In a visual novel you usually play as a young girl or boy as they go about their daily business and are thrust into usually strange, or at least romantic, events. While this is still certainly the case in Elisa – The Innkeeper, there are a few minor details that make this one stand out among the rest of the Western crowd of titles. Namely that you don’t play as the protagonist. That’s right. The titular character isn’t really played by you.
Here’s the story behind Elisa – The Innkeeper: The main character is Elisa, who works in an inn. Duh. She’s being suitored by three young, and admittedly good looking, men. That’s pretty much all we know about the plot. That said, it’s the gameplay itself that makes it stand out. As I mentioned, you’re not playing as Elisa, you’re more of a “god-like” entity controlling the destiny of everyone in the game. Your decisions affect all characters, not just Elisa. Which is in contrast to the usual “you are the main character” trope in visual novels.
There are other interesting elements in the game, such as collecting items that can be used for…something. The developers at Neoclassic Games don’t really go into detail beyond that. They’re claiming RPG elements but I didn’t see anything that would resemble that in either the video or text. That said, I’d love to know more about Elisa – The Innkeeper. It’s got a great premise and a game that I want to keep an eye on. At least we can play the free “prequel” to get a feeling of what to expect with the full game.