DON'T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale
The fun combat and dialogue aren't fun enough to make DON'T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale stand out. It's difficult not to compare a game that looks like this to Undertale, but even throwing that comparison out the window, this adventure is lacking.
It's hard to fully recommend Don't Give Up: A Cynical Tale. There is an interesting story here and fun characters to chat with, but overall the game comes up short. With its linear paths and lack of interactivity for the player, Don't Give Up ends up feeling more like a visual novel with a battle system than an actual RPG adventure.
There is absolutely good game hidden within it and damn does it have a lot of heart, but at this time the game misses it’s mark on the technical side, which makes it tough to fully recommend.
Don’t Give Up: A Cynical Tale offers an engaging narrative that balances humour and emotional gut-punches, though the gameplay could be a little lacking. It’s not that anything is bad… there’s just not a whole lot to experience outside of the mini-game style battling. Does it offer enough to keep player entertained? I’d say so, especially with the intrigue of the narrative and the quality of the writing, which was top notch throughout. I’d just recommend you keep your expectations in check if you were hoping for a deep and involving RPG, with Don’t Give Up: A Cynical Tale feeling like an adventure where you’ll spend most of your time in the passenger seat.
For all its faults, the game is still full of charm, hope, and a narrative worth telling. I finished Don’t Give Up similar to how I’ve personally persevered through my own bouts of depression: even though some things could have gone better, in the end I feel more positive and hopeful than when I started. And I think that’s the story the game really wants to tell.