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One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party Review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Fast Facts

One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party

Developer: DarkChibiShadow
Publisher: Ratalaika Games S.L.
Website: https://www.ratalaikagames.com/games.php?id=oneeyedlee
Genre(s): Adventure, Indie, Visual Novel
Platform: Xbox One X (also available on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PC – Linux, Mac and Windows)
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 27/08/2021
Price: £4.99

A code was provided for review purposes

Onwards and Upwards!

Very few games catch my eyes when it comes to visual storytelling. One such game series that did well in terms of visual storytelling was Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead Series. I played that series from the very beginning, all the way to The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Playing those games allowed me to respect the style of visual storytelling.

Lee and Beracus stand together in an underground bathroom
A great place to chat!

Time To Begin!

One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party is point-and-click, visual storytelling, puzzle game. It is published, developed, and coded by DarkChibiShadow. They are best known for their titles: Tomai, Yarrow Valley, and Solanaceae: Another Time. DarkChibiShadow is a queer comic artist and game developer. They mostly write erotic stories but for One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party, they stepped out of their comfort zone and wrote a spooky and character-driven story that is very entertaining to play. DarkChibiShadow hopes to make this game into a four part series.

DarkChibiShadow is joined by NomnomNami, who provided music for the game, plus some additional coding. The soundtrack for One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party was entirely created by her, and it is fun, but also spooky at the same time. She is a game developer who is known for titles such as Lonely Wolf Treat, Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet, and Her Tears Were My Light, plus, she composes music.

Additionally, we also have Ratalaika Games, who helped develop and publish the game alongside DarkChibiShadow. They are best known for their titles Taqoban and Flat Kingdom Papers Cut Edition. They publish and port games for all consoles. Their main objective is entertainment, and want to publish and port games to the console market. Finally, we have RDZ, who provided the ending theme for One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party.

A close-up of a stuffed animal's mouth which has been sewn together.
Let’s take a closer look…

What Is This Game About?

One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party introduces you to Beracus and Lee, who are working on a lead that has given them more information about finding a potential cure for Beracus’ suffering village. While they are out exploring for this cure, the two find an entrance to what seems to be an abandoned bunker and they are immediately trapped inside.

The bunker is inhabited by a family of hospitable cult members, who happen to be a family of skeletons. They mistake Beracus and Lee as fellow cult members and invite them to stay for a party, and wait for a New World. The thing is, neither Beracus or Lee have that kind of time, and if they don’t find a way out of the bunker, they’ll die, and they will never be able to find this cure.

While exploring, you have to make sure that LEE DOESN’T DIE!!! I am dead serious (no pun intended). There will be certain points throughout the game where Lee will just die, and the various ways that he dies is rather stupid in my personal opinion. But, that’s how the developer advertised it.

The character growth and development between Beracus and Lee seems rushed, but throughout the story, you learn more about who Beracus is, and you will find out more about Lee’s condition that seems to have given him a blue, pointed ear that resembles an elf’s ear, as well as a blue hand with an eye on it. You will also learn more about both of their personalities as the story progresses.

I also want to point out that the art style of this game is absolutely phenomenal, although when I look at Lee, I feel like I am watching an episode of Steven Universe, and it makes me think that DarkChibiShadow may have had some sort of hand in that series. The main downside that I have regarding the art style of this game is that there is too much brown, but One-Eyed Lee pulls it off in exploding (literally) fashion. 

A close-up of a blue hand with an eye in the back.
Does anyone see that eye?

Sounds Interesting – How Difficult Is It?

This next section contains minor spoilers regarding certain quests. Skip over the fourth sentence in the first paragraph if you wish to avoid them.

I played through the game twice. The first playthrough, I went through it for the story purposes (which there is a lot of) and I beat it in roughly six to seven hours. The second playthrough, I went through in about fifteen minutes for 100% achievement progress. The game is super easy, and requires you to complete very simple tasks, such as exposing an affair between the husband and the butler, unclogging a bathtub drain, and finding books that say “DIE BY HIS HAND” on the spines, just to name a few.

There will be points throughout the game where it will seem repetitive, but in order to find out the entire story of this bunker, repetitiveness is going to be essential. I want to point out that this bunker is extremely small and seeing a lot of the same portions of it over and over again make you feel claustrophobic at times. By about three or four hours you are wanting to get out of there as fast as you can.

Lee, Beracus and a skeleton character appear under a selection of conversation choices which read:
How's it going?
So, you and Newton?
How do we open up this cabinet?
The bathtub won't drain!
Nothing, sorry.
Decisions, decisions…

Is It Worth It?

While One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party requires a lot of reading, it does its best to keep you hooked and looking for more clues, while also keeping you entertained, engaged with the characters, and uncovering mysteries. I found myself particularly interested in Lee’s backstory, and when I finally found out about it, I was entranced by it.

Overall, I think One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party does a good job of keeping the audience engaged with a captivating story. My only wish was that there was more to the game and that it wasn’t as short as it was, though I understand that as an Indie Game Studio, you don’t have very much to work with in terms of finances. You work within your means.

I think that for £4.99 One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party is worth it, not just for those who are looking for a good story, but for those who are looking for easy achievements or trophies. If I hadn’t been provided a code for this game, I would have bought it myself.

Lee and Beracus appear as silhouettes at the top of a long flight of stairs.
It’s a long way down!

What Is Your Rating?

After careful consideration, I am going to give One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party four and a half out of five, because even though the art style was phenomenal, I did feel like there was too much of a single color, and it is very obvious. I also felt like there should have been even more engagement than there was. Other than that, One-Eyed Lee and The Dinner Party is a near perfect game in my books, and I cannot wait to see whether DarkChibiShadow continues with more One-Eyed Lee games.

Thank you to both DarkChibiShadow for the game, and thank you to Rapid Reviews UK for the code.

Rapid Reviews Rating

gold score

4.5 out of 5

4.5

You can purchase One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party in the Microsoft Store.

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