This game is rated PEGI 18+
Our review includes potentially triggering words:
extreme violence, horror, killing, mental health, self-harm and suicide.
Ignore All Content Warnings
Doki Doki Literature Club Review
Posted: 5 weeks ago, last updated 4 weeks ago.
You play a young boy who, on the first day back at school, decides to join his friend's book club. Once there, you try to win over the girls in attendance; Monika (the club's president), Natsuki, Yuri, and of course Sayori. Suddenly, however, about 90 minutes into the game, the characters start killing themselves and becoming more violent and aggressive, eventually leaving just Monika.
This character becomes aware that she is in a game and manipulates the code of the other characters so they became less likeable to you. Eventually, you confront Monika and make her undo the damage she has caused, before eventually reconciling with her.
You progress by selecting responses to the dialogue in each scene. These scenes are presented as realistic cartoons depicting events. There are also poetry writing sections, where you select words that you think your favourite club member will like.
Although the premise of a self-aware game is necessarily misleading and requires care for younger players, Doki Doki Literature Club offers a unique way to engage with issues about mental health, depression and suicidal thoughts for adults.
A new version, Doki Doki Literature Club Plus, which features updated graphics and new stories, is set to release June 30th, 2021.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. The original game is free on PC and Mac, but Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!, which is on PC, Mac and consoles come in several editions:
- Physical Premium Edition: Pack of stickers, a standee of each character, a poem from "Monika", a club membership card and a soundtrack download card.
- The Digital Edition: Just the game.
Rated PEGI 18 for Extreme Violence, Strong Language
Rated ESRB MATURE 17+ for Blood, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes and Violence
Mature Content as described on Steam: Self-Harm, Suicide and Suggestive Sexual Themes. The developer states that "This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed."
As the gameplay virtually exclusively consists of reading text, which you can slow down, you don't need to be quick to react to anything. After each section of text you are required to click before the next text appears.
Most of the text is large and outlined in black. The options to save and to go back to one of your save states are a little bit more difficult to read, however. There are also some times where the text is intentionally distorted or covered over with big black boxes, and it is always obvious when this is the case. There are other times when the text disappears quickly, and in these instances you are not expected to read it. There is no voice acting (apart from a final song over the credits).
At the end of the game, when you are required to go into the game files, you are given hints about what and how to do it, but for the majority of the game, such hints are not needed due to the play-style.
Our Doki Doki Literature Club Accessibility Report details 23 accessibility features:
Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games for you. These offer a similar way to play to Doki Doki Literature Club or are games with a similar theme or topic. These are good alternative games to Doki Doki Literature Club, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 18+ or ESRB MATURE 17+ games.
Thank you for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames, ParentZone and PlayAbility Initiative. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.
The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.