「Nō’sē-ă」-  the faculty of perceiving and recognizing.

Let’s imagine the following. Say that there are a group of individuals on a spaceship. But… something is off. Your crew is always on edge. Why is that…? That’s because at least one of them does not belong in the crew, and is an imposter. The imposter is harmless… right? Wrong. These are former humans, infected with an alien presence. Their goal? Killing humans. These former humans will try to hide their identity, manipulate and sabotage the lives of those on the ship. To prevent this, the crew must hold meetings and diplomatically vote off the one they think is fake.

So who and what are we talking about? Some of you may think Among Us, but not really. It’s Gnosia, a visual RPG novel originally released on the PS Vita in 2019. Recently, however, it has made its way onto the Nintendo Switch. It has a lot of wonderful features, from a diverse cast to beautiful artwork. Though the premise may seem simple, it actually is deceptively dark and deep.

Ad astra per aspera.

The story starts off immediately after finishing character creation. Before you know it, you’re in a meeting deciding the fate of the crew. You have no memories of anything before this and have very little information to go on. However, you’re told that you have to make a decision and to do it quickly. You have to decide on who seems the most suspicious, then send them off to deep sleep. There’s a little bit of RNG in your decision-making. Depending on how it plays out you may end up being put down quickly. As a result, Gnosia escapes their fate, free to kill. It is only when you die or survive that first round, you find out you are in a murder mystery and are stuck in a time loop. Thankfully you’re not alone. Setsu, another crew member, is also stuck in this sci-fi groundhog day with you.

Let’s talk about the gameplay! Before you start off, you’ll be given a chance to name your character, assign gender/non binary, and add a set of points into any of the following: Charisma, Intuition, Logic, Charm, Performance and Stealth. When levelling any of these up, you have the chance to unlock actions that can help you to survive. Each “loop” is a game, and depending on how it plays out it can be short or long. The Gnosia changes from person to person each loop. In your first few loops, you will find that more roles are mentioned. You have crew members that are Doctors, Engineers and Guardian Angels. There are enemy roles too. In addition to Gnosia, there are AC Followers, and a “bug” that can destroy the world.

A tantalizing social “Werewolf” turned single-player graphical adventure game.

Once you get through your first few loops, you will meet Yuriko. She’s kind of the person who finishes your “tutorial loops” run. Now, you will also be held under suspicion by your crew. Once you play through more runs, you will obtain EXP and unlock various interactions to progress the story. You’ll also eventually unlock a mode where you can choose the conditions of the murder mystery and choose your role.The one thing I felt could have done a little better was the music. There could have been more variety in my opinion. There were a couple of moments where I turned down the audio and used my own music. Sadly there were moments where the OST felt a little too repetitive. Asides from this small caveat, there’s nothing else I’ve had issues with.

I absolutely adore this game for all that it is. Though the concept may sound really similar to Among Us, they couldn’t be more different from one another. The story hooked me. They don’t give you everything right away. However, you get the gist of what happens through small drips of information scattered through each run. It was fun changing roles between the human and Gnosia sides, and getting to learn about the different roles each person has. And nothing stayed the same either. There’s an insane amount of replay value in this title, as well as cute and memorable characters! Definitely grab and play Gnosia if you have the chance, you won’t regret it!

You can purchase and play Gnosia on the Nintendo Switch.

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