This is a reblog of my site http://geekysweetie.com – Other stuff may appear here such as reblogs from other wordpress.com sites. I blog and reblog about anime, video games, kdrama, toys, technology, and kawaii fashion and decor.
The sequel to KLab’s smash hit Love Live School Idol Festival, Love Live All Stars takes it to the next level with fully animated Live2D characters that dance around on the screen.
Like its predecessor, Love Live School Idol Festival, Love Live All Stars is a card collecting rhythm game with cute anime girls to collect.
The new installment in Love Live has a few key differences from the original, most notably is the animation. There’s also costumes you can unlock for your girls to wear and a new voltage gameplay system that allows you to score more points.
The key elements are the same with perhaps more focus on story this time around. You play through the story to unlock new songs. You train your girls and level them up and unlock new skills with a branching skill path for each character.
The girls are back and cuter than ever with the addition of the full body animated dance routines and new cards to collect.
As always the game is fully voiced and the focus is on singing. I could be wrong but I think each voice actress records each song because it sounds like the vocals changed when I had different girls in the center, especially on solo songs. That’s a lot of dedication if that’s correct and it adds some new variation on some of our favorite love live songs. Again could be wrong but sounded that way to me unless it’s my imagination.
The enhanced visuals and enhanced voice acting and addition of costumes and a skill tree for your characters really adds a lot to the new game.
Who’s your favorite waifu? Mine is still Kotori but my best card right now is Mari.
Overall Score: 82/90 91% A- Excellent Game For Girls
Geeky: 5/5 – geeks will love the enhanced visuals and more challenging game play with additions like skill unlocking and branching skill trees
Sweetie: 5/5 – Girls will love the adorable characters and colorful graphics and enhanced focus on story
Overview: 10/10 – All stars retains much of what made LLSIF such a success and enhances it with all new animation and gameplay elements.
Story: 4/10 – Although there is more focus on the story, it’s still not really very interesting – I read the first 2 chapters and now just skip through all of the stories.
Characters: 10/10 – all of your favorite idols from U’s and Aquours return joined by an all new group of girls from Nijigasaki High School. And now they’re cuter than ever
Gameplay: 8/10 – Gameplay is enhanced by letting you train your idols in new ways, with special ability slots that force you to pick and choose which skills to allow your girls to lean, and a branching skill tree that allows you to control how your girls grow. There’s also new dressup elements and a few new gameplay elements within the live shows, like the new voltage gauge. Gameplay however at times does still become very repetitive. I go through phases of wanting to play every day and then not touching it for weeks.
Music: 10/10 – many of your favorite songs return plus a few new songs have been added as well.
Voice acting 10/10 – all of the girls voices are so cute, and I think that perhaps the vocals of the songs change depending who you have equipped in your center stage. Or it seemed that way to me. If true, that’s a lot of time spent recording different versions of each song, plus all of the story dialogue.
Kawaii 10/10: Love Live is one of the cutest games/anime out there and my personal favorite game characters to cosplay as because they’re just so cute
Replay Value: 10/10 – There are many events with limited release cards and really no end to this game which gives it great replay value.
Overall Score: 82/90 91% A- Excellent Game For Girls
I recently received Starlight Stage A Pop Idol Card Game from RightStuf. RightStuf is one of the oldest and largest distributors of Otaku merchandise in the US. Check out their website at www.RightStuf.com for everything from anime, manga, action figures, Japanese candy, games, and more.
I decided to purchase Starlight Stage because I’m a fan of mobile idol games and idol anime such as Love Live, Utapri, Bang Dream, Ensemble Stars, and yes, Idol M@ster.
I do not know for sure if this board game is based on Idol M@ster but I suspect it is, since one of the early and most popular Idol M@ster mobile games is titled Idol M@ster Starlight Stage. For whatever reason though, if it is in fact at all related, they stripped it of the Idol M@ster title and just dubbed it Starlight Stage. Either way, related or not, if you love the mobile games or anime idol games, you’ll love Starlight Stage Card Game by Japanime Games.
