There are several reasons to play a solo RPG like Hikikomori: if you don’t have any friends, if you have friends, but they don’t like you or don’t play your RPGs. Maybe you don’t want to go all the way outside your house to find people to play. Maybe you don’t like leaving your house at all. If you agreed with any of these, then this game might be for you. This RPG is called Hikikomori and it is about shut ins from Japan. The game is one of the indie RPGs I found on Yaruki Zero Games, it’s a different sort of game that youplay all by yourself. Just grab a copy of the manual, paper, a pen, and a ton of d10s. In this game you have shut yourself away in your room for a long period of time. It is hard for you to do many of the things that normal people do like go outside or feel good about yourself. Your character most likely has unsavory elements about them that make them feel bad. The key stat for this system is hope. you are trying to get your character’s hope up so that they can be a functioning member of society. Well, maybe you don’t want that, and will watch your character fall into the abyss.
Setting up the game is easy. You decide what kind of shut in you would like to be first. You can pick a trait then roll two others. Those traits will guide your game. If you get good ones like rescuer you can easily snowball and have good things happen. If you have bad traits like delusion or perversion things can get worse for you. Traits don’t decide everything though.
Everyday you have to follow what up to three traits tell you to do. After that you can pick the things you would like to do. You can only pick from the general actions or special actions for your traits. This is where you can decide if you would like things to go well or if you would like bad things to happen to you. Everyday you could chose to commit suicide for instance. Rolling the dice will decide if you actually do or not though. When I played I didn’t want too many bad things to happen, but I did try to keep enough of them to keep it interesting. For instance: several days I kept losing my delusion and my imaginary friend would give it back to me.
One of the more disturbing things about the manual for this game is that there is perversion. The person who made the game suggests you take lolicon and then one of the things that happen with perversion is that you go out and act on it. Why would you suggest people take that and then put in that you act on it? Overall this is not a game for kids as you might guess. This game has a lot of adult themes.
This game was better overall than I thought it would be when I started. I had some fun playing it even though you can manipulate the results. This game is more like a diary than a real role playing game in the end. If you are used to doing play by post this will probably feel similar, only no one will respond to your writing. If you do role play in a group and like the interaction with other people this is not for you. But imagine that a game about shut ins is not for outgoing people. So all you shut ins, loners, and bored play by posters there is a role play game for you to do alone and it is Hikikomori.