Caroline van de Ven
Although I’ve told you how good Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II is, I do want to say that while I loved exploring a new genre in the VN world, I don’t think that this will become my new favourite genre. Playing the game at night was difficult as my “scared” emotion would be triggered in the dark. If this is something you feel that you can handle, then pick Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II. It’s a great game on many levels.
I liked Oops, I said yes?! and would recommend it to anyone who wants to play a cosy Otome game with a lot of fluff. I would also encourage any Switch Otome gamer to try something new and maybe be surprised at all the different Otome games out there. And (I know a lot of ‘ands’) if you have the Love 365 app but don’t want to spend money on every single part of the story, this would be a good alternative if you have a Nintendo Switch. Overall I think a large group of people will enjoy this title.
Even though it could be a tough playthrough at times with the heavy topics and the despair, Virche Evermore ~ErroR: Salvation~ is one of the top Otome games of this year. They have done a phenomenal job with the storytelling and even the characters are intriguing and going through their own character development in their routes. If the themes mentioned at the start of the game do not scare you away, I would definitely pick this game up.
I will come out with it right away: Norn9: Last Era is a good game. The game really balances between being a fan disk and a sequel to Norn9: Var Commons. I enjoyed the Norn9: Last Era. I enjoyed the mix between the couples being lovey-dovey and actually facing some issues so that it doesn’t get too sappy. If you loved Norn9: Var Commons you definitely must pick this game up as well.
If you have a young gamer who loves puppies and kittens, or if you are a pet lover yourself, Pups & Purrs Pet Shop would be a good game for you. What is not to like about running an imaginary store and caring for adorable puppies and kittens? This sort of game is something I loved when I was younger. And it was also one of the games that got me into gaming. So I would definitely recommend Pups & Purrs Pet Shop to younger gamers, but also to gamers that love this type of simulation.
I want to mention that Radiant Tale has focussed a lot more on world-building and visual designs than on the plots of the routes. This makes the overall topics of the routes more about accomplishing things through the power of love and friendships. I was not at all bothered by this, but if you have a need for a strong plot this might not be the game for you. But I really loved the game, yes it did have some small things I would have done differently, but there were also a lot of things that made up for those small things. So I would encourage everyone who is into stunning visuals and cosy vibes to pick this game up
Would I recommend Charade Maniacs? Yes, I would, but take this with the information that there are plot holes and that the story feels a little rushed. In the end, it didn’t bother me as much, but I can imagine that some people find the plot to be super important. The game does have great qualities, like world-building, and the characters were appealing. For this reason, I would recommend it. But play it at a slower pace
I find it difficult to rate Jack Jeanne because I just could never really get into it, due to my own busy personal life at that moment. But looking at all the great elements this game has: visuals, music, characters and the story, I can recognize that this is a great and unique game, and definitely an innovative step for otome games. I would recommend that everyone gives it a try because there is something for everyone in Jack Jeanne.
Would I recommend Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo? Yes, I would. If you are a lover of amazing sound, visuals and historical fiction like me, then this is a game for you. In saying this, I do want to say that not all the routes had an amazing storyline, and the romance was a little more toned down than expected. But I still think the main storyline of the game and some of the routes are worth playing it. And I do think it will fulfil your romance need.
I highly recommend this game to anyone who loves visual novels and is looking to soothe their anxiety whilst playing a game. This game helped me to relax at night before going to sleep because it just soothed me. I love that aside from hearing the stories of the customers, you actually make their drinks; this added a lot of extra fun to the game for me. Another fun addition to the game was that they added a lot of fun little pop culture easter eggs in the dialogues. That made the game feel like it could be real, but just in another realm. Lastly, I want to mention the playtime. The amount of playtime you get for this affordable game is so worth it in my eyes. It took me a long time to finish the game, and it is definitely replayable when you haven’t unlocked every recipe or have some other achievements to finish.