The game is a little difficult to learn at first, and we had a lot of confusion trying to figure it out in the beginning, but once you get into the rhythm of the turn cycle it’s actually really simple. And it comes with these handy rule cards for each player to reference.
Starlight Stage is for 3-4 players with an average play time of 30-60 minutes. It is a great family game rated for ages 10+.
Designed by Hironatsu Yamada, Starlight Stage is a fast paced card drafting game with adorable idols. It’s your job to recruit idols with different talents and help them grow to become the top talent agency.
At the start of the game you get some low cost starter idols, but you’re going to want to save up some tokens for better idols as you play. The cost is always in the top left of the card.
One of the things that frustrated my friends is understanding the costs and talents of the cards. I found it pretty straight forward but there was a lot of discussion and confusion on how to pay the costs. Also we forgot to shuffle the first time – or just assumed we didn’t need to since it was brand new sealed in box – but yes you have to shuffle lol. We kept drawing the same cards DOH! lol.
The correct way to pay the cost (top left) is to count the talent points (in the kinda grayish box at the bottom of the idol card) and if that’s still not enough you can use tokens but if you use talent tokens you must discard the tokens and move the card whose talent you used to the anteroom (discard pile). You also can’t use tokens just by themselves without using the talents of an idol also, even if you have enough tokens to do so. You also cannot use multiple idols to pay for a card except for use in acquiring event cards.
The object of the game is to have the most popularity points. (Top right) Some cards give additional conditional popularity points at the conclusion of the game so make sure to include this in the final count.
You earn popularity points by earning fame cards and enhancing your existing idols or recruiting new ones.
My only real complaint with the game is that the artwork is really disjointed. Some of the artwork is lovely and others very amateurish because so many different artists worked on this game.
Here I have five cards pulled completely at random out of my game box and five different artists. A total of 13 artists were used to create the art for the cards and they each have different styles and skill levels.
I still love the game so much that I plan to purchase the expansions also available on RightStuf. I love anime idol “culture” and this game is very cute and fun to play. I highly recommend it to anyone who like me, also plays similar mobile rhythm games like Love Live School Idol Festival or the newly released Love Live School Idol Festival All Stars, or Idol M@ster, or Utapri, or Ensemble Stars, or Bang Dream.
I can’t get enough idol games and I’m not alone. I frequently cosplay as love live characters. My favorite is Kotori. And Smartdoll and Dollfie Dream both regularly release limited edition dolls from Love Live or Idol M@ster, not to mention the anime, nendoroid, plushies, and other merchandise, many of which I bet you can also find on RightStuf.com
Happy New Years! I thought it’d be fun to celebrate the new year by counting down the 20 best girl games released between 2000 – 2020. Before we can start the countdown we need to talk about what makes a good girl game anyways? I have talked about this before on my site, but incase you are new to my site, here’s a recap.
First let me start by saying, I target a niche audience, girls (and guys) who like a certain type of games – In general, young females prefer these types of games more than men, but there are men who play these games too, and likewise, there are girls who don’t enjoy these games and prefer more violent action games that we see a lot of young men playing. My website kinda over generalizes things, because it’s just simpler for me to focus a very small target audience.
So what is a girl game? Yes, there are “Otome Games” which literally means “Games for Girls” these are visual novels where the protagonist is a female and pursues male love interests. There are also Yuri games where the protagonist is female and pursues female love interests. But that’s only one small – very small – type of games that I write about on my site.
In my opinion most girls want the following things from their games:
Story is king – girls want to stimulate their minds, more than their reflexes. We want to feel an emotional connection to the characters, we want a story full of mystery, drama, romance, fantasy, and likable and interesting characters.
Graphics are important but in a different way than “guy games” – Girls want to play “cute” games, probably with anime graphics, while most guys want photo-realistic 3D. Most girls actually prefer 2D, especially with newer technologies like cell shading or Live2D which can make a 3D character look like a 2D character. Girls don’t want to play an ugly game. Girls want cute characters – especially if they can customize the characters – which is another point later – they want beautiful environments, not drab grey, brown, green, blah blah looking landscapes. We prefer cute colors, either bright, or pastel, feminine colors that look cute, fanciful, and vibrant.
