As you probably know from my previous She Games post, I’m currently playing Mystic Messenger to review for y’all. (Not actually reviewing, but close enough.)
(Sorry, but I don’t have any screenshots to share. Not just because of spoilers, but I don’t tend to take screenshots a lot.)
(I just realized this when I was rewatching the video, but at 1:27 and on it forshadows the scenes that will happen later in the game. I thought that was pretty neat.)
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Genre: Otome, Simulation
About: You were looking for an app, just to kill some time, and stumbled upon an app called “Mystic Messenger”. It sounded interesting so you downloaded it.
Once you opened it, you found yourself chatting with someone nicknamed “Unknown”. They persuaded you to go to some studio apartment.
As soon as you walked into to the apartment, your app is suddenly connected to a mystic group chat with attractive guys!? After a long chat, they ask you to join their secret party planning association called RFA… (Credit: Fandom Wikia)
Gameplay So Far
How I felt before playing:
How I felt after playing:
I did not expect to like this so much.
So how the game works is that you create an RFA (Rika’s Fundraising Association) profile (so it helps save between devices) and match the game to your time zone. You don’t really have to do anything beyond that, so you can comfortably play the game.
I’ve been watching some Let’s Plays on YouTube so I have a broader idea of the game, and the other people who play it. From there I’ve learned, Mystic Messenger jsn’t your regular otome. Apparently, the prologue (which was really long) isn’t really in other otome games. Usually you just play the game and get sucked in, but MM introduces you to the characters, story, and mysteries that is to come. (I could be wrong, but that is the info I’ve gathered, so you can correct me in the comments if you wish.)
Like in the description above, the story starts out with an caller labeled “Unknown” trying to get you to go to the address he sends to you. Once there, your phone starts getting messages from a mysterious chat group. However, those in the chat find out you are there and accuse you of being a “hacker”. (This is brief.) You start to learn the tropes of all the characters through their messages and the mystery of the story. They try to convince you to join the RFA to host a party, and once you accept (I said “What do I get if I join” but they assumed I was joining anyway so I was forced to host the parties. T_T) you’ll soon be able to look at Rika’s (host before you) emails and convince guests to join. In the meantime, you get to interact with the characters and learn more about what’s going on.
I already spoiled the game for myself, so I know what happens to most of the characters and yourself (I don’t know everything, but I know what’s to come) and let me just say, it’s unlike any game I’ve played, that’s for sure. (So much angst. Just, feels everywhere.) I don’t think I’ll be emotionally stable around the time for the big conclusion to happen, but just know that things will only get deeper, and also there are lots of twists to come.
I’d like to give you a personal rundown of each of the characters and their personalities. 🙂
Theme: Urban Night Cityscape
Heart Color: Purple
Jumin may not be the warmest character you meet but he’s not all that bad. (His cat is his good point.)
Already I’ve learned that Elizabeth the 3rd (his cat) is his most prized possession, and that he always leaves her in Jaehee’s care. He’s always busy with meetings, so he doesn’t have time to properly care for her.
Like I said, he isn’t the warmest character. He’s quite cold, and can be demanding. However, I searched through some polls, and he’s (almost) always the most popular character found in the game.
However, not all the other characters like him, like Zen. But he gets them back by making fun of them, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t amusing to watch.
I’m probably judging him too much by how much I know him in the Casual Story. I bet his character will be more explained the more I play, or by how I’ll know him in the Deeper Story.
Theme: Same Old Fresh Air
Heart Color: Green
Yoosung portrays the cutesy trope. He kind of acts like a concerned brother, and is happy some of the time. (He can get depressed whenever he thinks of Rika.)
From scrolling through comments, he was almost everyone’s first route. He seems to be the easiest to get.
He’s nice, but he won’t stop comparing you to Rika. (I’m different from her, okay?!) I heard that this will get worse as time develops, so I’m not exactly looking forward to that.
Yoosung likes to game heavily and stays up late at night playing LOLOL. So sometimes when he texts, there will be lots of typos because he’s trying to type and play at the same time.
Theme: Geniously Hacked Bebop (favorite song)
Heart Color: Red
Seven is my favorite character along with Jaehee. He has a bright personality, and his conversations are always centered around his comedic side. He’s generally nice to everyone, but I hear that the deeper you go in Deep Story, the more angst there’ll be. Once I can get Deep Story, I’ll probably try his route, there seems to be something interesting pertaining to having his route (I heard this from a lot of commenters around the internet). And since I spoiled the story (I’m pretty sure he’s heavily involved in the plot more than in the beginning), I have a good reason to try an aim for his route.
He hacks into lots of different sites, and was the first one to get a profile of the MC and their location. He works for a mysterious company, and so far, hasn’t elaborated much more on that subject.
Theme: Narcissistic Jazz
Heart Color: Grey
Zen is a musical actor who got his big break from V. He’s exercising a lot of the time, and likes to stay healthy. He also dedicates himself to his work, so he’s always busy.
He is usually full of himself. He compliments himself a lot during chats, and even during text messages. He usually remarks about his looks a lot, and it may drive you insane, but he makes up for it sometimes.
