Lily of the Hollow-Resurrection Review (Switch)

Game: Lily of the Hollow – Resurrection
Genre: Adventure, Visual Novel
System: Switch (also on PC)
Developers | Publishers: Rainbow Flute | Navila Software Japan
Price: USD $6.99 | UK £5.39
Age Rating: US Teen | EU 7+
Release Date: December 28, 2020

Review code used, with many thanks to Navila Software Japan

The older I get, the more I gravitate towards visual novels. They are very relaxing, easy to play in short bursts, and are a fun way to get some reading and gaming into your day. So I was excited to check out this VN!


Lily of the Hollow-Resurrection. Dia is painting. She states that sometimes she doesn't say the right thing.
It’s a theme.

You play as Red, a bodyguard who’s been hired to accompany Dia and her butler Hannah to the north of their country. They stay at an inn with an assortment of mysterious fellow guests and servants that may or may not be more than they appear. Why did Dia want to go to such a remote place? Why is the maid Ling acting so odd? Is this job really worth the money Red wants to earn so he can retire?

Gameplay and Controls

Lily of the Hollow-Resurrection. Dia and Hannah. They're saying something about a tough talking chicken.

This is a straightforward adventure/romance visual novel. It took me about 4 hours to complete one route. There is a small assortment of story selections to be made, and there are two endings. If there are any more I haven’t discovered them.

There are also a handful of unlockable features: A gallery and music box among them. There’s also a free talk option which plays some voice tracks. Unfortunately, I don’t understand Chinese so I don’t know how these tracks relate to the game.

The controls are a little weird. You’re better off operating the selector with either your finger or the D-pad as the joystick only works in certain directions. Also, the skip button isn’t a setting you turn on, it’s a button you press every…time…you…want…to…skip. I have never encountered a visual novel that operates skip this way and I hope never to do so again. However, for most players judicious and frequent saving will eliminate most of the need to use a skip button, so it’s certainly not a game breaker. 

Art & Music

Lily of the Hollow-Resurrection. Dia and Red on a mountain. They are looking into the sun and are surrounded by snow.
Just look at the lighting! Wow.

It’s beautiful. Absolutely amazing. I do believe based on looks alone that this may be one of my favorite visual novels to date. The use of light in a few scenes is so impressive that it made me feel like I was standing on a mountain with the characters. Frankly, it’s not hard to imagine that I’m on a snowy mountain when it’s currently January here in the Northeastern US, but it’s still very impressive work.

This game also includes some changing facial expressions that I thought were interesting. They slightly animate the head so that the expressions can vary without changing to a different full body character animation like many games do. I liked it, but occasionally they used this to change the position of the head. That particular trick didn’t work as well, since it usually made the head look like it was the wrong size or at an unnatural angle.

The music was very pleasant and suited to the scenes, if somewhat repetitive. I didn’t feel the need to listen to anything on endless loop, but I also didn’t shut it off entirely. That’s always a win when you’re playing video games.

Now for the Major Problem

Lily of the Hollow-Resurrection. Dia is painting. Two characters in the dining room. The caption is something about truth and tentacles that doesn't make any sense.
The dark night does WHAT?!

This game has a terrible localization. To the point where I’m not sure whether I spent the game intrigued by the plot, or the plot I made up because I couldn’t understand what was going on. That’s a shame because from what I followed (or thought I followed) this was a top-notch VN. I enjoy playing from a male character’s perspective in these games sometimes, but that has often meant putting up with some near constant atrocious treatment of the female characters. So far, this game has only a small amount of that type of behavior, but it’s hard to say for sure because the translation is so bad. If they improve it, the characters could change entirely from my first impressions.

This is not to say I didn’t enjoy the game. I like Lily of the Hollow-Resurrection, but it’s hard to judge a story when you’re not able to understand it as it was originally intended. All I can say for sure is that I have been enjoying the story in the manner I’ve interpreted it. Furthermore, bad translations always have unintentionally funny lines, and this one is no exception. It’s been an enjoyable trip!


Lily of the Hollow-Resurrection. Ling is in a hot spring. The caption is the character asking himself how he can enjoy this.
You may find yourself asking this very question!

Lily of the Hollow-Resurrection is an intriguing game, but the player’s enjoyment will likely depend on how well they can tolerate (or be amused by) a poor translation, and how willing they are to fill in any confusing gaps with their imagination. With the assistance of the excellent voice acting, I have to say that my experience didn’t feel too muddled. Unfortunately, the ending of Dia’s route was one of those areas where I felt a bit out of the loop. However, even in its current form, I would’ve been happy to pay the small amount they’re asking for it. If they invested in a better translation, and the story is as good as I think it was then it would absolutely be worth any VN fan’s time. Here’s hoping it gets the translation it deserves!

Final Verdict: I Like It

I like it


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