This narrative adventure nails the early '00s era of internet forums and game communities

(Image credit: Kinmoku)

In Videoverse, I'm scrolling through a community page, liking art, making comments, and checking the responses on my own posts. Then, I get a notification and start messaging an online pal. I can't quite get over how perfectly Kinmoku's narrative adventure captures the early days of the internet; I feel like I've been transported back in time. It triggers memories of how I used to spend my days in the early 00s after school. When I wasn't playing The Sims 2, Midtown Madness 3, Pokemon Sapphire, or GTA: Vice City (yes, I was too young for that one), I was on MSN Messenger. My time was also sometimes claimed by an old Nintendo forum I can no longer remember the name of. 

The beauty of Videoverse isn't just in the way it recreates a fictionalized version of a game console and its online network, it's also in how it immerses you within it and tells a profound story that completely warmed my heart. The adventure pulled me in so much that I lost track of time as I was playing it, and even though it was far too late at night when the credits rolled, it was completely worth it. Exploring how games and fandoms bring people together, help shape us, and even act as lifeline, the moving message Videoverse left me with is one I needed to be reminded of. 

Feudal Fantasy  


(Image credit: Kinmoku)

In the visual-style narrative adventure, you play as Emmett, a young aspiring artist who's fallen in love with a game called Feudal Fantasy. Using the fictional console Shark and its online network, you see snippets of the game as Emmett progresses, and then use the network to explore community forums and chat with people on the platform. After some encouragement from a pal, you start posting your own artwork of the game characters in the Feudal Fantasy community. I love that with each passing chapter, the artwork improves, and I share in Emmett's excitement when they start getting more likes and responses. 

Steadily, you start to notice the art from a new user called Vivi that Emmett really connects with. After engaging with their posts more frequently, I start messaging Vivi directly, and see how a friendship begins to form as they bond over the game. As a decision-based experience, I'm able to choose every response, which lets me shape their relationship as Vivi starts to open up more and more. The connection they develop and the way it strengthens with each online conversation is done in such a natural way - it's so reminiscent of my own experiences as a teen online in the early days. 


(Image credit: Kinmoku)

The way you can choose responses also applies when it comes to the communities you can interact with. Different options are available when it comes to what comments you want to leave, or what posts you want to make. While there's a core story that pulls you through the experience, you come across little side stories by engaging with different posts, or reporting hurtful comments that the platform's moderators have seemingly let slip. 

Sometimes a friend or fellow community member might also ask for your help, which gives you an additional task to fulfill. Whether you want to try to improve the Shark communities or not is up to you, but I can't say enough about just how well it immerses you in this fictional online space. You really feel like you're a part of it, and with every online engagement, I came to care about Emmett and the relationships that start to form on the platform more and more. 

There's also something very bittersweet about Videoverse, which factors into the growing number of troll posts you start to see pop up. With the internet ever-changing and consoles developing and improving, nothing lasts forever, and Shark is no exception. It can be hard to fight the feeling of loss when a consoles heyday comes to a close, or that you're being left behind if you don't get with the times, but it just made me want to appreciate and make the most of Emmett's time with the network's communities. 

Without wanting to spoil the story further - because I absolutely recommend discovering it for yourself - Videoverse really moved me with its heartfelt message about the power games can have. They can bring us together, connect us, inspire us, and help us through difficult times. It's such a nostalgic experience, but even if you missed the early internet era, Kinmoko's unique and immersive narrative adventure is well worth checking out.  

Videoverse it out now on PC. To see what other indie gems we've been enjoying, head on over to our Indie Spotlight series. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.