Hail Mary, Full Of Sin

HIGH The voice acting and artwork are polished.

LOW The “choices”.

WTF Holly’s parents.


Hi everyone! Eugene Sax here with another review from Gamecritics.com.

Saint Maker is a new horror visual novel from Yangyang mobile. Players will follow Holly, a young girl going to the convent of Saint Idealora for a religious recollection. Holly soon realizes that this convent has a special air to it — one that will require her to learn, adapt, and face more than she ever expected in order to get out alive.

We start off with Holly finding Mother Adira, the mother superior of this convent. She’s strict, obeys the Bible to the letter, and immediately sets the tone by taking away a book about fairies and magic that Holly treasures. Holly is then quickly introduced to another person who will be at the recollection, a tough older girl named Gabriella. We follow the three characters through a couple of days of this religious event, watching them evolve and reveal their story to the player.

I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to visual novels, but Saint Maker started strong with some well-done voice acting and storybook-style art. There’s a slight animation to the characters throughout the game, and the actors aren’t just reading the lines — every recitation has some slight variation on it, like extra emphasis on syllables, interjections of breaths, or cries between words that give the characters some intense personality. Holly feels very innocent and demure, Gabriella feels tough and anti-authority, and Adira presents with a sense of tiredness that comes with age. All in all, the great production values made the story easy to slip into, though that is all this game is — a story.

While every visual novel has a central story and at least one ending, sometimes more, I feel like many of the good ones offer more flexibility on how the player gets there, but Saint Maker doesn’t have this flexibility. There are some choices that can color a scene differently, but these aren’t even close to being branching story paths. Saint Maker is one of the few visual novels I’ve played that felt like a book being read to me instead of being a game to interact with. On the other hand, it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Allowing the game to auto-progress on it’s own clocked the entire run at just over six hours, and it doesn’t feel rushed.

In an attempt not to spoil anything, I would say that if players are looking for a scary visual novel experience, they may want to look elsewhere. Saint Maker is more psychological thriller than horror, and I’m not sure if the content will scare people, so much as unsettle them with its focus on Christian guilt, trauma, faith, and fanaticism. Speaking of which, consider this a content warning for the game as a whole since Saint Maker itself doesn’t offer any type of content warning.

Did I enjoy my time with Saint Maker? Yes. Would I ever play it again? No, especially since there aren’t any variations in the story paths or endings that would warrant it. I could see this being a tale to experience on a dark, rainy night for avid visual novel fans, but I doubt there’s much here for anyone who isn’t already a fairly serious fan of the genre’s more straightforward offerings.

For me, Saint Maker gets 6 religious statues out of 10.

Disclosures: This game is developed and published by YangYang mobile. It is currently available on Steam and Nintendo Switch. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PC. Approximately 7 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer options.

Parents: The game doesn’t currently have an ESRB rating. This game is focused on trauma, suicide, abuse, and cult worship. Characters will swear (b****, d***, s***, and one f***), and there are a couple of scenes with gore (a cut and bloody hand, and a character with no face except a bottom row of teeth in an empty skull). Not for younger kids.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes in this game.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: There is text in game, but text is not resizable. Audio mostly serves aesthetic purposes and is not needed for gameplay. The game is fully accessible.

Remappable controls: Controls are not remappable, but are on screen at all times. Players can control with just a mouse, but there are some controller options if desired.

Eugene Sax
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