Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a text heavy "visual novel", that's part murder mystery, part courtroom drama, part friendship sim, and part rhythm action game that'll have you gripped from start to finish.
Telling the tale of Makoto Naegi, an ordinary student set to attend a school for the anything but ordinary, what should be the start of a bright future quickly becomes the first day of a nightmare, as Makoto, along with the other 14 pupils in his class, pass out on first entering the school, before reawakening to find bars over the school's windows, and locks over the doors. Cut off from the outside world, and forced to play by the rules of the school's evil teddy bear headmaster, Monokuma, the students have a stark choice - they can either remain there forever, where they'll be fed, watered, and clothed, or they can kill a fellow student, without being caught, at which point they'll graduate, and their fellow students will all be killed.
It's a dark story, but an incredibly gripping one, that'll have you hooked to the very end. While most of your time will be spent chatting to your fellow students, and trying to get to know them better, every now and then, your world will come crashing down when a murder takes place. As soon as this happens, it's up to you to examine the crime scene, as you try to piece together what happens, before moving into a classroom trial, where you go up against your fellow classmates, as you try to prove who-dunnit.
Using the clues you've discovered as "truth bullets" to shatter your fellow student's statements when they go off track, it's up to you to filter through the lies and subterfuge to find the true killer. And with so many twists, it'll never be obvious who it was...
As a game that involves a fair amount of murders, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc has a fair amount of content that parents will want to be aware of.
Despite its grizzly subject matter, the game isn't actually as violent as you may expect. Murders have fluorescent pink blood, rather than red, which takes away some of the initial shock, although the general sense of foreboding, and the way the murders take place is often disconcerting enough. Whether it's someone found with a knife through their chest, or a student being burnt at the stake, this likely isn't one for the youngest of players - although it is mostly a case of what you can't see being scarier than what you can.
Bad language, however, is prevalent throughout (at least from one character, Mondo), with f**k, b***h and b****rd all making regular appearances towards the start of the game. Almost unusually, the game also contains plenty of references to sex, with innuendos galore - although many of them might go over younger player's heads.
In all, it's probably a game best kept for those in their teens.
Format Reviewed: PS Vita