Top Critic Average
The Novelist is the most personal and beautiful game I have ever experienced. The creator, Kent Hudson, has quite plainly poured his heart and soul into this game, and the outcome is genuinely something to behold. Never before have I felt so emotionally involved in the characters, their situation and potential future, as in this truly player-driven story.
We're simply not used to having real emotional reactions to video games. Sure, some titles are getting better at it, but for the most part that's something truly lacking in the medium.
The Novelist still remains an interesting experiment that you will find yourself getting caught up in. Playing as an outsider to the family gives you a significant amount of objectivity but also prevents you from ever really connecting.
A disappointing experiment in disappointment.
I'd easily recommend it for anyone interested in thoughtful, emotionally-driven story — though, its focus on this is likely a detractor for many more "traditional" gamers.
These mechanics aren't broken so much as literally insane, in the sense that each chapter requires you to do the exact same things, somehow expecting different results.
I was deeply disappointed to find after all my worrying and all my sacrifice that The Novelist's conclusions are suspiciously neat, too mechanical and too implausible in the family permanently cutting off one option in favour of another rather than pursuing compromise later in their lives – the destination is, sadly, not the measure of the journey. Some familial interactions ring hollow too, sound too scripted, too dramatic, too perfect. Nonetheless, it's a journey I'm glad I made.
An intriguing narrative is bogged down by sparse mechanics and repetitive environments.
[W]hile The Novelist certainly has a particular charm with its minimalist visual style and unique concept, I felt underwhelmed by my experience with it.
The Novelist captures the quiet heartbreaks of family life.