The nature of a pen pal relationship is always one with a degree of mystery, given the physical separation of its participants. But it's all the more so when your pen pal disappears, having run away after allegedly murdering someone, as is the case in Kadokawa Games' upcoming Root Letter.
Root Letter revolves around the disappearance of Fumino Aya, set 15 years after the murder that caused her to flee. Traveling to the lovely rural Japanese town of Shimane, it will be your job to "probe for clues and witnesses" in your friend's old hometown, along with sifting through the old letters she wrote to you back in high school. The more you investigate, the more questions are raised about what really happened so many years ago, what Fumino's acquaintances may be concealing, and who your friend really was. In fact, there's yet another possibility to consider: did she even truly exist?
Although described as a "visual novel", complete with text-heavy exposition and lovely hand-painted artwork (in this case by acclaimed artist Minoboshi Taro), the gameplay elements in Root Letter go beyond merely clicking through the story. As you freely roam around Shimane, you will need to scour the environments carefully for clues. When interviewing suspects, an "interrogation mode" allows you to "present evidence to characters and catch them out in lies." Player agency is also important, as you must "make difficult choices as you straddle an investigation spanning 15 years." The decisions you make will help determine which of the five different endings with "wildly different routes" you get, giving the game a great deal of replayability to see alternate paths and outcomes.
A Sony exclusive, Root Letter will be launched on PlayStation 4 and Vita in Europe on October 28th, and in North America on November 1st.