Root Letter

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Root Letter
Root Letter cover art.png
Cover art
Developer(s)Kadokawa Games
Publisher(s)
  • JP: Kadokawa Games
  • WW: PQube
Producer(s)Akari Uchida
Artist(s)Mino Taro
Writer(s)Dario Fuji
Composer(s)Takashi Nitta
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS
ReleasePS4, PS Vita
  • JP: 16 June 2016
  • EU: 28 October 2016
  • NA: 10 November 2016
Microsoft Windows
  • JP: 31 March 2017
  • WW: 7 July 2017
Android, iOS
  • JP: 25 August 2017
Genre(s)Adventure, visual novel
Mode(s)Single-player

Root Letter, stylized as √Letter,[1] is a 2016 visual novel adventure video game developed and published by Kadokawa Games for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Android, and iOS. It is the first entry in the Kadokawa Game Mystery brand, and is to be followed by the upcoming Root Letter 2.

Gameplay[edit]

The game plays as an adventure visual novel.[2] In the game, the player must figure out what happened to the character of Aya, a girl who mysteriously vanished after receiving a particular letter. The gameplay will be split into two distinct parts; the adventure part, where the player interrogates characters who knew Aya in order to find more information about her, and the simulation parts, where the player relives and plays through prior interactions with Aya.[3]

Story[edit]

Root Letter is set in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, where the protagonist arrives in search of Fumino Aya, a pen pal friend from high school who had disappeared for 15 years.[2] After he finds a letter dedicated to him from her that was never sent, he sets out to interrogate her classmates as he wonders if everything Aya had told him had been a lie.[4] The game contains multiple endings based on the player's choices throughout the game.[2]

Development and release[edit]

The game was announced in November 2015, for both the Japanese and international market.[4] It was introduced as the first title in a line of adventure video games by Kadokawa Games, the Kadokawa Game Mystery series.[1] Each entry in the series is planned to contain the same "fictional actresses" playing different roles across different titles.[5] Key staff from Konami's LovePlus series of dating sim games contributed to the game, including character designer Mino Taro, and producer Akari Uchida.[5]

Root Letter was released for the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita by Kadokawa Games on 16 June 2016 in Japan,[6] and by PQube on 28 October 2016 in Europe and 1 November 2016 in North America.[7] It was also released for Microsoft Windows in Japan on 31 March 2017[8] and internationally on 7 July 2017,[9] and for Android and iOS in Japan on 25 August 2017.[10]

A sequel, Root Letter 2, is in development.[11] A live-action video project based on the original game is additionally planned to be produced by Perfect World Pictures[12] in addition to an adaptation to be produced by Hollywood.[13]

In August 2018, a new version of the game, Root Letter: Last Answer was announced.[11] The game will be a live-action remake that allows the player to either use the animated or live-action scenes/photos for the game’s graphics.[14] It will include new scenarios that take place after the game's various endings.[15][16]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(Vita) 78/100[17]
(PS4) 68/100[18]

Root Letter received "generally favorable" reviews for PlayStation Vita, and "mixed or average" reviews for PlayStation 4, according to the review aggregator Metacritic.[17][18]

Sales[edit]

During its opening week in Japan, 8,907 copies were sold, of which 4,855 were of the PlayStation Vita version, and 4,052 of the PlayStation 4 version. The two versions were, respectively, the eleventh and fourteenth best selling games of that week in Japan.[19] Despite the game not appearing on the weekly Media Create charts again in Japan, worldwide sales passed 200,000 copies sold by January 2017, making it a commercial success.[20] By July 2017, another 100,000 copies had been sold, bringing total worldwide sales to 300,000,[21] and by February 2018 it had passed 400,000 copies sold.[22] Geraint Evans, the head of marketing of PQube, called their Root Letter sales "phenomenal", with the vast majority sold on the PlayStation Vita.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sato (9 November 2015). "Kadokawa Games Announces Mystery Adventure Game Root Letter For PS4 And Vita". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on 28 July 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Kitsumeda (19 November 2015). "Root Letter Debut Trailer - Visual Novel Mystery". Rice Digital. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ Romano, Sal (16 November 2015). "Root Letter introduces actress AYA, game system". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b Romano, Sal (10 November 2015). "Kadokawa Games announces Root Letter for PS4, PS Vita". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Root Letter PS4/PS Vita Adventure Game's English-Subtitled Aya Video Streamed". Anime News Network. 17 November 2015. Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  6. ^ Romano, Sal (13 June 2016). "PQube to publish Root Letter in the west". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  7. ^ Romano, Sal (4 October 2016). "Root Letter launches November 1 in North America, October 28 in Europe". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 10 November 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  8. ^ Sato (31 March 2017). "Root Letter Is Available For PC In Japan, Might Get A Steam Release In The West". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  9. ^ Romano, Sal (7 July 2017). "Root Letter now available for PC via Steam". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  10. ^ Chihiro (24 August 2017). "「√Letter ルートレター スマートフォンEDITION」が8月25日に配信開始。9月25日までは特別価格500円(税込)で購入可能". 4Gamer.net (in Japanese). Aetas, Inc. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  11. ^ a b Sato (3 August 2018). "New Projects Root Letter: Last Answer And Root Letter 2 Announced". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Root Letter Mystery Visual Novel Gets Live-Action Project, Smartphone Version". Anime News Network. 25 August 2017. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  13. ^ http://www.siliconera.com/2018/11/26/root-letter-is-getting-a-hollywood-live-action-adaptation/
  14. ^ http://www.siliconera.com/2018/09/25/root-letter-last-answer-is-a-live-action-remake-for-ps4-ps-vita-and-switch/
  15. ^ http://www.siliconera.com/2018/09/28/root-letter-last-answers-first-trailer-shows-off-its-live-action-characters/
  16. ^ https://gematsu.com/2018/09/root-letter-last-answer-first-details-screenshots
  17. ^ a b "Root Letter for PlayStation Vita Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Root Letter for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  19. ^ Romano, Sal (22 June 2016). "Media Create Sales: 6/13/16 – 6/19/16". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  20. ^ Romano, Sal (31 January 2017). "Root Letter worldwide sales top 200,000". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  21. ^ "『√Letter ルートレター』全世界累計販売本数が30万本を突破――PlayStation Storeのサマーセール2017でいまならPS4版が最大68%OFF". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 13 July 2017. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  22. ^ Romano, Sal (26 February 2018). "Root Letter worldwide sales top 400,000". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  23. ^ Stanton, Rich (10 February 2017). "Britsoft Focus: PQube". Kotaku. Gizmodo Media Group. Archived from the original on 12 February 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2017.

External links[edit]