Originally pitched to the Square Enix Collective in January 2015, and later appeared on Kickstarter that May, Tokyo Dark was created by Cherrymochi, an independent studio based in Kanagawa, Japan.
The game is a point-and-click adventure where the player controls Detective Ito over the course of her investigation across Tokyo and surroundings. Any people or objects that can be interacted with are exemplified by a translucent white box with 1-4 choices contained within.
At several points within the story, Ito will be forced to make a choice that she cannot take back, as the autosave will quickly overwrite previous actions, forcing the player to continue down their chosen path or restart their entire game. The consequences of Ito’s actions will be reflected in the short term on the “S.P.I.N.” meter and in the long term with up to 11 possible endings (including one that can only be unlocked through a “NewGame+” run).
Throughout the game, Ito’s mental state can be tracked through the S.P.I.N. system, which is an abbreviation of the four different attributes that Ito must balance and can affect which ending is received:
- Sanity can be affected by making irrational choices or interacting with paranormal forces. Sanity can be slightly restored by regularly taking pills at Ito’s apartment (at the expense of Investigation). Too little Sanity can lead to Ito seeing hallucinations and eventually a mental breakdown.
- Professionalism regards Ito taking actions that are “by the book” in police work. Higher Professionalism gives you more respect from some characters, while lower Professionalism can be gained from punching out bystanders or other illegal actions.
- Investigation is Ito’s drive to solve the case. The higher this stat, the more Ito objects and items Ito notices and can interact with.
- Neurosis is tied to Ito’s Sanity score. The more needless or obssessive-compulsive actions Ito takes (such as repeating an action multiple times or speaking to characters after conversations have finished), the higher her Neurosis gets. If this score gets too high, Ito’s Sanity will decrease faster and recover slower.
The main character. A young woman who managed to claw her way up the ranks of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to become a skilled detective, but has become increasingly erratic following the death of her partner and the reappearance of a woman from an older case thought to be dead. She continues pursuing both, thinking that they might still be alive despite evidence otherwise.
Ito’s husband and fellow detective within the TMPD. He recently went missing and is presumed dead.
A strange girl wearing an unclean idol-like outfit who was supposedly shot dead by Ito six months ago, yet has somehow reemerged to threaten Kazuki’s life.
- Animated sequences were produced by world class Anime studio Graphinica.
- The original soundtrack was composed by Matt “Bison” Steed, front man of Reign of Fury.
- Japanese localization was done by novelist Kimi Ureshino.