Root Film

Kadokawa Games, PQube Games

Strong Man
OpenCritic Rating
76
Top Critic Average
74%
Critics Recommend
Based on 19 critic reviews
Root Film MastheadRoot Film Masthead

Root Film

Rating Summary

Based on 19 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

76

Top Critic Average

74%

Critics Recommend

Based on 19 critic reviews
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General Information

Available on:Nintendo SwitchMar 19, 2021
PlayStation 4Mar 19, 2021

Developer: Kadokawa Games

Publisher: PQube Games

Genres: Adventure, Interactive Story

Root Film is a thrilling adventure game with visual novel elements. Follow Rintaro Yagumo as he is selected to be the director for the rebooted "Shimane Mystery Drama Project”, a TV series which was cancelled for an unknown reason 10 years ago. His excitement for this amazing opportunity is quickly curbed when a horrible murder interrupts their location scouting process. Follow him and a cast of unique and memorable characters as they are drawn deeper into a thrilling mystery. Become your own detective as you unravel the truth through investigative gameplay mechanics, adding a new layer to the visual novel formula. Beautifully hand-drawn illustrations From character designs to environments, Root Film is brought to life by gorgeous artwork. Every scene becomes picture-perfect, with meticulous detail and a carefully curated colour pallet. Travel across the Shimane prefecture Visit multiple locations spanning the entire Shimane prefecture as you try to find out the truth about the "Shimane Mystery Drama Project”! Become your own detective The ‘Intuition’ mechanic allows players to acquire keywords during in-game conversations. Once activated, ‘Intuition’ reveals words on screen that are essential to investigations and confrontations. Face off against suspects After collecting enough keywords, you can confront suspects in ‘Max Mode’ to resolve a mystery. In this fighting-game like a face-off, you must ensure that enough evidence has been collected before the confrontation to successfully bring suspects to justice.

Root Film Critic Reviews

View All (19 total)

However, the writing is a bit of a letdown. The character interactions are solid, and seeing their interplay is a delight. There’s also an impressive level of detail paid to the minutiae of film-making that we rarely see. Unfortunately, this level of care doesn’t touch all corners of the experience. The character's connection to the primary narrative is tenuous. Outside of the very first mystery, the protagonist's motivations for remaining involved in these murders don’t feel warranted. This is especially problematic when it comes to Rintaro’s chapters, which comprise the brunt of the game’s 15 or so hours. The writing is able to somewhat successfully sidestep this problem, through sheer force of intrigue, but it’s not wholly successful.

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Root Film does a great job at holding your attention throughout the 15-20 hours you'll spend with it. The truth behind the film project from ten years ago is an intriguing one to uncover and you'll discover plenty of dark secrets along the way. Despite being a game with lots of death in it, it also manages to be a love letter to the Shimane region in Japan. The endearing characters you meet will also help keep the game feeling light despite some of its intense subject matter.

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Root Film builds off of what its predecessor did well while managing to feel very distinct and more grown-up than Root Letter. The Switch version's portability makes it much easier to get those hours in than the PS4 version, but those who weren't fans of Root Letter or who are on the fence might want to wait until a sale or pick up the digital version of the game. For fans of murder mysteries, there are plenty of cases to get stuck into and rich locations to explore. We think it is worth the full price but can't blame people for being put off by the hefty price tag.

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Murder mysteries are a wonderful genre of any medium that have near limitless potential and Root Film is a great entry that fans of other similar visual novels are likely to find enjoyment from.

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Root Film - Gameplay Trailer thumbnail

Root Film - Gameplay Trailer

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Root Film - Announcement Trailer

Root Film Screenshot 1