A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk (PC) Review

By Ofisil 19.03.2018

Review for A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk on PC

A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk is basically Hogwarts in an anime-looking, visual novel form… with a little more sex through in, of course. In other words, this is your standard visual novel - it tells a story, but it's also a guilty pleasure kind of product, where apart from adventuring with a bunch of characters you get to… err, "adventure" with them a little more. Is that bad? Not really, as long as the backbone of the whole thing is indeed the story, and not the "romance" bit. Read on, to see if that's what happens here, in the review of this mystery tale, for PC.

Upon arriving at a mysterious academy where he recently enrolled, Koga Michiru gets to save another student, destroying school property in the process (sort of). The punishment for him will be to work for the installation's 'Bureau for the Investigation of Special Affairs,' which, as expected, will give him the chance to have some good ol' adventuring fun, as he will soon realise that this place is not just a typical college with sexy girls to get sexy with. Long story short: this is a magic-filled place similar to Hogwarts, with a clock tower "activating" a weird dimension known as the 'Realm of Night.'

Screenshot for A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk on PC

Needless to say, this comes in two versions, with the Steam one being the "clean" one. This, however, is one of those titles where the naughtiness hasn't been removed in the best way possible - far from it, in fact. In all honestly, it's as if the developer highlighted certain portions of the game and just deleted them, not caring at all about how coherent the narrative will be, with some transitions actually being so abrupt, that the result ends up more hilarious than annoying.

With that being said, this is not like the NEKOPARA or KARAKARA series. The story is indeed at the forefront, and while it's just a light mystery tale similar to [insert favourite teenage-oriented fantasy novel] that won't really win any awards for its originality, it's quite good. The core plot is divided between four chapters, each one dealing with a specific mystery. The length of these segments clocks at around one hour and a half, so it's a VN that's great for playing in short bursts.

Screenshot for A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk on PC

The cast is quite tight-knit (as it should), with each character contributing to the whole deal. Don't expect any major character development, though. The interactions between everyone are well-written, and the cast is a likeable bunch, but that's about it, as everyone, from the coy male sidekick and the strong-willed Michiru, to the cold library girl and the mysterious head of the Bureau, remains exactly as they were in the beginning of this tale.

Screenshot for A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk on PC

Another thing that should be mentioned is that, this being the start of a trilogy, it kind of feels like a long prologue rather than a fully-fledged chapter. Part of the "lore" introduced here is good enough to make you interested in what the series has in store, but it would be better if this felt like a complete package. Finally, whenever encountering one of the secondary, romance 'routes,' just press the skip button, as these are boring beyond belief.

Character designs are very good, if somewhat unoriginal, and the backgrounds are vibrantly coloured, especially those in the more... imaginary corners of the school. Sound-wise, this is fully voiced in Japanese, with actors turning in solid performances. As for the music, it's the typical assortment of the generic whimsical tunes and quiet piano tracks of the genre. Finally, in terms of length, this clocks at around 10 hours, with little need for replaying after reaching the end.

Screenshot for A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk is a decent-to-good light mystery visual novel that will please for those who look for something Harry Potter-ish to fill a couple of evenings with. Its flaws are its somewhat strong prologue-vibe, the awkwardly removed 18+ scenes, and its lack of anything substantially different than what the genre offers, but, as a whole, it's a decent read.

Developer

Unison Shift: Blossom

Publisher

Sekai Project

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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