External Links

Download on itch.io
Defaults - All Systems Application

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

Doki Doki Literature Club

by Team Salvato

Horror, Romance

Web Site

(based on 17 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

Hi, Monika here!

Welcome to the Literature Club! It's always been a dream of mine to make something special out of the things I love. Now that you're a club member, you can help me make that dream come true in this cute game!

Every day is full of chit-chat and fun activities with all of my adorable and unique club members:

Sayori, the youthful bundle of sunshine who values happiness the most;
Natsuki, the deceivingly cute girl who packs an assertive punch;
Yuri, the timid and mysterious one who finds comfort in the world of books;
...And, of course, Monika, the leader of the club! That's me!

I'm super excited for you to make friends with everyone and help the Literature Club become a more intimate place for all my members. But I can tell already that you're a sweetheart—will you promise to spend the most time with me? ♥

Game Details


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Subverting visual novel conventions with a dark story, September 1, 2018
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: choleric

[Content warning: depicted violence, suicide.]

In Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC), you’re invited to join your neighbour’s tiny after school club, the literature club. Even though your only exposure to literature is reading manga, the club members themselves are each compelling in their own way.

Much has been written about this game, by people who are much more familiar with visual novels than I am, so I won’t feign familiarity with the conventions of the visual novel genre. But judging from this game alone, it seems that visual novels, like parser games, are good at signalling inevitability. Unlike parser games, they can do this with long stretches of dialogue-heavy storytelling without any choices. DDLC uses this to its advantage, using its episodic format to set patterns and break them.

This game is deliberately vague in its advertising about its content warnings, since those are spoilers in themselves. These are big heavy subjects that the game mentions, though, and it’s mostly used as plot point rather than being discussed.

Some gripes, then. Some of the story elements didn’t feel gelled together. In particular the poetry-writing felt like a flimsy justification for the premise. Additionally, the way this story handles mental illness is pretty superficial - more plot point than anything else. This attitude is endemic in horror fiction in general. We can do better.

DDLC is probably more worth playing for seeing how the visual novel format can be subverted than for its actual storyline, and for its questioning of the divide between player-character and player. It displays some clever tricks, but tends to use violence and mental illness as a shock tactic. Lynnea Glasser’s Creatures Such as We also explores such metatextual issues, but far more thoughtfully.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Okay, but ultimately shallow and unoriginal, May 10, 2019
by lunaterra (Atlanta, GA, USA)

I was lucky enough to be one of the comparatively few people who played Doki Doki Literature Club before its gimmick became common knowledge. "Ugh," I thought when I first saw it, "another English visual novel set in a Japanese high school, and with gratuitous Japanese in the title, too."

I guess DDLC technically exceeded my expectations, but not by much. While it sets itself up as a “standard” moege (the type of visual novel, almost always set in a Japanese high school, that serves solely as an excuse to look at and date cute girls), it eventually reveals itself to be something entirely different—though only slightly better.

The main problem I have with DDLC is that it's a "subversion" of visual novels by someone who's clearly only familiar with the medium on a surface level. Unfortunately, DDLC's fame has given rise to a wave of people for whom it was their first visual novel—which in itself wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that many of those people, and many people who played DDLC but chose not to seek out other visual novels, now have a distorted idea of what visual novels are and what types of visual novels exist. While their reputation as shallow excuses for porn and fluffy high school romances isn’t totally undeserved, there have been developers doing great and interesting things with visual novels since years before DDLC.

The truth is, nearly everything DDLC does, other visual novels did before it—usually better. (The VN the true diehards will point to is Nitroplus' 2013 visual novel Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi. ("The Love Between You, Her, and Her."), which supposedly hits many of the same beats that DDLC does, but over a longer playtime and with more porn. Given that it's only available in Japanese, though—an English localization was announced in 2018 but has yet to be released—it's unlikely that the similarities are anything more than coincidental.) I can point to ebi-hime’s Once on a Windswept Night and Katy133’s [redacted] Life for visual novels which play with the relationship between protagonist and player, and to NomnomNami’s Her Tears Were My Light as a game that uses a non-chronological progression (coincidentally, all of these are from 2016, the year before DDLC’s release).

Even the lack of originality isn’t necessarily a problem, but story-wise, DDLC doesn’t really do anything particularly well. It’s pretty, and the technical effects are nice, but it doesn’t commit to anything. Its handling of mental illness starts off on a promising note, but the nuances it sets up are almost immediately discarded in favor of shock value. Writing-wise, it seems to imitate a mediocre translation from Japanese (complete with a direct reference to a pun that doesn’t make sense in English), with the effect that...well, it reads like a mediocre translation from Japanese. Just because it’s intentional doesn’t make it a compelling experience.

While there are plenty of visual novels I can recommend even to people who think they don’t like the medium, it's hard to recommend DDLC itself other than to know what all the fuss is about (and maybe as a Ren'Py tech demo—the technical effects are the most interesting part of the VN, and the primary reason why this isn’t a two-star review).

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | View comments (1) - Add comment 

If you enjoyed Doki Doki Literature Club...

Related Games

People who like Doki Doki Literature Club also gave high ratings to these games:

Within a Wreath of Dewdrops, by Sam Kabo Ashwell and Jacqueline A. Lott
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
In this small game, you are the only actor onstage in Within a Wreath of Dewdrops, a historical opus which has entered its final act. Using just four pathetic props, can you act as the hero, the heroine, and the evil wizard, and save a...

Captain Connie's Ejactor Seat, by Andrew Watt
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
Here you are, strapped to the captain's chair, about to play a very dangerous game. If you win, you get to fuck Connie. If you lose, she blows you out the airlock. The entire crew has played this game. Connie has won every time.

Pytho's Mask, by Emily Short
Average member rating: (65 ratings)
On the Night of the Comet, the usual astrological bonds do not hold, and the order of the universe is threatened. It is a time made for rebels and usurpers, and all who would claim the kingdom for themselves. You are a member of the...

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

Doki Doki Literature Club appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Nontraditional Parser, Gamebook, IF and Systems by thecanvasrose
This list is based on a poll you can add votes to. I will update the list from time to time to reflect what's on the poll as I play the elected games and can write snippets about them. See here: https://ifdb.org/poll?id=9xs5adb1gvesf3tk...


The following polls include votes for Doki Doki Literature Club:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Games of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible innovation uses of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best Use of Innovation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible individual NPCs of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual NPC in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned...

See all polls with votes for this game

This is version 4 of this page, edited by lunaterra on 10 May 2019 at 5:17pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page