Top Critic Average
Unbound Creations’ Headliner: Novinews is a hyper-compressed exploration of how society reflects the stories it tells, and what this means when the powerful hold all the pens.
For those interested in trying out a social manipulation game before diving into something as depressing as Papers, Please or for anyone who’s skirted visual novels in the past due to the deep time investment typically required, Headliner: NoviNews is a low-commitment entry point.
Headliner: NoviNews is a fun game that really can emphasis just how powerful a headline and news story can be, not to mention the wider impact it can have on a society. This is an experience that pushes the adage that actions have consequences so well.
Despite the repetitive nature that comes with playing a game multiple times however, Headliner: NoviNews is still as enjoyable, intriguing and powerful a year after my first experience with it.
Headliner: NoviNews is a solid political adventure title with gut-wrenching decisions and scathing morality. If you can withstand the crushing weight of your decisions, you're sure to love your time in Novistan.
Headliner: NoviNews is a great achievement that could be considered a genuine jewel among independent games today. It doesn't only have unique gameplay, but also an engaging story and the ability to significantly influence the story with many different decisions.
Review in Czech | Read full review
Headliner is a nice change up from the conventional visual novel style game. It has a deep and immersive story, decisions that matter, and a nice level of replay value. The game will most likely only take 1-2 hours, per playthrough, but as long as you enjoy replaying the story then that shouldn’t be an issue. I would definitely recommend checking Headliner out.
A few niggles aside, Headliner: NoviNews is a smart and impactful game with a tonne of replayability. While it’s set in a fictional land featuring fictional characters and fictional news, it’s easy to draw parallels with the news agencies of our own countries, holding up a mirror to the way news is reported and the spin that is applied to facts. Exploring the ramifications of your decisions and what information you disseminate to the public, whether that’s becoming a state sponsored outlet or sticking to your responsibilities to provide impartial news, is fascinating. Headliner: NoviNews is an easy recommendation to anyone who fancies something a little bit different.
Headliner: NoviNews is a second game in the series, lesser in scope, but more fleshed out. It allows you to feel the power through the pages of a national newspaper. It's a great showcase of the power of media and how it can shape the world around us and influence our lives.
Review in Polish | Read full review
Thankfully, I didn’t feel like I was getting a lecture, each side of every issue can be explored and the endings don’t cast a judgement on your choices. Its main message is to illustrate the effect the news can have on our daily lives, and gets the point across in a very entertaining way.
Headline: Novines is more than just a tick box exercise. The characters, writing, animation and layered complexity make this a game that feels layered ultimately rewarding. There’s little else to really say without spoiling the narrative but if you have ever wondered what a visual novel and papers please look like in one package then it’s time to find out.
Headliner: NoviNews’ take on news outlets and the influence they have on the world is both intriguing and frightening, with the many outcomes of the actions you take in the game proving that the world is ultimately shaped by the things that people see in the news. It makes for a unique and enjoyable gameplay experience too, though it is one that’s hampered by a lack of depth over repeated playthroughs. There’s no denying that I enjoyed my time with the game though and seeing the many different outcomes of the actions I made was pretty eye-opening. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself tiring of the repeated gameplay formula by the time you get to your third or fourth playthrough.
Headliner: NoviNews’ poignant narrative and weighty decisions offers an entertaining take on a topical conversation: the responsibility of media. Sitting in such a position of power challenges your morals in smart ways while being fun to boot. This is fake news worth investing in.
Headliner: NoviNews has a great concept, interesting characters that you'll care about, and potential of an enormous amount of replayability. But each part of the game is hindered by something else that can make getting through it a bit tedious or annoying. However, despite these problems, it's at least worth one or two playthroughs.
There are not a lot of games like Headliner: NoviNews but this new addition to the Nintendo Switch catalogue has a lot of merit, starting with being such a simple game to get into at the same time that it makes the player take decisions of a major importance. This stimulates the player into putting more and more effort into the game and while it's definitely not for everyone, there's plenty in Headliner: NoviNews to keep players satisfied.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
The game has a lot to say and not much interest in whether or not it's exactly what you want to hear. I think it's an interesting experience that anybody with an interest in politics should absolutely check out, and its "no perfect solution" approach is very interesting even if it is oversimplified. The heavy handedness and the lack of gameplay variety make this game feel hard to recommend.
"It's evident that the team at Unbound Creations is refining the idea of taking tough political issues and making them interesting, digestible, and thought provoking, creating something special and potentially significant."
Headliner: NoviNews tries something new in gaming - managing a news desk and influencing the welfare of the citizens with each day of published and suppressed articles. With a good balance of moral decision making, 2D exploration and interaction with NPCs, the only thing really missing is any depth. After a few repeat plays, you'll have had enough which is a shame as the few hours when the material is fresh is both enjoyable and thought provoking.
Headliner: NoviNews isn’t meant to dazzle people with super tight, unique, and revolutionary gameplay. It is, however, immensely replayable as it gives room for you to play through the story again and make all sorts of different choices the second or third time around.
As a single experience, Headline: NoviNews works quite well, despite having some dark outcomes. But it's lack of depth means you'll get little from playing it through a second time.
Sadly Headliner’s lack of depth, subtlety and nuance undermines the point that it was driving at. That its core design principle is also so derivative of one of the most lauded “art games” of the last decade doesn’t help it, either.
Headliner: NoviNews has some good intentions and can be very good during some sections of gameplay, but an oversimplified political system and lacklustre art and sound directions prevent the game from fulfilling its full potential. Having said that, it can still be a good entry point for people who want to get into the world of politics in a more meaningful way.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review