The Hungry Lamb: Traveling in the Late Ming Dynasty – Review
Follow Genre: Visual novel
Developer: Zerocreation Games
Publisher: Zerocreation Games, 2P Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

The Hungry Lamb: Traveling in the Late Ming Dynasty – Review

Site Score
Good: Dark and intriguing story, Gorgeous art
Bad: Rather short for a visual novel
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Zerocreation Games is a Chinese developer that has worked on visual novels before, though The Hungry Lamb will be the first one we’re reviewing. With its full title being ‘The Hungry Lamb: Traveling in the Late Ming Dynasty‘, you don’t have to be a genius to know this game takes place in a historical context. But what makes this title particularly interesting is its approach to dark subject matter. Do not think you’ll get a romantic comedy with different paths to explore. The Hungry Lamb is a harrowing tale of cannibalism, human trafficking, and redemption.


The Hungry Lamb is set in the Ming dynasty of China, a time during which prolonged droughts caused mass famine and civil wars. Thousands have already died, and more are fleeing to find refuge in the parts of the country where things are supposed to be better. Liang is a man with a tainted past, earning his money through highway robberies and unsavory odd jobs like assassinations. Together with his friend, who is nicknamed Tongue for his ability to sweet talk anybody, Liang is asked to escort four young girls to a noble who wants to buy them. The girls are human trafficking victims, which is common in this era. Even though Liang tries his best not to harm children outright, he also needs to make money to survive. Reluctantly, he agrees. Standing out among the four victims is one mute girl who does not seem scared like the others.

Rather quickly, this girl changes the trajectory of Liang’s entire life. After a few days of traveling, she reveals she can talk. Her name is Sui, and she believes that the lord wanting to buy them is a cannibal. She thinks he’s an ancient swine demon who is using the famine to fulfill his own taste for human flesh. Because of this, Sui is intending to kill him. Liang is skeptical, but there’s something about this girl that mystifies him. As they continue to travel, Liang finds himself bonding with her and the other girls. Like in most visual novels, your choices will determine the outcome of this story.


If you enjoy anime-style art, obviously this game is going to be up your alley. The art is gorgeous, using techniques that are reminiscent of traditional Chinese art, such as large brush strokes and calligraphy. Some parts only use backgrounds with character portraits, like scenes with lots of dialogue. But we were also treated to some lovely still images for important scenes. Sui’s flashback sections are even fully presented this way, though with a special monochrome color scheme to make them stand out. Since art is one of the most important factors in a visual novel, we’re happy to say this one really nailed it. The backgrounds were wonderfully detailed and the character designs showed attention for the historic setting.


The Hungry Lamb has a simple, but captivating soundtrack. The music never becomes distracting, but there’s always some music playing lightly in the background; which usually fits the atmosphere perfectly. Some scenes are tense, some more relaxed. The game can sometimes switch its tone suddenly, to keep the players on their toes, and the music does so too. The Hungry Lamb has proper voice acting for all the characters, aside from Liang himself. The voice acting is only available in Chinese but we can tell the actors are professionals giving their all to the performance. If you prefer to just read, you can switch this off too.


As a visual novel, The Hungry Lamb has very little actual gameplay. Even in terms of choices that alter the story, there aren’t as many as you’d expect. Every once in a while, you are presented with two different options, and picking wrong will simply lead you to an untimely death. Or it changes specific dialogue but leads to the same outcome. Other times, your choice only affects your relationship with Sui, which in turn changes the ending but not much else. However, we are happy to note that the story is engaging enough that you’ll probably be motivated to see all the different branches anyway. The game comes with a handy autosave feature and a flowchart that allows you to quickly go back to pivotal points in the plot to see other outcomes. Other expected options are also presented, like skipping already seen text automatically and how fast the text moves on the screen.

At the end of the day, this game is not as long as some other visual novels and does not rely as much on player input, seeming more intent on telling the narrative it wants to and that’s it. The story is rather dark, so prepare for that. The Ming dynasty was a terrible time for the people living in China and the game doesn’t pull its punches, showing everything from animal death to murders, and the child trafficking and cannibalism the game is centered on. Nothing is portrayed graphically, however. It’s refreshing to find a visual novel with a good amount of psychological horror that still has a satisfying ending and focuses more on a father-daughter-type relationship than romance.


If you’re looking for a darker visual novel with interesting character dynamics and a more grim story, The Hungry Lamb is a perfect match. While it’s short and doesn’t have as many branching narrative paths as we’d prefer in our visual novels, it still manages to set up a great premise and execute it well enough, with amazing art to top it off. We can easily recommend this one to people who enjoy horror, Chinese history, or something a little different.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Hungry Lamb: Traveling in the Late Ming Dynasty - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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