“In Spideyj’s Visual Novel, Final Girls, we join a group therapy session with Ellen Ripley, a personal favorite heroine of mine, who stars as the therapist.”The “Final Girl” is a familiar trope in movies, referring to the last girl who’s left alive after a horrific event, and something that’s been explored more so as of late in film and satire. In Spideyj’s Visual Novel, Final Girls, we join a group therapy session with Ellen Ripley, a personal favorite heroine of mine, who stars as the therapist. Four girls from various famous horror movies join her in their weekly session, talking about their lives and how PTSD still affects them in their day to day life.
As the visual novel progresses, you control each girl’s dialogue tree and are able to make very small choices about what they talk about. You gain points if you open up about certain topics, and you can skip dialog options if you wish, but the text game is at most fifteen minutes long. Not much is gained from refusing to make a choice to talk about something, you just cut your experience short and lose points. On some topics there is a Trigger Warning, meaning you can skip the entire dialogue about it without losing points if you feel uncomfortable exploring the theme.
Being a fan of horror, I like the idea of this game and was really excited to try it, but once I got into it I found it to be pretty unsatisfying. The themes it deals with stay right at a safe surface (by my standards), barely dipping their toes into any dark places, and there’s not much reference to the horror movies each girl comes from. Yes, it’s interesting to think of your favorite “Final Girl” in a situation where she might be gardening or starting new projects, but I found myself very quickly getting bored rather than intrigued.
“For my horror movie fan friends, there’s not much meat.”
That said, I could see why Final Girls might help someone who is actually suffering from PTSD. To play through this short game and gain some insight on how a favorite horror movie heroines might deal with difficult situations in their own life can be empowering. I find it hard to recommend this game for most, however. For my horror movie fan friends, there’s not much meat. For myself, a person who’s been through group therapy and has dealt with mental health issues, I didn’t find it all that interesting. However, I think it’s something that should be experienced for oneself, in the short amount of time it would take to play, if you’re at all curious about this game.
Verdict – Pass
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