Review courtesy of Kyle O’Byrne

Another Touhou Fan Project game set in the Touhou universe. 3rd Eye however jumps genre from it Bullet Hell origins entirely switching instead to a 2D point and click game with a good dose of horror elements. Similar in a lot of ways to a different title 2015’s Fran Bow, you assume the role of Koishi Komeiji from other Touhou Project titles. Koishi Komeji, a strange girl with the ability to read others thoughts and an even stranger “3rd eye” allowing her to see into the “mental world” (allowing her to see the true horror of the world around her.)

Spending most of her life alone she locked in her room save for her sister who has abandoned her and with no knowledge of her parents. One night Koishi finds herself waking up in unfamiliar room within a mental asylum which kicks off her story. Using her 3rd eye you explore, piece together clues and collect items to solve puzzles to progress and also find out more about the strange place situation you find yourself in. Each time Koishi uses her eye it becomes more bloodshot eventually becoming completely red (something that can be countered with the use of eye drops.) This mechanic plays into a lot of the puzzles of the game, (which themselves are fairly easy and straight forward.) It does mix it up at one point actively restricting its use once but no one should have any issues even with simple trial and error the puzzles often left me wanting some more depth or difficulty.

3rd Eye is a point and click and heavily text-based game in terms of dialogue and notes like many games of the genre, not usually a problem but the game is not very well translated into English from Japanese. While not game-breaking it definitely hurts the narrative considering a lot of the narrative requires being pieced together more so if you are not familiar with Touhou.

Focusing heavily on Koishi (Short) adventure, seeing her go through six areas all from the initial asylum to an Anthropomorphic mansion and its half-human/animal inhabitants. The fairly large cast of characters and their conversations from location to location also suffer from the poor translation at times and only makes this harder on those who aren’t Japanese, not to mention that this game does feature dialogue options and narrative choices. (The last two and important choices still being in Japanese).

The game itself is presented in 2D format with almost paper cut out almost ragdoll art direction, it’s all really well-done stuff, to the visuals themselves to the short cut scenes you get upon performing an action such as using the previously mentioned eye drops a fairly common trope in point and click style games. As you traverse the game and progress the story, I am happy to say there are a decent amount of actual cut-scenes to enjoy (even if they are short a lot of the time) despite the poor translation, additionally for some reasons while being a fairly simple 2D game and having a machine over the recommended specs, I continuously encountered frame-rate stutter and with no options menu (or key re-mapping for that matter) this was a problem. It does feature controller support however and was the way I ended up playing, It took me just over two hours to complete on my first playthrough and just over one and a half on my second.

Overall I enjoyed many elements from the game to the hand-drawn art style and its cut scenes and generally the horror tone of the game. Although I found it hard to really let myself get immersed in the experience due to its multitude of issues such as the poor translation in parts hurting the story. The lack of options and performance issues as well as the puzzles feeling somewhat simple and run of the mill affair and would benefit from more depth or increased challenge throughout the game like limit the use of the eye more often to reduce the repetitively as this is often the answer in most cases.

A PC Review Code was provided by Sony Music Entertainment (Japan)