The beloved game has finally arrived on Steam! Described by many as a combination of Werewolf and Among Us with a heavy dose of Anime nausea is a visual novel that surprised me in several ways as I played through it, while its comparison to Among Us is valid with all of its characters being on a space station with one or more of them being an imposter of sorts, that’s generally where the similarities end as while this game came out after Among Us, its original release in Japan was way before it became the sensation that it is now, so if anyone is looking for a similar experience they’re going to be a bit disappointed.
In Gnosia, you play as a faceless protagonist whose only discernible characteristics are their gender, name and whatever symbol or color you decide to associate with them you are soon introduced to some of the characters that you’ll be interacting with throughout your adventure, only to learn that some of them are what are known as Gnosia. I can’t really divulge too much about their goals without spoiling part of the story but let’s just say that they are an imposter of sorts that will kill someone every time the ship goes through warp speed, if you’ve ever played the game Werewolf you’ll be able to see the similarities. As a crewmate you must try to figure out which of your fellow crewmates are lying and put the traitors into cold sleep, after you succeed or fail to find out who the Gnosia is, you’ll eventually go through a time loop and will once again need to find out who each Gnosia is but this time with a slightly different group and with everyone’s roles jumbled around, these loops act as rounds in the game and are integral to the game’s story and they’re what allows you to replay the game over and over again.
During gameplay, you will meet all 15 members of the crew including yourself as well as learn about the different roles that each of them could have, besides the gnosia you have engineers who can suss out who is human and who isn’t, you have guardian angels who can protect one person per night and prevent them from being killed, doctors can check on anyone who has been put into cold sleep to see if they are actually gnosia or not, AC followers are basically a wild card whose main goal is actually to let the gnosia win even though they are not gnosia themselves, there are characters who will have been on guard duty who cannot be gnosia as the gnosia cannot lie about being on guard duty so you can guarantee that anyone who says that they were to be genuinely human and the final role in the game is the bug, bugs are characters that shouldn’t exist in the timeline they are in and if the gnosia or humans end up winning their loop and a bug is still alive its very presence can cause the universe to fall apart at the seams, so yeah, bugs are bad. These roles are explained a bit more in depth in the game but generally no role in particular is overpowered as there is plenty of counter play depending on which roles are in play during each particular loop.
Eventually you will begin to realize that while the Werewolf game mechanic of restarting loops over and over again is important it isn’t the true goal of the game, what you’re actually trying to do is obtain as much information as you can about everyone who is on board the ship and by doing so figure out some of the mysteries that pop up as the story progresses. Going after this information can lead to some unusual situations, including a gnosia member sacrificing themselves in order to save everyone else on board while another may have you and a member of the gnosia working together when something goes horribly awry, the thing is sometimes these tidbits of information only come up if very specific circumstances are met and they aren’t always guaranteed to proc unless you know exactly what you’re looking for luckily after a certain point you’ll be given the ability to automatically have the game set up a loop where a segment could occur making it where you don’t have to randomly keep guessing what you’re looking for. When going from loop to loop the frustration with the game comes when you’re trying to complete these extra objectives and the characters that should theoretically be your allies in this situation does their best to mess up what you’re trying to accomplish.
If the above doesn’t sound like it’s going to scratch any particular itches with you, then Gnosia may not be the title for you but for those where the idea of a single player Werewolf style game as you slowly uncover an overarching mystery sounds appealing, Gnosia may be right up your alley!