Gameplay is still important – a game is only good if it has great gameplay – which is why I say visual novels and the like are only a small percentage of games girls play, because unless you’re just in the mood to read a book, they aren’t that engaging. Girls still care about gameplay, but maybe in a different way than guys. We want games that offer a variety of experiences.
For example, one of the new games I got for Christmas is Fire Emblem Three Houses, and I can also compare this to an old game series called Suikoden. What is similar? Well outside of combat, there are many, many, many activities, from cooking, to dating, to recruiting team members, to training new skills, to talking to various characters.
Each also offers some additional gameplay perks. In suikoden you can build a castle, and in Fire Emblem Three Houses, you’re a teacher, and set a lesson plan, and go to things like choir practice, or attend seminars hosted by other teachers, etc.
It has like these “Life Simulation” elements, along side some hard battles – traditionally in Fire Emblem if a character dies in a fight, like reaches zero HP – that’s it, they are gone forever, even main characters / story characters – but in this version, there is an option to turn off the perma death if you choose.
The fights are grid based, and require a lot of strategy. There are many, many classes your characters can become, each with distinct tactical advantages and disadvantages. A lot of mental stimulation here, even in the combat.
Like I said, girls still care about gameplay, and a game with great gameplay AND a great story, is going to trump a game, that just has one or the other.
Girls want games that allow them to express themselves somehow. The more various ways of self expression the better. Some examples include, extensive character creation tools, character customization, dressup / fashion options, costumes, etc, games that let you choose the gender of the character, things like skin color, hair style and color, eye color, sliders to adjust everything from body size, to how far the eyes are from each other, to lip size, to hair length, chin shape, cheekbone height, etc. But it goes beyond just characters too – Girls like games that let them build and play in the world in which they live, building a town, a city, or even just decorating a room.
This brings us to the next point, Girls want a game where decisions matter. Girls want to be able to influence the story and what happens to the characters. This makes us feel that we are actually part of the game, and not just watching from the side lines. It also increases replay value, which I think can be universally valued by both guys and girls.
This can be done in a number of ways, like the visual novels and Otome games which drive story with prompts that ask you to respond to certain characters, or through gameplay such as chronotrigger, where your choices – even minor ones – led to different outcomes – like eating the old man’s chicken, etc. Or games like Torment, Dragon Age, and Witcher that focus on freedom of choice and create a game where almost no two playthrus are ever the same.
Lastly, girls care about music and voice acting. We want an immersive experience, and music and well cast voice actors can help draw you further into the world. It can convey emotions, create suspense, create calm, or sadness. Music is a universal language and just takes that game to the next level.
Ok, now that you know what I feel is important in a good “girl’s game” – here’s my 20 favorite girl games, of the past 2 decades.
Catherine Full Body – PS4
This game is a remake of Catherine on PS3 – which also fits this list as it was released in 2011. There is going to be some head scratching as to why this is given the number one spot on our list. Especially since it deals with some suggestive themes and sexual content. I am no feminist, and I don’t really mind seeing sexual or suggestive content in my games. I don’t find it demeaning or offensive to women, but I know there are women who would be offended by this game or some of the other games on this list because of this. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this game has all of the ear marks of what makes a good girls game. It has a great story, it has choice and consequence, it has cute/beautiful anime graphics, it has good gameplay – although there’s other games on this list that trump one or another aspect here, but when viewed in whole, this game does not miss a single mark. Other games may have better story, or better gameplay, but then they may lack in another area, which lowers their overall score. Catherine – the first one – I haven’t gotten around to finishing and reviewing Full Body yet – anyways the first one is the highest scoring game on my site so far. It has a 96% A. “Excellent Game For Girls!” rating – almost a perfect 100! Read my review of Catherine here.
