After the original game became an overnight success, the stage was set for more DDLC content to be added. While fans speculated that the next installment would be called “Project Libitina” thanks to hints found within the game files, their hunch was proven incorrect after a five-year wait.
On June 29th, 2021, an announcement trailer for the expansion pack was uploaded to the Team Salvato YouTube account. The very next day, the expansion released for PC, Xbox, Playstation, and the Nintendo Switch.
Unlike the original game, the expansion pack isn’t free to play . . . until now! For a limited time, interested players can take advantage of the free DDLC+ offer extended by Epic Games Store! For those who’ve not yet experienced Doki Doki Literature Club!, I highly recommend picking up the game. It’s only available for free until the offer ends on February 15th, 2024. Truly a fitting game for the Valentine’s Day season, no?
But what makes this expansion pack worthwhile? What does it add to the original experience? Without giving spoilers away, I’m here to give you a quick rundown.
Side Stories That Will Make You Sob
In my last article, I described this game as a love letter to the visual novel medium. I would call DDLC Plus a love letter to the game’s massive community of dedicated fans. The creator, Dan Salvato, indicated as much when he called the game a labor of love.
The pack contains all the content of the original game, but adds an unlockable series of side stories! These stories depict how the club would have grown if the events of the original game hadn’t happened.
There are six side stories in total. Each one consists of two parts, followed by a shorter one-part bonus story. The side stories are titled as follows: Respect, Balance, Trust, Understanding, Equals, Reflection, and Self-Love.
Each of them follows a pair of the main characters as they explore their friendship and grow closer. It is an absolute delight to witness the girls freely express themselves and grow as people.
If you fell in love with these characters when playing the original game, the side stories are well worth experiencing for yourself.
So Much Content To Eat Up: Call It Doki Doki Dinner!
Of course, other treats come with DDLC Plus as well, including an art gallery featuring new and improved artwork from LucidSky and SquChan, and backgrounds by Velinquent. There are over 100 unlockable images in the gallery: CGs, wallpapers, never-before-seen concept art, and more!
A music player is also available, so you can listen to the new soundtrack, composed by Varien, any time! The eerie yet beautiful tracks mesh well with the side stories’ emotional beats. But there are also several bonus tracks composed by DDLC fans included fot your enjoyment! One fan composer is Jason Hayes, best known for composing the World of Warcraft soundtrack. How cool is that?
The soundtrack can also be streamed on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.
Another new feature is a list of achievements that give the game extra replay value. The player receives some secret poems at random when a new game is begun. Finally, there are heaps of additional lore waiting to be discovered by fans of the original game’s ARG-esque elements.
But there’s no doubt that the emotional side stories are the main attraction here!
What Are You Waiting For?
Overall, Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! provides an expanded take on the already engaging original game. It mainly appeals to existing fans of DDLC, but it can easily be recommended to newcomers who enjoy visual novels, horror games, or both.
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