Don’t Toy with Me is a free-to-play visual novel for Windows created by Karmic Punishment. The game operates under a name-your-own-price (NYOP) model, which lets you as the user determine how much you’d be prepared to pay for the experience. Of course, if you wanted to, you could download it for free.
Don’t Toy with Me is fairly similar in both design and execution to other horror-themed visual novels like The Last of Us and Infinite Stars - The Visual Novel. So if you enjoy this one, give those two a try as well.
The visual novel genre is built on an interactive experience. These games often have to be even more storylines and character-driven than the more conventional action or puzzle games because they rely so heavily on the concept of a well-written story. In total, Don’t Toy with Me contains around 15,500 words and is an incredibly well-thought-out interactive experience.
Get to know the characters and the somewhat disturbing plot through text boxes flashing across the screen as you make choices that ultimately affect the path the story takes.
The storyline in Don’t Toy with Me takes place within a dollhouse. The visual novel centres around a character named Dahlia who, apart from a stuffed rabbit, is the only occupant of the dollhouse. When a new character, the sad clown puppet Huxley, joins the house, complications ensue, and the unsettling drama begins to unfold.
Don’t Toy with Me is a beautifully designed visual novel containing fully realised and well-designed characters and scenes. The visual novel features an incredibly immersive and distinctive art style, lending to the game’s overall appeal. There isn’t much in the way of dynamic animation, but this is quite standard for games within the visual novel genre.
Don’t Toy with Me is an incredibly immersive visual novel that achieves its core purpose; to entertain and disturb. Following the storyline is easy, and you don’t have to worry about too many intense twists or remembering obscure events. The storyline is logical and offers rewarding playthroughs, even though there are only two possible endings.
The dark themes that the visual novel explores merit a warning for younger players, but people who enjoy this sort of disturbing gameplay without overt or explicit violence will likely delight in the events within Don’t Toy with Me.