2. School Days HQ
Alright, I know this is weird, because this is a hentai game – flat out, porn game. But actually, it’s a pretty damn good game! Like Catherine, it has the great cell-shaded anime graphics that is like PLAYING an “anime” more than “watching an anime” or “playing a game” – and Yes, it has sex, and kink, and perversion – but…. not that much? This is a long ass game. And there’s like probably 80+ hours of gameplay/story, of which the sex scenes – ALL added together equal MAYBE 4 hours? or less? of that 80 hours. The story is actually really good. The graphics aren’t quite as good as Catherine, and the game is a fair bit older – from 2005 – HQ was maybe a few years later, around same time as Catherine maybe like 2012? – Either way still eligible for this list. And most of all – it is admittedly lacking any gameplay whatsoever aside from choice and consequence, because it is a visual novel. Whereas Catherine has the awesome puzzles and side scrolling type gameplay, in addition to minigames and the visual novel elements. School Days HQ is really lacking any gameplay – but it is just… this weird… interactive anime experience. There’s even opening and ending songs between chapters – wtf? lol. If you love anime, then you’re gonna love School Days HQ – if you hate porn or are easily offended though then obviously skip this one. The characters are likable, the story is sad, dramatic, suspenseful. Like Catherine, it’s a love triangle at heart. Now one of the weird things about this game are all of the bad endings – so many bad endings – that’s kinda what this game is famous for. But maybe it’s because I’m a girl and I know how to treat a girl, and just play it how I’d want a guy to treat me, but come on!!! It’s not THAT hard. Don’t be a dick and you’ll be fine LOL. There are numerous happy endings too!! In fact, I played multiple times and never saw those bad endings – I forget how many endings there are – but it’s like some INSANE amount – there are many many happy endings – for EACH girl – instead of just one “good ending” there’s also like I said many bad endings – I don’t think I’ve finished all of the endings – It’s good – it’s not the best visual novel story wise, but that anime experience – with the opening and ending songs, and how it’s like fully animated and not just still images – it’s so different from most visual novels…. Really if you like visual novels and don’t mind some hentai scenes – really it’s worth playing. I know it’s weird to be on my list – but there’s just nothing else like it. Check it out if you want – you can always kinda just click past all the porn scenes too if you want. The game is cute, the story’s good, characters good, your choices actually have a lot of impact on the game – oh and you’re timed too, sometimes choosing nothing is the “correct” choice, in that way I guess it does have some gameplay, but yeah that’s the only flaw really is no gameplay. You can read my review of School Days HQ here.
3. Detroit Become Human
I am absolutely in love with this game. I am fascinated by androids and such stories in general. Like most tales of androids, the game presents a story about what rights if any, should artificial intelligence have, and if artificial intelligence is capable of free thought and human emotion – and obviously right now today in the year 2020, that answer is still a hard no. But who knows what the future will bring? This game is set just a few years in the future, in a world where androids are ubiquitous in human society. They work, or run errands, while their human owners, enjoy more engaging activities. But there’s this one old man, who treats his robot as if it was his own son. He encourages his robot to explore arts, from painting, to music, to other things that typically only humans do. It seems the robot also lovingly takes care of the man whose health is failing. They really seem like a family. While at the opposite end of that spectrum, a man has several robot servants who he mistreats and abuses, to the point of being akin to domestic violence, he beats the hell out of one of the robots, to where it has to go back to the factory for repairs. Across the city, the people are divided, but most feel threatened by the robots who have taken their jobs, and a revolution is about to happen pitting robot vs human as robots take a stand for human rights… I love this story – but ultimately what happens in the story is up to YOU! whose side will you take, robot or man? Your choices determine the fate of the characters, including permadeath, who lives or dies, will they have equal rights, or be deemed not human enough for equality. I sided with robots, because I love robots, but you don’t have to – you can choose to help squash the robot rebellion. Your choices determine everything in this game. You can also choose pacifism or aggression with different good and bad endings. I chose pacifism and love. But you can pick your own path. The graphics are good, and freedom of choice, exploration, and story, also great. This is my favorite game of the last few years for sure. Absolutely love this game. With all my heart! The game is now only like $14 oh and it’s also coming out on PC soon – so if you haven’t played it yet – please check it out – it’s such a great game. I have never cared more for another character or felt so involved in a story. It’s so emotional and beautiful. A great game! Check out my review of Detroit Become Human here.
