Hashihime of the Old Book Town is a psychedelic murder mystery boys love visual novel developed by ADELTA and published by MangaGamer. I’ve seen other reviewers throw around the phrase “existential horror” when discussing this game and after finishing Hashihime of the Old Book Town I agree that is a pretty fucking accurate description of this game.
Time plays a huge role in the plot of Hashihime of the Old Book Town, with the schtick being Tamamori using his time traveling ability to jump between several timelines each with wildly different outcomes. However, unlike your typical visual novel, where the player makes several in game choices that guide the course of the story—Hashihime of the Old Book Town is surprisingly linear. The game consists of five routes, each comprising of one chapter of the overall narrative—following a very strict story progression. After completing each chapter you are presented with a single new choice that “gently nudges” you onto a new path.
There are quite a few twists and turns throughout the game and while you don’t actually make any choices, it damn sure feels like it. From the moment you enter the game it’s a nonstop rollercoaster that takes you further and further from reality with each new revelation. Each route builds on the last, uncovering just a bit more of the mystery until the big reveal in the final chapter—and trust me, you want to finish this game.