He hates cats, so he’ll usually make fun of Elizabeth the 3rd (Jumin’s cat) and that’ll end up with him and Jumin getting in a text argument.
His route is hard to avoid too. Usually there would be answers you put in the chat in his or Yoosung’s favor, so choose wisely. (I’m evening the hearts out, but this might result in a bad ending, so I should probably stop doing that.)
Theme: Jaehee Kang’s Theme
Heart Color: Yellow
Jaehee is my favorite character next to Seven. She is the chief secretary for Jumin and has to deal with him forcing Elizabeth the 3rd on her to-do list. She likes to complain about her job a lot, but she still does great work anyway. She’s fine with the cat, but not the hair, and would tell this to the MC regularly.
She is a secret fan of Zen’s, and appreciates his musicals. She keeps copies of DVDs at home and sometimes likes to watch them. The other people in the chat like to tease her about this.
She’s definitely one of the most underrated characters, which is why I’m trying to get her route first. It’s a bit harder because the choices of messages are usually centered around Yoosung or Zen, but getting her hearts aren’t that hard. Sometimes you have to break the other characters hearts in order to win her route. So far, I’ve had to break a couple, and I accidentally broke her hearts when I sided with the others, so I’m being more cautious in my messages.
V is in charge of the RFA, and most of the chat recognizes him as their leader.
He’s always very busy with his work, so he is rarely in the chat, but he’ll still login and join now and then to help out with the party planning.
He used to be Rika’s boyfriend, and even expected to get married to her. From Yoosung I learned that he wasn’t that sad after Rika’s death, however he did still grieve her loss, just in his own way.
I really wish he was a route. I spoiled what will happen in the game, and what will happen to V specifically, but even knowing all that, I’d still choose his route if I could.
Rika helped hosting all of the RFA’s parties, and was in charge of getting guests to come. She was Yoosung’s cousin, and V’s girlfriend. She dedicated all the profit of the parties to help special organizations/charities.
Like I said, I spoiled most of the game, so I know that something is fishy about Rika, but I’m trying to avoid all the spoilers surrounding her (I at least want something to be surprised about.)
The MC has to take over Rika’s previous work, and so the others have allowed the MC to be part of the group. But there’s a mystery surrounding if Rika planned for someone else to take over her spot, so a lot of the other characters are a bit concerned.
Routes and Stories
There are different routes to take for this game. In Casual Story (which I’m playing now), you get to choose between Yoosung, Zen, and Jaehee. In Deep Story, you can have Jumin or Seven’s route, but not the other three. (Wish V or Unknown was a route, that’d be interesting, however I get why they both aren’t routes, and I can’t tell you because of spoilers.) To get different routes depends on what choices you make in the game. You have to unlock Deep Story, but Casual is free to play. (Deep Story is what it says, and is sometimes recognized as the “real” plot, which it kind of is now that I’m thinking.)
I’m already on day 5 now. There’s an order of routes you can take to not spoil the game, but since I already spoiled a bunch of the routes for myself, I’m just going to choose the routes I want and ignore the order.
So I plan on only playing the game twice (maybe, I’m kind of satisfied with just the casual story and the route I’m trying to get, but you never know). Right now I’m playing through Jaehee’s route, then I’ll (probably) get deep story and go with Seven’s. (Note that Seven’s has the most spoilers, I would probably advise you not to play his first if you don’t want to ruin the story.) (I still don’t know if I’ll do this, I had to delete apps on my phone to get storage, so I probably won’t if I still want storage.)
Jaehee’s route is known as the “friendship” or “friend-zone” route. So for those of you who are saying, “But I don’t like any of the characters!” You can choose her route if you want. Also I just really like Jaehee because she’s the most realistic, so I’m always happy to side with her during chats, even if I won’t get anybody else’s route.
You get calls in the game after most of the chats. (There’s also a schedule, and you can click here to see that.)
They don’t really have a significance, they don’t effect which route you’ll choose nor do you gain any hearts or hourglasses from them. They’re just like fun little extras. You have the choice to pick up the call (you only have ten seconds to do so) or hang up. If you miss a call, you can pay 5 hourglasses to call back, however if the character doesn’t pick up, you won’t be refunded.
I haven’t missed a call so far, sometimes they’re kind of fun to listen to. Even if you don’t know what the voice actor is saying (it’s in Korean), there’s English subtitles for you to follow.
I’ve heard you don’t have to participate in every chat to get a good ending. However, not participating at all or too little can result in a bad ending. I’ve started day one late, and so I only got 11% completed, but not everyone gets a high percentage on the first day and still can get a good end, so I’m not vastly worried. (I try my best to get 100% for the rest of the 11 days of the game, I’ve still missed some chats, but I’m still on the safe side.) (I hope.)
If you want chat schedules I have some pics for you to look at if you want. (I give credit to the respective creators of the schedule.)
I barely use this, but maybe it’ll help you.
Emails and Guests
You’ll get emails from guests to come to the party. Your job is to answer all three of their questions. It’s said that the green arrow icon means that you gave a satisfactory answer, and the orange arrow icon is a wrong answer.
