Gnosia (グノーシア) is a Japanese adventure game with role-playing elements inspired by the social deduction game known as Werewolf or Mafia. The game was created by a small four person Japanese indie team called Petit Depotto and originally began development in 2015 as a PlayStation Mobile title. Eventually the game was released on June 20, 2019 for the PlayStation Vita where is garnered a cult following and received high praise from critics. The next year Gnosia was released for the Nintendo Switch and was eventually made available in English on March 4, 2021 courtesy of Playism.
Gnosia is a self-proclaimed "Sci-Fi Social Deduction RPG." Basically, the game is a single player version of the party game Werewolf, also known as Mafia. The premise of the game is that a group of people are trapped aboard a spaceship that has been infested by an alien lifeform known as Gnosia, which can take possession of another person. While the rest of the group is asleep, crew members infected by the Gnosia will kill someone each night until they are caught and put into cold sleep. In order to suss out the Gnosia, the crew participates in 5 round debates where the characters will argue about who they think is the most suspicious. The player takes the role of a user created character that can "doubt" or "cover" other characters during these debates. Besides the Gnosia, some crew members also have assigned roles. These roles include:
- Engineer: A character that can learn the true identity of one person each night.
- Guardian Angel: A person that can protect a crew member from the Gnosia each night.
- Doctor: A member that can identify if someone is a Gnosia or not once they are in cold sleep.
- Guard Duty: Two crew members that are confirmed to be human.
- AC Follower: A person that has sided with the Gnosia and will lie about their role.
- Bug: A mysterious person that will destroy all of existence if they survive to the end of the round.
All the characters will use the abilities related to their jobs to help figure out who the Gnosia are. However, people like AC Followers, the Bug, and the Gnosia are able to lie about their roles and cause confusion during debates.
Each gameplay session only lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. However, whether the humans win out in the end or not, the player will loop back in time to the beginning of the game after each session with everyone's roles reset. So, a character who was a Gnosia in one round might not necessarily be one in the next. Plus, the player themselves can sometimes become a Gnosia. After each loop the player will also gain experience points that they can assign to different traits (such as luck, charm, logic, etc) which can make their arguments more effective or even sometimes give them access to new abilities. The overall goal of the the game is to do as many loops as it takes to uncover the truth about the Gnosia, learn everything they can about the other crew members, and stop the time loop phenomenon.
- Hello! Indie Vol. 34: Interview with the Developer of Gnosia (Nintendo, 2020).
- How did Gnosia become one of the hottest titles of 2019? Ask the creators again about the development secrets! (Famitsu, 2020).
- Is the Adventure Game Dying? Developer Interview with the Creators of Danganronpa, Tokyo Chronos, and Gnosia (Famitsu, 2020).
- Roundtable discussion between the developers of Gnocia and Raging Loop by Keiichi Yokoyama (Automaton, 2020).
- Tiny Game Studio Finds Nintendo Stardom Through Sony’s Obsolete Device by Takashi Mochizuki (Bloomberg, 2020).