4. Secret of Mana 3 – Trials of Mana
Ok so this is a little bit of a “trick” because the original game is too old for this list, but thanks to a new telling of Secret of Mana 3 on Nintendo Switch it was again released to a new generation of gamers. – I haven’t actually yet played Trials of Mana, but Secret of Mana 3 is my favorite Secret of mana game. The original release on Super Nintendo never made it over to North America – I imported it – even though I can’t read Japanese – which admittedly, with an RPG takes a huge amount of fun and purpose away from playing it – I imported a few other games back in the 90s as well – like Tales of Phantasia and Secret of Blue water (yes based on the anime) to name a few. – Anyways for whatever reason, Squaresoft decided not to bring Secret of Mana 3 to us back in the 90s – and instead we got a game that they did not get in Japan called Secret of Evermore – which I actually also really enjoy (even though for some reason it was a flop and a lot of people dislike it). – Anyways so all of these years, one of, if not THE, best title in the mana series has remained as a Japan only title – but it was eventually fan translated – and I played that years ago too and loved that!! But now — it finally like 2 decades later – has an official real english release by Squaresoft on the Nintendo Switch – I haven’t played it yet – I know it’s not a direct port – I don’t think so anyways? I think it’s been remastered and some changes made over the past 2 decades to bring it more “up to speed” so to speak for a new generation. So what made Secret of Mana 3 so great? It had high replay value, great characters, great story, and fun gameplay. You pick 3 characters and see the story told through their eyes, and which 3 you pick kinda influence some parts of the story, some pair together better than others, but there’s no wrong or right way to play. This is similar to some other squaresoft games that largely remained in Japan aside from a few releases here or there, such as Romance Saga and Live Alive. There’s also a class system like Final Fantasy 5. There are a total of 5 different classes for each character – maybe more in the new nintendo switch version. I haven’t even watched a video or looked at screenshots yet of this title, but I assume it has a number of enhancements over the 1995 SNES title. I think the new nintendo switch version has new graphics and additional story elements and other improvements too. It’s on my must buy list for sure after I finish some other games first. Check out my review of Secret of Mana 3 here.
5. Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side
For this, I’m lumping the whole series together – it is hands down my all time favorite Visual Novel / Otome Game / Dating Sim / Whatever you want to call it. – The first installment was from 2002 – which just barely qualifies it for our list – but still works – and there’s been additional installments since then. – NONE of which have ever been released outside of Japan – Come on Konami!!! Can’t you see there’s a market here??? All of your competitors are on board bringing Otome games, visual novels, dating sims, over seas. More and more and more lately – The past decade this genre has EXPLODED – thanks in part to smart phones – but also taking hold on PC and consoles too. – But the best ever Otome game still only remains in Japan.
But thanks to some really dedicated fans – you can play these games in English!!! – The patches have been around for a few years now – thankfully!
What I love about this game – let me count the ways lol. The customization, fashion dressup elements when you go out on dates. The characters, the cute anime art style, the life simulation elements, the story (all be it a lil bland / generic), just everything – not only do you date characters, but you have female friends, you have a job!! and you go to school, you join clubs, you have to take tests, you have to raise your stats – there’s more meat to this game, there’s holidays and special events, there’s all kinds of things, I love it soooo much because of the gameplay variety and it’s soooo much more than just clicking through a story and making some choices, and it’s not just about the romance, you’re living life as a school girl doing allllll the things that the school girls do. It’s much more than just a dating sim or just a visual novel. And your choices matter a lot! Everything from what your room looks like, how you dress, how you respond to characters, how you spend your free time, what clubs you join, what you study, who you hang out with. There are numerous endings and story paths, you can have jealous female friends, jealous male friends, you can have love triangles, just all kinds of delicious drama lol. And the story is cute, the cannon characters are usually like childhood friends, but there’s a huge variety of characters, from bad biker boys, to shy flower boys, to teacher pets, hell you can even date your teacher! lol. I am not even close to all of the endings or all of the routes on ANY of these games. I’ve gone for 2 or 3 characters on each one and that’s it. That makes me want to dig it out and play it again RIGHT NOW lol. It stands the test of time because of huge replay value. It is a long ass game though and I think it is lacking a skip function – so it has a few small flaws, but really – just play it. It’s the best. If you’re gonna play an Otome Game, might as well play this one, there aren’t any better Otome games out there!! Check out my review of Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side here.
