Much like ‘Werewolf’ and ‘Among Us,’ Gnosia is a social deception game that requires deduction skills and the ability to convince others to follow your lead. A single-player game with a familiar concept combined with an intriguing narrative, Gnosia is also a visual novel where you must take on new roles, meet different conditions to win, and gather information from other characters to progress in the story. A surprisingly deep plot for a seemingly simple game, Gnosia challenges players to understand each character’s personality and make positive impressions – all while trying to survive one more night.
The Gnosia are an alien threat that kills humans, and in this game they have infiltrated your crew’s spaceship. Depending on the settings of your game you can have up to six Gnosia on board. A discussion with all the crew members takes place every night to figure out who is not human. The goal is to put one suspected individual to “cold sleep” via majority vote before the day ends; by putting all Gnosia to cold sleep, the ship will be safe. However, as long as the Gnosia are still alive and present onboard, one human will disappear each night. If you continue to accuse the wrong crewmates, and over half of your remaining team are Gnosia, you lose. But no matter the outcome, fret not, for you’ll have the opportunity to try again; many, many, times over.
That’s because, for all intents and purposes, our character is stuck in a loop. Another crew member, Setsu, is also aware that she is repetitively playing this social deception game, but it seems like nobody else realizes this. The characters you see in each loop are the same, and while their personalities don’t change, different loops and settings may trigger people to approach you and share crucial information. Depending on your actions and if you manage to fulfill their wishes, you may unlock new visual novel parts.
Strategize and Deceive to Survive
Each time before a game of Gnosia begins, you can select your role in the current loop. This means you have the option to start as either a human or Gnosia. You can also choose from other roles, such as Engineer, Doctor, Guardian Angel, Guard Duty, AC Follower, or Bug. The Engineer can examine one person each day to see if they are human or Gnosia. The Doctor, similarly, can examine the person you voted into cold sleep to see if they were human or Gnosia. The Guardian Angel can choose who they want to protect that night from a Gnosia attack. Guard Duty characters are definitely humans, and AC Followers are humans who want to see the Gnosia succeed. The Bug destroys the universe at the end of the game if not caught by the Engineer. To make this interesting, the Gnosia and AC Followers can also claim to be Engineers and Doctors to confuse everyone, but nobody else is allowed to lie about their role.
You are highly encouraged to try all the roles in order to have access to new events. When new events are triggered, they usually come with a winning condition that may be against your current role’s values. For example, a character who has the answer to your questions may ask you to cover for them so they don’t get put into cold sleep. This character may be human or Gnosia, but it wouldn’t matter who they were because the only way to progress in the game is to do what they want. If you fail to keep them awake or alive by the end of the loop, you will have to reattempt this again. The event doesn’t go away even if you fail, but unfortunately, you may have to try different roles again to be in a loop where this character is willing to talk to you.
At the end of each loop, you will gain experience points and potential clues to what you should be doing next. These experience points can be allotted to your skillset. This benefits things like your performance in deceiving people, the logic used in convincing people you are right, and your charm, so people are less likely to send you to cold sleep. These points can be rearranged later on, and having your skills reach a certain score can unlock new conversations and responses during the voting period.
Gnosia can be tough to navigate at first. To be successful, you can’t just solve the mystery. You also have to make others believe in your judgment. Once you’ve garnered enough trust and support from your crewmates, whatever you decide to do, your friends will likely back you up. There will always be people who disagree with you, so you have to avoid talking too much or else you will become an easy target later on. It is challenging to strike a balance between talking too little and talking too much, but each game is slightly different. Do what feels right for the moment.
Everyone’s experience with Gnosia is different. A lot of it relies on how you approach each loop and whether you made good choices during your run. It can take hundreds of loops before you reach the true end, or you may finish the game quicker than the average person. There isn’t a point where the game pities you and allows you to move on with the story – you have to work for it and control the outcome.
Even though Gnosia has a simple and familiar concept, it presents a sophisticated social deduction game with an interesting narrative. With various roles and combinations of crew members, each game can trigger new events depending on what you decide to do. Although constantly playing the same guessing game can feel repetitive (as this is true for most things), there is great replayability due to the many options Gnosia provides. Mix this with a group of eclectic characters and a thought-provoking sci-fi narrative, and you’ve got yourself a great game you can play for ages.
***A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher***
- Excellent Replayability
- Familiar Concept With an Interesting Storyline
- Lots of Different Roles to Choose From
- A Tad Repetitive
- Events Aren’t Triggered Frequently
- Hard to Tell if You’re on the Right Track