End of Lines from Nova-Box is an interactive graphic novel experience on Nintendo Switch set after a catastrophic climate meltdown. Learn more in our End of Lines review!
End of Lines from Nova-Box is an interactive graphic novel experience on Nintendo Switch set after a catastrophic climate meltdown. Your journey, which is set in the near future, begins as a group of survivors wanders through the devastated countryside of Southern Europe as they search for a livable place where they can finally settle. As you can probably imagine, you’re about to embark on an adventure that brings us a glimpse into what could possibly happen if the collapse of ecosystems finally happens.
I had a blast playing through the studio’s previous releases, the musical journey through space and time by way of a very special vinyl record that was Across the Groove, the fantasy-themed adventure Seers Island that follows a group of shaman apprentices during their initiation journey, or the coming-of-age experience in which your whole life is turned upside-down in Along the Edge. I was certain that End of Lines would follow along the same lines and offer a Rated M for Mature look at how things can go terribly wrong if global warming and the climate crisis are ignored.
In End of Lines, you’ll follow the core family unit of Camille, Nora, Sam, and Rafik in an adventure presented through gorgeous hand-drawn storybook-like segments. It’s the end of the 21st century, and things have not gone according to plan… or they went as you’d expect things to turn out when you don’t have the right plan to get the job done. This is a visual novel experience which, as its name suggests, means that you’ll get to go through a novel’s worth of content, and there will be lots of reading in your future.
Each choice that you make will have an effect on one of three parameters: Lion, Tahouri, and Panther. You’ll learn about them during the game’s intro as you hear about a fable from the matriarch. The lion, the panther, the tahouri, and the jackal had to share their kill. The jackal offers to do this and makes four equal shares. The lion is unhappy with his share and kills the jackal. The tahouri offers to share the kill and gives half to the lion. When the lion asks the tahouri who taught him this method of sharing, he answers it was the blow that killed the jackal that taught him.
What does each of the three parameters mean, and how do you have an effect on each one? The lion favors a direct approach, seeking to arm itself and strike first. The lion is suspicious of others, is ruthless, and always expects the worst. The panther avoids confrontation and prefers to flee danger. The panther displays doubt, doesn’t like to stay in one place, and sacrifices themselves for others. The tahouri seeks out social interaction and eagerly accumulates wealth. The tahouri strives to establish exchanges, prefers the sedentary lifestyle, and will manipulate others.
The choices you make along the way will have a direct impact on the adventure you will end up seeing through up until the credits roll. Because of this, you won’t be able to see every single scene and experience all interactions and events during a single run, thus increasing the game’s replay value. If you want to see everything that End of Lines has to offer, you’re going to have to play the game from start to finish more than once. Each run should take you around 3-4 hours to complete.
End of Lines brings us a new visual novel in which we get a glimpse at a potential future that can hit if we don’t act on the effects of climate change and global warming before it’s too late. Follow Camille, Nora, Sam, and Rafik as they try to find a place where they can survive, even if that means that not everyone might end up completing this journey. Due to the game’s overall theme and the topics dealt with in the story, as well as its visual novel nature, this is not going to be for everyone, but it’s hopefully one that does click with you. End of Lines is out on Nintendo Switch with a $16.99 price tag.
This End of Lines review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Nova-Box.