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Saint Maker Review

Saint Maker Review

I will be the first person to stand up and call myself a coward when it comes to horror games. However, I still enjoy horror visual novels a great deal. As a bonafide bookworm, I get more joy when I’m reading horrific stories than I do when I’m playing them. So, it’s safe to say, I was quick to enjoy Saint Maker - Horror Visual Novel from Yangyang Mobile on Steam.

Saint Maker is a horror visual novel that delves into religion. Naturally, visual novels focus more on the narrative than other gameplay features. However, I’ll try not to spoil the whole story, but there may be some spoilers ahead.

Saint Maker Screenshot 3

Before you buy the game, you’ll notice a few content warnings about Saint Maker on its Steam page. These include child abuse, religious abuse, homophobia, trauma, discussions of suicide, and death. While there isn’t much graphic imagery, especially for any hardcore horror fans, these are all pretty significant to the game's plot.

See, Saint Maker isn’t horror in the traditional sense. Sure, the convent has some spooky goings-on, but the horror doesn’t come from any paranormal beings. Or, at least, not much of it. No, the horror in Saint Maker comes from a discussion about religious fanaticism and what it can do to families.

Saint Maker has three main characters: Holly, Gabby, and Sister Adira. Holly is the protagonist, and she has been struggling to cope with her younger sister’s death. The main link that ties her and Liana — her sister — together comes in the form of the Kylie Taylor fantasy series they fell in love with. Their parents are strictly religious, and Holly and Liana have different ways of enduring the abuse they face at home.

Saint Maker Screenshot 6

At the convent, Holly meets Gabby, who is also there for the recollection. Unlike Holly, Gabby was not born into religion, but her mother turned to religion after the death of Gabby’s father. While they don’t immediately get along, Holly and Gabby are at odds with how they handle Sister Adira, who is in charge of their spiritual recollection.

Sister Adira is a complex antagonist and comes across as a tragic figure, who became a nun when she was young, and witnessed the horrors in the convent. Adira wants to help Holly and Gabby, but she’s also been warped by the time spent here in the convent. She acknowledges the strange happenings, and believes that they are due to miracles. Adira is constantly repairing statues and repainting them, and it’s these statues that provide the crux of the horror elements.

Saint Maker statue screenshot

Of the three characters, I want to say that I liked Gabby the most. However, she also had the least development of all the characters. Her role is essentially to be a foil to Holly, whose character arc revolves around taking more agency in her decisions. I took Adira’s character as being someone who Holly would be without Gabby’s intervention. So, each character does serve a purpose in some way to Holly’s entire story arc.

Moving onto the more technical elements, I can say I adored voice acting and sound design more than anything. The soundtrack involves choirs singing and haunting melodies, while the voice acting has a raw feeling to it. The artwork was well-presented, and each main character had a distinct style, and the backgrounds were well-painted and presented.

Saint Maker Gabby and Holly outside the convent.

However, I did play it twice to see if there was any replay value. Although I admit, I often hit the skip button in my second playthrough, so I might not be the most reliable of judges. Overall, it confirmed that the choices you make don’t really matter; nothing you do changes anything. While it is excellent from a character-driven standpoint, I thought that Holly held no control over her role in the narrative. It really felt like I had no control over the narrative, which works well thematically, but for a game, it is pretty repetitive after a while.

I admit, as a visual novel, I don’t think that Saint Maker stands out too much among the crowd. While its story certainly chilled me, it wasn’t in the way that I was expecting. It offered an introspective look into the horrors of religious abuse, which is its own horror in itself. However, it showed it by taking away your own choices in your decision making, and the one thing I love most about visual novels is that you can choose the way your story plays out. Unfortunately, it does seem like Yangyang Mobile took that choice away, and that did change the way I enjoyed the gameplay.

Saint Maker Choices

A single playthrough will only take you a little over two-and-a-half hours. Admittedly, I would refer to Saint Maker as more tragedy than horror. However, it’s a memorable game where you can see how little control you have when you make your next choice.

If you want to play Saint Maker for yourself, it’s currently available on Steam and Nintendo Switch now.

7.50/10 7½

Saint Maker - Horror Visual Novel (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

Saint Maker is certainly more tragedy than horror, and it shows. While it is well-made, I think players will enjoy the story more than the actual gameplay.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Bex Prouse

Bex Prouse

Staff Writer

Writing about all sorts like a liquorice allsort

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