Thanks to Among Us, many of us have experienced the tense fun of an impostor game—finding our team members missing, with no idea of whodunnit, followed by group discussions over potential suspects. For visual novel Gnosia, the current impostor trend is perhaps just lucky coincidence—the game originally released in 2019 for Playstation Vita, where it spread via word of mouth, before great reviews by Japanese outlets turned it into a definite hit. This March, the 2020 Switch port launched worldwide, once again garnering a similarly positive reception.
While impostor gameplay always sounds like a good time, Gnosia also has the draw of a visual novel, featuring a large cast of colourful characters, such as a “person” looking suspiciously like an alien and a… beluga whale in a space suit. Now, publisher Playsim has announced a PC version for 2021.
Unlike many visual novel announcement trailers, the above video actually summarises Gnosia quite well. You’re on a spaceship with a group of people, and all of you are stuck in a time loop. The gnosia, an alien race after nothing but destruction, have smuggled one of their agents onto the ship to kill everyone on board, but through discussions with the rest of the group, you may be able to determine the culprit and send them into cold sleep before it is too late.
Since Gnosia is a single-player game, the impostor is procedurally determined, and across several rounds you listen to everyone’s hunch as to who it could be. You have a few options to influence gameplay, for example by setting how many characters should participate, and by determining your own role—you can be completely innocent, but you can also assume the role of a gnosia. Rounds can also have a doctor and an engineer—doctors can determine if you’ve sent a gnosia or an innocent person into cold sleep, whereas engineers can perform a one-time scan on a person of their choice to determine if they’re gnosia.
Knowing who the impostor is doesn’t guarantee your success, as you have to convince your AI companions. Accuse someone too vehemently, or try to deflect an accusation too often, and they’ll become suspicious of you. Crew members are free to lie, and often you’ll have to blindly guess who the impostor is for want of clues. Chats between discussions and successfully identified gnosia can lead to sequences revealing more of the overarching story, but in Gnosia you generally have to be persistent, even if the face of frequent repetition—finishing the game to see just one of the many possible endings can take over 100 rounds.
If you’re curious about Gnosia, keep an eye on the game’s Steam page. There’s no definite release date yet, but the PC version is supposed to land sometime this year.
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