Norn9 Var Commons is a pretty good start to my Otome year. It has a lot of different, well-thought-out characters. I think there is a character everyone can relate to. The story itself left me curious about where it would go, and I loved the sci-fi theme that the whole game has. Whether it was a well-beloved game for you when it first came out or whether you are looking for a new Otome game, this is a good one. I think, even though the game is a remake of an older game, it still brings something new to the Otome world.
I would absolutely recommend Lover Pretend. It does have some small flaws but those are nothing compared to how fun and beautifully made this game is. Every route was enjoyable to play, which does not happen often for me. This would be a good Otome game to add to your collection.
I am really torn about Paradigm Paradox. It did have some nice qualities here and there. For example, the story itself is an interesting idea and I liked playing the routes of Kamui, Ayumu, Mihaya and Ibuki. But the game does not bring a lot of innovative stuff. There was also a lot that was missing for me. The routes were fairly short, there were too many routes for me, and the plots were rushed, which also didn’t give me a chance to really see character development in Yuuki’s love interests. After saying all these negative points, I do feel it had so much potential that wasn’t used. I did like some of my playtime, but this would not be the Otome game I would pick up over all the other great ones out there.
I did enjoy the game and loved to see that the characters got their happy ending. But I must add that the original game was better. The reason for this is that it just lacked an actual storyline, and it was a lot of the same lovey dovey dialog. Some positives for this game were definitely the side character stories, the beautiful CG’s and the happy endings of Amnesia: Crowd.
Overall, I still love Piofiore: Episodio 1926 and I think if you are a Piofiore: Fated Memories lover, you will like this game as well. The first was a bit better for me personally, as this game was a little bit more of the same. But it had good stories that had me at the edge of my seat and the romance was really dialled up in this game for a lot of routes. Luckily this game actually had plot points and a story, it was not just them going on lovey dovey dates. So I still enjoyed this game a lot. However, this game was a lot darker than the first. It includes rape and attempted rape and involves a lot of bloodshed in gruesome ways. So, if that is not your style I would not recommend this game.
Amnesia: Memories was refreshing and I enjoyed playing it. One of the reasons is that some of the characters are not the generic Otome types you normally see, they really had some depth to them. Even the side characters were well-written and enjoyable. This would be the perfect game to get into Otome games. It is easy to follow and the plots are not difficult to understand. It is a must-play if you love Otome games in my opinion.
I enjoyed playing Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei and seeing different sides of the story and the war. Every character offered a different perspective on the war, and they had to fight a different battle each time. Each route also had a lot of interesting plot points to discover, which kept things interesting. And of course, I loved Shanao. She is a strong character who above all listens to her duty and her heart. Plus, she is a great warrior on the battlefield and a hard worker. In terms of finding the routes, I found the Love Catch and the flowchart very useful to navigate through the game and the routes. It is definitely a well-written plot with different perspectives and a lot of interesting characters. Although the routes have the same structures and certain events, they have done a good job of making changes to every route to make it interesting every time.
Overall I did enjoy the game, especially Taiga’s and Ichiya’s routes. Even the other endings besides the love endings I was satisfied with. The game also made me laugh multiple times, I especially laughed a lot about Ichiya’s and Hibari’s grandfathers’ reactions. They were mostly jokes but the game also used Chibi images sometimes, this made the situation ever funnier. I would categorize the game as a romantic comedy. As for what rating to give Variable Barricade, I had a tough time. Difficult to chose between I like it and I like it a lot. I definitely loved the story lines and the characters, but I sometimes had a hard time really getting into the stories. I think this was due to the way the game board was set up, it took me out of the flow of the story. So I rating I am going to give Variable Barricade is ‘I like it a lot’.
This is my very first time playing a visual novel, I never expected to be so engrossed in the game. And to be completely honest, I never expected to get so addicted, which makes Piofiore an amazing game to me. Piofiore: Fated Memories has a good balance of action and romance, which keeps you on your toes. The quality in graphics and enthralling storytelling have probably spoiled me for future visual novels, but we will see!