Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk and Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk
Developer: Nikita Kryukov
Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 11/11/2022
A code was provided for review purposes
What’s Inside this Bag of Milk?
Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk and Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk is a collection of two brief text-based visual novels about a character struggling with mental health issues in modern society. Though I typically do not play visual novels, the art style and the overall premise intrigued me, and I was interested to give these games a shot. Did they live up to my expectations? Find out in this Rapid Review.
While the two games in this bundle are very similar and have a lot of commonalities, there were enough differences for me to separate them into two separate sections of this review. The first game in the bundle, Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk, is a twenty-minute narrative about getting to and from a grocery store. While there are some narrative decisions to make throughout the story, it was very linear, and I never felt in control of my position much. This disappointed me, as since I had little control, the game did not stand out from a normal book.
In fact, a lot of the dialogue did not even prompt me to respond. Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk features both dialogue choices and overall narration. I enjoyed exploring the different options, especially first. However, upon replaying the game, it became evident that there was only one real storyline, and deviating from the main story too much would force me to restart. I found this decision disappointing since it meant there was little deviation between runs. Even when I did select different options, I could not deviate too much without losing. The gameplay did not impress me.
Reading the Label
The content of the story was not impressive either. I enjoyed exploring the world in the game and thought the premise was intriguing, but the main character did not resonate with me much, and I did not understand everything that was going on. Some sentiments were blatantly clear, but others were confusing and failed to resonate. Even the imagery was hard to follow. The sprites primarily use red colours, so a lot of the pixel art is challenging to decipher. I did not like the sprite art much at all.
Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk was an interesting adventure and I am glad I went on it but I cannot recommend it. The story is confusing, the art design is underwhelming, and the gameplay elements do not impact the experience as much as I would have liked.
Thankfully, Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk is not the only title in this bundle. The package also comes bundled with Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk. This game is very similar to the first one and focuses on creating a narrative adventure about someone struggling with their mental health. However, this title is superior in nearly every way.
Going Outside of the Bag
The story in Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk is much easier to understand than the one present in Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk. I comprehended everything the main character was explaining and found myself relating to her far more frequently than in the first title. I think a major contributor to this was because the story tackles far more. Not only is it considerably longer, but the story focuses on memories and how the character reflects on her past. I still played as a thought in her subconscious, but I thought my role was more clearly defined and I enjoyed it much more. The story was heartfelt, and I appreciated many of its themes.
Granted, there were still some of the same limitations as the first one. The story was once again, very linear. If I deviated too much from the central vision by selecting certain dialogue options, I would have to restart. Thus, Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk still failed to spark interesting decision-making. It was disappointing, as even though the story was easier to interpret and much more cohesive, I found myself disappointed in the title as a game. While it provided a lot of interesting commentary on mental health, the dialogue options and the gameplay overall did not enhance my experience.
Wrapping this Bag Up
I liked the visual style of Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk a lot. The visuals were far clearer. I could always understand what was going on. Moreover, while the backgrounds were not unique, there was a lot of variety in the colour palate and the scenes were interesting to look at. This made this title feel a lot more dynamic and complete. There were even occasional cutscenes to establish the environment of my character. Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk was put together nicely.
Overall, I enjoyed playing through Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk. The story was interesting and I was able to understand everything the game described. However, although I enjoyed the story, the gameplay was still very shallow. Honestly, this game failed to entertain me with the gameplay, as there was often only one direction in which the story could progress. Despite featuring an engaging story, I was disappointed by how few gameplay decisions I made throughout.
Finally, one of the best parts of both titles is the music. I liked it a lot. The tracks are sombre, fit the atmosphere of the game, and did not get old. I was pleased by the sheer number of tracks here, and I was also impressed by how they did not make it challenging for me to focus on reading either. The music was very solid.
In sum, the collection of Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk and Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk is a very charming collection. However, it is not a bundle I can easily recommend. The games are very short, and while they are interesting, the gameplay is not invigorating enough to make this title stand out. I liked the writing and presentation. In fact, the second title especially features an interesting story. However, as games, I find it challenging to justify picking this bundle up.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3 out of 5
You can purchase Milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk and Milk outside a bag of milk outside a bag of milk on the Nintendo eShop here
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