[dropcap size=big]S[/dropcap]trictly speaking, The Reject Demon: Toko isn’t a crowdfunded game but it was developed by the same people behind Dizzy Hearts. The first part, “Chapter 0”, was just released on Steam earlier this month and for the most part has gotten positive reviews on that platform. And while it does have some issues (more on that below) I happen to agree that it’s worth playing if you’re a fan of demons, metal music, and some lesbian action.
Here’s the basic gist of The Reject Demon: Toko. Toko’s a demon. Obviously. But, she’s not your typical demon either. At least she continuously fails at her duties to ferry souls of humans. Which is also the main sustenance of these otherworldly beings. As a “no soul” demon she’s basically starved herself while those who do manage to do their job thrive in Hell.
We see that Toko is horrible at her job and she’s booted from Hell to the human world where she slowly finds herself becoming human herself. She meets, and befriends, Nadia while trying to find her place in her new life. And others take it upon themselves to snatch the “contract” for Nadia. It’s not until later in the prelude that we find out the truth behind this.
Technically, I wouldn’t consider The Reject Demon: Toko to be a visual novel in any sense but that it’s a game that tells a story in a linear fashion. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much nothing but a story. Almost all visual novels have at least some branching paths that lead to different endings. There’s no choices to be had here. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that this first chapter is a prelude and that characters need to be introduced and plots set up, but I found this rather jarring and upsetting. That said, this is my only real gripe with the game.
Despite the lack of interactivity, the story itself is still worth a playthrough. The lore behind the demons, the angels, and humans as little more than fodder to both factions is actually pretty strong and help the pace in parts. I would have loved to see more of this, but the second half of The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 focuses heavily on what essentially amounts to a “battle of the bands” between the various circles of Hell. Music apparently plays a major part in demon (and angel) culture and Toko is thrust into this life as she manages to manifest an instrument on her own despite not having taken any souls herself.
The one aspect of The Reject Demon: Toko that I most enjoyed exploring in the prelude is the deep relationship that seems to be forming between Toko and Nadia. It was pretty obvious early on that these two were destined to be a couple but by the end there’s little left to the imagination. As a side note, Toko’s a succubus (essentially a lust demon) that feeds off of sexual attraction and it’s obvious to anyone who can pick up the clues that this is a mutual attraction. Nadia certainly drops plenty of hints throughout.
The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 is relatively short. You can finish it in about a couple of hours. But, it’s a strong start despite some hiccups in the plot and the lack of choice. I look forward to playing through the remaining three or so chapters once they’re released.