Entrant 2017

Laura Shigihara


Rakuen is an adventure game about a little Boy who lives in the hospital. One day, he asks his Mom to escort him to the fantasy world from his favorite storybook, in order to ask the Guardian of the Forest to grant him one wish. Together they set off on a journey to search for special doors that connect the hospital to the fantasy world. In order to receive a wish, the Boy must complete a set of challenges that revolve around helping his neighbors in the hospital by interacting with their alter-egos in the fantasy world... A cranky old man who guards a broken music box with his life while complaining that he never gets any visitors; a young woman in a coma whose husband hasn't left her side in months; a little girl who laments over a friend she was never able to say goodbye to after growing ill… The Boy slowly begins to realize that his neighbors are plagued by secrets and struggles that are mysteriously tied to the strange hospital.

Rakuen is a story-based adventure, with gameplay that functions like a mix between Maniac Mansion, To the Moon, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (though there are no battles). The hospital itself has a lot of little puzzles and mysteries that evolve throughout the course of the game, and you can gradually help improve the quality of the place as you progress. And of course, the main part of the game is uncovering the stories behind the patients in the hospital, and the secrets of the world around you.