Alter Ego, a smartphone visual novel themed on psychoanalysis which went viral in Japan in early 2019, is getting a brand-new game on Switch.
Alter Ego S is a new visual novel coming to Switch in Japan in Spring 2020. The game is a follow-up to Alter Ego, a free-to-play mobile VN which launched on December 28, 2018 in Japan. The game is developed by an indie game studio named Caramel Column.
Alter Ego S, just like its predecessor, is a visual novel where choices matter. Guided by a woman named S, the game asks you to make many different choices through reading books. These choices end up creating a portrait of your personality. It’s a game which helps you “find oneself”. The original game on mobile included many references to psychanalysis authors and books, with an actual list of said books on the official site.
The original Alter Ego got more and more popular from mouth to ear and ended up downloaded over 500,000 times. This might not seem like a high figure, but it’s significant when it comes to a non-gacha game where people won’t make multi-accounts or reroll. The original Alter Ego did have microtransactions though. You could buy more “Ego”, the currency needed to read more books.
Caramel Column’s president Maki Ono was even present at C96 last August to sell an Official Fanbook of Alter Ego, and it was met with a lot of success.
A demo of Alter Ego S on Switch will also be playable at Tokyo Game Show 2019, at the Indie Games Corner.
To be honest, I had no idea this game even existed until I saw the announcement of Alter Ego S. While I have no interest in philosophy and psychoanalysis, I’ll have to try out the original one of these days to see what’s the fuss’ all about. Some Alter Ego S screens are included below.
If Alter Ego S gets huge in Japan after its launch on Switch, it might get translated one day.