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Chinese Game Review: Devotion 还原 / 還願

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Platform(s): PC 

Where to buy: previously available on Steam, but currently unavailable due to a political controversy Hopefully it will return soon. If you do find, ahem, other ways of playing the game in the meantime, then please buy the game once it becomes available again so as to support the developer.

Release Date: 19th Feb 2019

Languages: English and Chinese (both simplified and traditional characters), maybe other languages (unconfirmed)

Chinese Level Required: HSK5+

Proportion of play time where you'll be using Chinese: -

Specific/specialised Vocab Learned: -


Devotion is a first-person atmospheric horror game depicting the life of a family shadowed by religious belief. Explore a 1980s Taiwan apartment complex lost in time gradually shift into a hellish nightmare. Delve into the vows each member of the family has made, and witness their devotion. 




@Mijin managed to get hold of a copy and was kind enough to furnish this review:



As a game


Thoroughly enjoying it. It's genuinely scary, but not because of any actual threats, just various ways the game screws with you.

The story and setting is enthralling.
Adventure game fans might find it too simplistic though; most of the mechanics so far have simply been 'Take object A and put it in the place where object A is clearly meant to go'


As a learning resource


Although there is speech in the game, it's at fluent speed and doesn't repeat, so it's no better than watching a movie in that regard.
The text OTOH is great though because it is mostly not long passages of text; it's usually just a couple sentences in the context of looking at some object so you can have a stab at guessing some characters and also you get some association between words and their meaning.
And you can view the text as often as you like at your leisure. Since the story is good, it did motivate me to try to understand as much as I could. There are a few words which are taiwan-specific, but so far not too many.


So overall highly-recommended.

Level is HSK5+, simplified or traditional characters.


Update: after playing through a bit I have found several places where there is chinese speech in a loop, so there are in fact some places that could help with chinese listening


There is also this review from IGN, although it looks like it might contain minor spoilers to me.

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Is there a way to embed the trailer in the post, rather than just have it as a link? I'm sure I've done this before.

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It can be done, but not ideal when we have lots of non-VPN users in China, I'm afraid.

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OK, no problem, I understand.

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I have now completed this game and I need to water down my recommendation a little.


Firstly because the game is quite short; you can go from beginning to end in a few hours, especially if you were just trying to complete the story and not study Chinese 😉
Also, while there are some very nice sequences, like the storybook sub-game, the worst sequence happens to be the longest one: the last 1/4 of the game utilizes a pretty ugly shader effect and isn't very interactive at all.


I will play through again; studying more of the vocabulary I didn't understand the first time. But I'll stop when I get to the end game.

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