They’ll definitely come to the party if you answer all the questions correctly, and if you only get two right there’ll be a chance that they might come.
One of the chats I missed discussed two or so guests that should’ve been on my list, but because I didn’t join the chat on time, those guests won’t arrive. So it is still important to partake in chats if you want guests to come because the characters in the game will help bring you news of potential candidates.
Even if you go in a chat that mentions a guest, you also have to choice to decline their invite. I don’t do this, I always jump at the chance for a guest to arrive, so I doubt this will result in anything good. But to get a good ending you need 10 or more guests to arrive. (That’s one small party, but hey, I’ve attended less before.)
Looking through this post now, I see I’m just spouting information I’ve learned from Pinterest, Otome Obsessed, Wikia, Youtube, and the game itself. Really you don’t need my help anymore with game info, you can look it up with the links I gave you. I haven’t given much of my opinion on how I like the game so far, so this next section with be my (sort of) review.
(Sort of) Review
I really love the music in this game. It’s definitely one of it’s high points. For each character there is a musical theme (which I put in their profiles above) and each has a genre specifically for them. (Jazz, bebop, etc.) I thought this was creative in highlighting each of the characters’ tastes and personalities.
As good as the music is, I just wish there was more of it. Like if there were more reprises, I bet a lot of people would look forward to listening to a longer soundtrack. That being said, I’m not complaining that there isn’t enough music to go around, or that I just want more of it for fangirling purposes (which I’m not saying at all, but yes, I do like the music enough to fangirl), I’m fine with what they have now, but having a little more may improve the audience’s gameplay. It’s definitely something to think about. (Heck, I know a couple of games with a playlist of 30-100 songs, and it’s always fun to know the effort that was put into making the soundtrack, not that the effort isn’t seen in MM.)
It’s a 4/5 for now because I’m not that deep into the game yet, this score will change later on.
Visual Novels and Simulations tend to have a very high plot. Sometimes, like with Visual Novels, there is too much plot that there is no actual playing of the game. (Edit: this has a Visual Novel mode, but every different part/chapter is between some texts, so the story isn’t all reading and clicking “next”. Sorry for that confusion earlier, continue…) I’m glad that there is a good amount of interaction and playing as well as story. It’s not balanced out perfectly, it seems story still takes a major role, but it’s interesting enough that I don’t care if I’m doing anything or not.
There will be a lot of twists coming up, and multiple endings for multiple routes. (I believe there are seven different endings: 1 Good, 1 Normal, 3 Bad, 2 Bad Relationship.) So it’s always something new every time you play, and you hardly ever get bored.
Story Vs Gameplay
Like I said, the balance is uneven, but I still have fun with the story even if the gameplay is very little.
You are still having fun in chat rooms and interacting with characters via email, text, or phone call, however the game is all led by the characters and not you. You don’t get to respond many times in chats or calls. Also you only get to send one text each time after someone else gets to contact you first.
I felt as though I was in less control of the game than I thought I would be. But I still got to play, and there are many chats to partake in during the day, that it wasn’t so bad.
Yes, I’m grading the chat responses you’re given in the game.
I found this comic, and it basically sums up everything I wanted to say.
I don’t even think I have to say anymore, I’ll just leave it like that.
Her expression is perfect. 😂
One thing I really love about this game, which you can kind of see in the trailer, is the great art.
Not only do I think the CGs are drawn really well, but I also like to compliment the surface of the app’s design. It’s pretty easy to get around, and looks quite sleek if I had to admit. The imagery really goes well with the music, and together they make the game a lot nicer visually.
(This is where I start to rage, so feel free to skip this part.)
Now if you recall the title to this long post, then I’ll applaud you.
If you are planning to complete your chats with a percentage around a hundred, then you will most likely have a weird sleep schedule for 11 days. My sleep schedule is terrible as it is, so at first, it didn’t bother me because I stayed up late anyway.
But I didn’t think as far ahead as the mornings.
The mornings will get you if the night doesn’t. I put the chat times on this post for a reason, if you look at them again (or not, because I’m about to explain everything anyway) the last chats are past 3AM.
For me, I thought, “Yeah, okay. No biggie.” But then I had to wake up four or five hours later for the next chat.
Now, I said I had a bad sleep schedule. But you don’t know in depth how nocturnal I am, and I won’t go into detail for obvious reasons. Just know that even when you think the game won’t effect your sleep happiness, *breathes deeply, puts hand on your shoulder* my friend, you are very wrong.
This is one of the reasons why I don’t know if I’ll make it to round two because I want my dreams back!
Smol rage over. 😀
That’s all for now! This wasn’t really a progress post, more like a review chalked full of information that will or will not prove to be useful to you. But I still had fun making this, and hope you’ve enjoyed reading this! The fact that I also have friends who’ve played this game too, and understand what I’m talking about when I’m asking them how their experience went was also fun for me. I might have another progress post then a final word, or I might just mash them together, we’ll see. For now, I hope you have a good idea of the game, I’m sure you will after this, depending on if you’ve read the post or just skimmed through.
I’ll be back later, bye!