Review by Iyamtebist
I initially purchased Pregnancy based simply on morbid curiosity about its premise. It is a very short and minimalist visual novel around a woman who becomes pregnant from being raped. While the concept alone is not inherently bad, the fact that it looked very similar to Depression Quest (a game I have gone on record of stating that I thought was shallow and poorly written) in many ways. Both of them being based around social issues that are done in a shallow or gimmicky manner that shows that being entertaining was not put into consideration, and instead the game just wants to preach.
The only difference I can give is that Pregnancy is a little bit better, but not by much. The reasons why I would say Pregnancy is a better game come down to its soundtrack, and that it actually has a slightly stronger plot. The game is accompanied by a lot of very nice and pleasing classical piano tunes, and if there was one, Id recommend it more than the game itself. As for the story, it is only better than Depression Quest in that you have actual characters and dialogues as opposed to Depression Quests shallow 2nd person choose your own adventure book presentation.
So people are aware, Pregnancy is a visual novel; this means there is no gameplay other making choices at certain points in the plot. There is also no animation of background scenery, and the only thing displayed on screen is a picture of the character speaking and some text over it; and even then, the entire screen is always tinted one specific color, which causes the character pictures to fade into the background. Every single screen looks like one of those motivational pictures you see in school on the wall of the principals office. If one were to see a screenshot of this game, one would not think this is actually a game.
The actual writing is on the same level as a Twilight novel. Despite only playing the game yesterday, I cannot even remember the main characters name due to how bland her character was. The main storyline is very uneventful as well and can be summed as your main character gets pregnant and decides whether or not she keeps the baby. The closest the game has to any emotional tension is the main characters flashback to her rape, which fails to even hold significant shock value. The problem with the writing is that it does nothing but melodramatically drone on and on about the most mundane and insignificant things. At one point, our main character literally says Why does everything bad only happen to me!? Why god why? What did I do to deserve it?
It takes a special kind of talent to make a rape victim sound whiny, but Pregnancy managed to accomplish this. Needless to say, this game does NOT do its subject matter justice. The fact that it exploits a subject like rape as a cheap attempt at emotional drama is inexcusable. The implications that the game brings up are even worse. The moment I saw the phrase Imagine if it is a boy? Imagine if he has the face of the rapist? Ill always see the face of the person who hurt me the most I found myself flat out disgusted.
To rub salt in the wound, the ending you get is fixed to be the exact opposite of what you chose to say. So if you try and tell her that maybe she shouldnt blame the child for what her father did, she decides to do the opposite and get an abortion. If you tell her that she should get one, then she decides to keep it. I just have to ask; what purpose does this serve? Is it supposed to tell us that, if we get knocked up, we should do the exact opposite of what everyone else says? Pregnancy fails to bring up anything remotely insightful about the issue of abortion. All it does is serve to make sure it offends everyone who plays through it the first time.
It feels like Pregnancy is supposed to be preaching about the issue of abortion, but it fails to even make a statement about it. I stated that this game was slightly better than Depression Quest, but Ill be honest, its probably just because of the soundtrack. In some ways, it is even worse. Depression Quest at least had an underlying theme to it and showed how one could fight depression. There were a lot more choices available and they had a greater impact on the plot. There was even more details put into the writing.
Pregnancy is a game that gets worse the more I think about it. I initially thought it was better than Depression Quest, but now I think it is even worse. Hell Im willing to say that it makes Depression Quest look good by comparison and am willing to give Zoe Quinn more credit because of it. Even worse is that, Unlike Depression Quest, this thing actually costs money to purchase. It costs two dollars on Steam, but it is not worth those two dollars. It turns out that this Pregnancy was a miscarriage, and a very messy one at that.
Product Release: Pregnancy (US, 10/06/14)
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