Originally, in earlier builds, it felt quite rough, and I really didn't have a great time. Now things have changed, plenty more of choices, routes, quite more well worded, and they do feel unique. Late growth of the game makes it even more promising! They do seem to work hard in this VN. I still don't love all the characters, personal issue, not so much about the novel. Writting improved a lot, but it can still improve in a couple of sentences, not that they are important. Dev is probably overworking the storylines, so while they are coming out quite well, they might hit a writer's block if they don't take it slower.
Anyway, I consider it quite amazing so far.
With the content here so far, I'm a big fan of the way hypnosis is handled - slowly decreasing the girls' will to resist or disobey. That being said, some of the endings are quite disappointing. Just when you think you've won and gotten everyone under your control, you'll be arrested or regret your decision, which goes against most of the choices made leading up to such an ending. I think the main character, given that certain choices are made, should be a bit more ruthless about his conquest of the girls.
Can't say I'm a fan, went through most endings, it just feels like anti-hypno fetish propaganda. Every ending involving hypnosis ends with him making himself miserable or arrested for starting a cult, even the endings where you directly say you don't care about messing with their minds, even the consensual hypnosis endings end with him being with another girl he didn't hypnotize. The only ones that end with a "positive note" are the turn every woman into a spy ending and turn them into robots which are both more extreme versions of just changing the target of their affections and are in the case of the robots more noticable.
All in all I felt annoyed by this game, felt more like reading a religious pamphlet trying to make me feel like a sinner for liking something then a fetish game.
i believe this is the first time i actually bother to review a game. i've fallen in love with it due to it's multiple characters, storylines, and topics.
there's several girls and they all have multiple paths and endings. lots of fun and not-so-fun-but-scary hypno content!
I have played a lot of hypnosis games in my years, some professionally made. However Penlight has some plot ideas and content that I have never seen before and all of it is good. Seriously if you find mind control or hypnosis even the least bit interesting then you have GOT to check this game out. The characters behave naturally and for the most part react in a fairly realistic and believable way to the situations this game puts them in. Where most hypnosis themed games put the character on a power trip that just never stops, Penlight has realistic consequences to the character's actions and choices. I eagerly await the finish game!
Really great game, even if not my typical fare! Unlike most other VNs of this sort, this isn't a power fantasy, much like real life you can't insert yourself into someone's life and game your interactions with them to make them fall in love with you (I'm almost certain one of the characters says this almost verbatum). Even when you do go for the 'good' route, not everything works out the way you may want it to, and that's totally fine. I sort of see this is as a meta vn in that it accurately points out how dangerous the mindset of seeing yourself as the protagonist in a game can be, you can't control people and their reactions, even if you literally can!
I already said this in the discussion thread, but this is seriously a good story.
Characters are treated realistically, choices matter, and it highlights how both the concept (hypnotizing someone to follow what you say) is fun as a fantasy but also has the potential to be super creepy. I didn't follow all the possible routes, but the route that I did had a good resolution, made sense, and highlighted (and corrected) some problems I frequently see in some games around here. Plus, if you don't want sex in your game, the game gives you an option for that by simply choosing not to do the creepy things with your powers. (AND! Even if you choose not to be a scumbag and lie/intentionally take advantage of others with your hypno powers, the game still has a good story to go along with your choices. Lots of games here just go straight to game-over if you choose to not to take advantage of others. This one has a good story regardless of your choices, and I have confidence any future routes and choices will continue to have a good story.)
Many of the other visual-novel or other story games here seem like straightforward choices where you're railroaded from one thing to the next and your only choices are to continue or lose. This game avoids that, because the choices matter.
All in all, yeah, I like it.