Charade Maniacs Reviews
While the game offers nine routes for the player to explore, they vary in quality that ends up leaving Charade Maniacs a mixed experience from start to finish. That is not to say the game isn’t worth playing, but if you are someone who plays otome games for the romance aspect, those elements take more of a backseat to the game’s messy overarching story and it’s quantity over quality approach to storytelling.
Overall, I have had a blast reading through Charade Maniacs. The cast is large and varied, but not overwhelming, and the overarching mystery of what the Other World Stream is and why it exists keeps me going back for more. What’s up with the Arcadians? Why specifically wipe out the memory of people who died rather than just kill them? Why was this cast chosen to have such a drastic imbalance between male and female members? If you like mysteries, you can’t really go wrong here.
Charade Manicas is two individually brilliant games that, combined, are the lesser sum of their parts. I can see why the developers would be intrigued by the combination of the otome and death game mystery genres. I can see the commercial appeal too, given what a runaway success the death game genre continues to be. However, despite excellent production values, a great cast, and a well-written mystery, this particular combination chills rather than delights.
I wasn't really feeling the romance elements in Charade Maniacs, though that may have been because I was trying to figure out the meta-story anyway. It's a solid read that I'll probably rip through again in a few months when they actually SLOW DOWN with these games.
Will you give it your all... or will you try to find the traitor to be freed?
In closing, both games could not be any more different to one another really, and it will depend on what you are looking for to determine which will be more worthwhile to experience for yourself. But for my money, Charade Maniacs strikes me as a game that has potential but feels distractingly and disappointingly unfinished with the two routes I have currently experienced, while Jack Jeanne’s overall polish outshines it as well as its depth being apparent from just a single playthrough.
Charade Maniacs is an engaging visual novel with a rather sinister story, but it just doesn't let you make enough decisions while you play.
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
Charade Maniacs has one of the most interesting stories in the otome genre with nine routes available.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Charade Maniacs is a prime example of quantity over quality, but there’s still the occasional good moment to uncover.
Charade Maniacs is a fun mystery visual novel but it isn't the best with its Otome elements. There is a big cast of characters that are all interesting in their own way, but not enough time with each one to feel fully invested in the relationship.