Visual novels tend to be little more than a glorified “choose your own adventure” story, but sometimes one comes along that tries its best to break the mold. In the case of Max’s Big Bust it certainly works hard to blur the line between visual novels and adventure games. About a week or so ago Lach just pushed out the latest piece of content over at Steam and I just got the chance to try it out. I also talk to him frequently over there and I get some insider knowledge about the future of the game and possible new ones down the pipeline.
Before I begin, Max’s Big Bust is already a very long game. Certainly much longer than most visual novels that I’ve played to date and according to Lach we’re only about halfway through development. I’ve lost track of how many monthly releases there have been but he did tell me to expect about ten or so more updates before the game moves out of Early Access. He hopes to have it all wrapped up by August, which means we’ll hopefully be able to find out who the people behind the mysterious MinX drug and these weird transformation marbles are.
This build was pretty short, a lot shorter than I expected but still very much worth playing through. I’m a longtime veteran of adventure games so I welcome every new puzzle segment in Max’s Big Bust, and these are some of my favorite moments. This time around, though, it has become increasingly tricky if you’re not used to solving puzzles. It took some trial and error, catching on some cryptic clues, but nothing frustratingly hard. In fact, moving back forth, collecting clues and “gifts” was some of the most fun I’ve had in the genre.
And speaking of puzzles, I asked Lach why put in something usually reserved for adventure games in Max’s Big Bust. His answer was that during Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme (which you can read our coverage of) the artist had problems so he had to pick up some slack. Which is where the idea of making Russell’s route more puzzley (is that even a word?). And from the point on Lach wanted to incorporate these elements in future games. It also made a lot of sense since Max is a police detective working a major case. I will admit that each investigation made me want more.
All that said, what can we expect from Lach and Max’s Big Bust in future months? First off, we’ve got plenty of content and investigation puzzles, a lot of new story, and of course the grand finale. He told me that plans on finally getting Max hooked up with one of the romanceable options (both men and women), with plenty of branches off from this point, is going to be possible starting next time with a big anime convention update. As an avid con goer myself I look forward to seeing her cosplay outfits.
And then we’ve got a special surprise for when Max’s Big Bust wraps up. I’ve gotten some behind-the-scenes looks at the new spinoff game, which will feature a couple background “magical girl” characters we’ve already seen, but we don’t want to spoil too much. Suffice it to say that I look forward to seeing this new game once Max is finished. So, as we continue to get more content in (you can read our previous coverage if you’re interested) the game gets all that much closer to the ending. Which I can’t wait to see. Until then, I’ve just got to wait like everyone else. Even if I do get some sneak peaks before most people.