The Visual Novel Shan Gui. I picked this game up as it was on sale and I wanted to try something different.
It had been a while since I played a visual novel and it was about time I tried one out again.
Having finished this short but sweet visual novel in about 40 minutes, let me just write up a quick review to give you an idea as to what to expect from Shan Gui.
It was the end of summer, a pleasant smell floated in the air. Two girls whose names are Han Hui and He Jia met in the mountains by chance, and they had a wonderful journey which belonged to themselves.
The premise of Shan Gui is simple. You play a young university student named Han Hui who decides to go into the mountains, having undergone some harsh times with her family so as to relive simpler, better days from her past.
During your journey, under the hot summer sun, parched and tired, you come across He Jia, a mysterious girl who happens to offer to show you around the mountain and help you find the place you are so desperately looking for.
Music and Audio:
Shan Gui has a very decent collection of BGMs to accompany you on your playthrough.
Most of the BGM is played on the piano and meld well with the ambient noises of cicadas and sounds of the forest.
While the voice acting was decent, the quality of the recording was slightly sub par. But this is probably attributed to the fact that the game did not have a big production budget to begin with.
It wasn’t too noticeable however. So worry not!
Given the length of the game, it is not possible to include a huge amount of visuals in the story. But, Shan Gui does manage to do a good job with the ones they have.
Lush vibrant scenes will greet you throughout the story as He Jia leads you through the Mountain God’s home, showing you scenes ranging from the cozy rainy interiors of tea houses to sun kissed waters, reflecting the forest surrounding you.
Quite enjoyable so far.
Here’s where it gets rough:
The developers of Shan Gui, Magenta Factory are not getting any proceeds from the game.
They were tricked by a Steamworks Developer by the name of Jucai.
Here is the response regarding the issue from Magenta Factory :
Announcement from Magenta Factory, the Development Team of Shan Gui
Since the Shan Gui has back to Steam’s goods catalog. As the development team, we, Magenta Factory, want to give our customers a brief explanation about the previous removal.
In the first half of 2014, a guy known online as Jucai (Steam Profile) contacted us with a cooperative plan. In accordance with his suggestion, he will serve as a publisher to help releasing Shan Gui on Steam. Later, another technical assistant joined the team makes a trio group. According to trilateral agreement, the profit from Shan Gui will be equally divided into three parts.
But Jucai betrayed others. He set an unreasonable price for Shan Gui without our authorization. And after a short of time, he began to pocket all profit and kicked both developer and technical assistant out of Steamworks group. We could no longer manage the game on Steam nor to update it. As retaliation, technical assistant sent a DCMA ticket to Steam’s administrator caused Shan Gui’s removal.
Soon after that, Jucai sent a counter notice, too. Since Jucai is controlling the right of distribution (but not own), it means if we do not bring a suit in US (out of our ability), then Shan Gui will re-shelf Steam, under his control again. Additionally, Steam received Jucai counter notice makes no sense for admit his right of distribution. In this case, Steam is just follow the rule of DMCA, without investigating someone’s argument.
Of course, we can sue Jucai for copyright infringement. But this case happened in US and our team is based in China, we can’t afford the time and money cost for a transnational lawsuit. So after an inner-team meeting, we decided not to look into the cause, TEMPORARILY. From now on, Magenta Factory is dissolving all relationship and cooperation with Jucai. Magenta Factory is no longer responsible for the follow-up customer service and update of Shan Gui (AppID:307050). The copyright of Shan Gui is still ours, we will take the right of distribution back at a proper time.
Thanks to all the fans of Shan Gui. Magenta Factory will devote all its effects and talents into our next work Bai Qu (hundreds of melodies). We promise you will love it, too. See you when melodies wafting.
PS: About the Trojan complaint. We checked the whole game and found it is caused by the Ren’Py Engine we use. It is a false alarm, and won’t cause any damage to your computer.
Here’s hoping that Magenta Factory get back what rightfully belong to them.
If you’d like to support Magenta Factory, I recommend you don’t purchase Shan Gui on Steam.
Instead, feel free to buy the game on Google Play as proceeds from that will actually be shared with Magenta Factory.
You can purchase Shan Gui here if you’d like.
Back to the review:
While a 40 minute game like Shan Gui doesn’t allow for much flexibility in terms of character development, it does make the characters stand out in their own sweet dotingly lovable ways.
I’m especially fond of He Jia’s childishly playful attitude.
Han Hui fits the older more responsible elder sister trope in the scenario.
The relationship that the two develop over the course of the game is very sweet and it actually grew on me.
Shan Gui is a lovely slow paced game, ideal to sit down and relax to.
With beautiful visuals, lovable characters and a decently immersive soundtrack, Shan Gui isn’t perfect.
But what it does, it does well.
A short and heart warming story at its core, Shan Gui is one of those games, that will leave you with a sweet aftertaste.
Priced at just a dollar, Shan Gui is well worth the buy!
Shan Gui is having a sequel!
Magenta Factory has teamed up with Afterthought Studios to create Bai Qu.
I’m very much looking forward to this.
Feel free to keep in touch with them on their website for more details!