This is such a different type of game from the ones I usually review on this site, I tend to focus on more interactive visual novels and otome games, and occasionally I dabble into the world of platformers and adventure games. So when Katy133 emailed me about her newest visual novel, Dear Devere, I will admit that I was at a bit of a loss, since it wasn’t my usual jam. I’d be more inclined to label Dear Devere as interactive fiction or a kinetic novel than a visual novel, since you don’t really influence the story by making choices or anything like that. Rather, the story unfolds through a series of letters written by two strangers.
Set in 1935 Dear Devere follows Angela Bard—a quiet, solitary woman living in the Scottish isles. After a disagreement with a woman in her town, Angela decides to write a letter venting her frustrations, which she leaves under a rock at the edge of the nearby forest. She is of course surprised to discover that someone has replied to her letter—the mysterious Mr. Devere. Who is this Mr. Devere? And how is it that he’s come across Angela’s letters? The truth is something wholly unexpected and yet, worth finding out.
What unfolds is a beautifully written story told through their illustrated correspondences—but, what I found most enchanting was that each letter is wonderfully narrated by both Angela and Mr. Devere (voiced by Chintarmanya Vivian and Mike Young respectively). It’s a nice touch, since their voices convey their thoughts and feelings in a way just reading their letters wouldn’t and it makes the experience much more immersive than your usual kinetic novel, breathing life into the story and the characters.
You learn about these characters solely through their letters and I will admit that I found the mysterious Mr. Devere, quite charming, his playful banter coupled with Mike Young’s phenomenal performance had me giggling like a schoolgirl. While I saw a bit of myself in Angela, her honesty and curiosity were refreshing and I absolutely love Chintarmanya’s performance! And the music~ Oh, the light and whimsical instrumentals were absolutely perfect—it conveys a sense of calm, like you’ve stepped into a much simpler time where magic and fantasy really could exist. I guess now is a really good time to admit that I am a sucker for period pieces and historical dramas, so I was immediately taken with the wonderful world Katy and her team created. There is a homey feel to the artwork, each letter is illustrated with personal touches from the writer—Mr. Devere’s letters are more rustic, depicting more abstract images from nature in deep greens or browns—while Angela’s are more polished, and reflects her life in the town. I found myself really looking forward to each new letter and the beautiful decorations, and they are all so different, evolving with the stories and the characters!
The relationship between the two leads is beautiful and I it progresses in such a perfectly organic way and through each letter you feel them growing closer—their early awkwardness gives way to a genuine friendship that eventual develops into something more. The first act focuses on the pair’s budding relationship, but act two kicks it up a notch adding in a bit more drama and suspense as outside influences find their way into Angela and Devere’s relationship. I won’t spoil the final act, but just know you will be on the edge of your seat the entire time!!
All in all, Dear Devere is a delightfully enchanting story, masterfully written and executed. I don’t say this often, but, this game is absolutely perfect from start to finish, and I highly recommend playing it when you have the chance. Get caught up in Angela and Devere’s story, and uncover a little bit of magic.
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