Getting Poetic with Doki Doki Literature Club

Rowena Tylden-Pattenson dives into a quirky new book club. What could go wrong?


was having a boring evening a little while ago avoiding essays, when my friend Hubble suggested a new game to properly procrastinate the evening away. Well, that sounded like a great idea, so I took his suggestion to download Doki Doki Literature Club off Steam- you can GET it for free, which I always like. He described it as a cute anime dating sim, and boy, is it cute! You might have heard of it- it’s very popular at the moment.

Doki Doki Literature Club is a text-based game set mostly set at school, where you are enlisted into the Literature Club by Sayori, your sunny next-door neighbour. There you meet the other members of the club: Natsuki, a tiny fireball; Yuri, who’s shy but likes surrealism and horror books; and Monika, who founded the club. How do you pick one OUT of four gorgeous girls to date?! It’s difficult, but I empathised with Yuri’s passion for books. Sure, the other girls’ get a little jealous when you pick one, but it’s not like they’ll die OF that.


Sure, the other girls get a little jealous when you pick one to date, but its not like they’ll die OF that


Although there is a lot of reading involved- it’s called Literature Club, silly!- your choices change what happens in the long run. Each day at literature club the girls learn to write poetry, and so must you. There are a few points where you can do this, choosing from words such as “fluffy, waterfall, friends, tragedy, fireflies, adventure”. Depending on what words you pick, your poem will appeal more to one of the girls- so choose carefully! Natsuki especially likes the adorable fluffy words, while Yuri likes those that are a little more philosophical, like the books she enjoys reading. You get to read the poems the other characters write as well- MY favourite is the one Monika writes on the third day. But don’t go read it yet! You have to get to that part in the story to appreciate it properly. It takes a while to get through the first act, but trust me, it’s worth it.

My favourite part of this game is definitely the characters. Each personality shines, despite simple two-dimensional visuals. Depending on your choices, different plot lines emerge, with the details of each personality coming to light. Each girl develops with the game- Monika initially is a smart, confident but quiet girl, but develops into much more as she becomes friends with the protagonist, giving some great advice. Make sure you listen to her- oh, and do save your game regularly! You wouldn’t want to lose your progress, after all.  There are four acts, which took me a few hours to get through, and I certainly wouldn’t have found my way back to the same spot without her advice.


Depending on your choices, different plotlines emerge, with the details of each personality coming to light


Doki Doki Literature Club is a game that initially appears like a run-of-the-mill dating sim, with fairly standard imagery and peppy music, but the wonderful characterisation makes it shine. A beautifully crafted visual novel that’ll stick in your HEAD for months to come. Have fun, and say hi to Monika for me!

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