity that we usually mentally associate with succubi infestation. What do you mean you don't usually think about succubi infestation?! When it comes to the sex scenes, I have to pull your attention to the fact that they are completely uncensored. Yes, even though the developers were Japanese, VON was a free project and was released without any mosaic censorship even in Japan, so all those for whom it's a huge deal will be glad to hear that all the kitties and cocks, and cows, and other animals are happy, horny and unmolested.

Finally, it's worth mentioning, that some time after the initial release, the developer updated the game by including afterstories for each and every character in the game. These afterstories can be accessed by finishing the game and visiting the recollection room, where you can also re-watch all the viewed H-scenes. At that time the translator had lost his motivation to work on the game some more, and it was not initially clear if we will ever see the improved version v2.0 in English, but he eventually came around and we can currently play the full superior version.
Happily ever after.
To sum up, "Village of Nightmare" is a pretty swell erotic game with a varied sexual content, engaging story and a lot of characters to put through a sexual wringer. VON is a nukige, so don't expect a particularly deep plot or great characterization, but it gets a lot of things right if you are just looking for a simple erotic entertainment. The gameplay can get a bit tedious, but it never ruined the game for me.

Links of Interest

Original Japanese site
English translation blog
English walkthrough
Site for Ren'Py port (Unattended Edition)

Final Verdict: 76%


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