6. Chrono Trigger
Ok so again this one is a bit of a “trick” – The original game was released in 1995 making it too old for our list here, – but it was ported to mobile and then to PC within the last few years – which technically qualifies it a spot here – and while millions of people are ENRAGED by this port and consider it to be the scum of the internet — I have to say… I disagree… Others also disagree because it’s rated “Very Positively” on steam – but I’ve read some people just SLAM this game and SLAM Squaresoft for this game so hard – and I am willing to say – I still love this game. And at time of this post, it is 50% off on Steam.
So yes, there are some obvious flaws. An ugly UI, some major pixel and texture issues going on, some hard to read text, etc…
But… needless to say… the game itself… is one of the greatest games of all time. With something like 16 endings – and where every choice counts – even when you aren’t aware you’re even making a choice – see that’s the beauty of it – it’s not like a visual novel – The game is more action packed and the way Chrono Trigger handles choice and consequence is with subtlety and Grace.
The story is one of the highlights of game. In this time travelling tale we encounter the butterfly effect. Changing something in the past, inevitably influences things in the present and future. And the more you go back to try to right what you may have wronged, the more messed up things tend to become.
The characters are memorable, the music is absolutely amazing, and the game is very unique. Despite the obvious flaws of the port, I would still recommend you play this game. If this was the ONLY way you had to experience the game — then I’d still say it’s better than 99% of any other games available on the market today — bad port and all. Check out my review of Chrono Trigger here.
7. Ever17 The Out of Infinity
This little obscure gem here is from 2002, just barely making it eligible for our list. The game was given an official English release – but it is now almost impossible to find because it was sadly before the days of digital distribution.
This visual novel is so great because it is a complete and utter mind fuck. So are the other games in this series – Remember11 and Never7. Those two titles never received an official English release but they have been fan translated by the visual novel community. I feel like Ever17 is the strongest of the 3.
You spend countless hours playing through each route – to unlock the true ending – a concept pretty familiar to those who play visual novels…
But… the true ending completely takes the game, turns it upside down on its head, and puts a whole new perspective on the last 120+ hours you’ve probably spent on the game… But in a good and unique and refreshing way I guess….
Coming in at number 8, we have the 2005 somewhat underground hit, Steambot Chronicles. – There was also going to be a sequel that was cancelled along with many other games due to the devastating Tokyo tsunami in 2011.
This is one of my favorite games for so many reasons. The music which is a highlight of the game, included several vocal tracks which were used as plot devices and directly related to the story. You could ride in giant mecha, you could customize said mech with new parts and upgrades, and you could directly influence the story, being good or evil if you so wished. There were dressup-game elements, and a personality quiz that determined some dialogue choices in the game. This game is just… everything. It has all of the ear markings of what I consider to be a great girl’s game. It has the story, it has the customization, it has the freedom of choice, it has the music, the gameplay. What more could you want? Highly recommend.
Ok so Lunar has forever been my all-time favorite game series. (Although Persona is such a close second that sometimes the two switch between favorite and second favorite). Working Designs will forever and always be my all-time favorite Game Publisher and I own nearly every single one of their works (except for the turbo graffix ones as I never owned that console).
This is another “trick” obviously as Lunar was released way back in the early 90s. But — It was remade… again and again and again and again… With the most recent one in 2010. Even after Working Designs – the publisher of the North American version – sadly heart breakingly shuttered their doors – other Publishers have stepped up to bring us these fine new entries into the world of Lunar.
I think I prefer Lunar Eternal Blue – ever so slightly – over Lunar Silver Star – although Ghaleon is my favorite fictional character of all time – and he has a bigger role in Silver Star – but the key for me – is Lucia and Hiro’s sweet love story – although Alex and Luna’s love story is also pretty darn great. Lucia and Hiro however stand out more in my mind – especially in the epilogue – stay until after the credits people for like an additional 6 hours of gameplay – not just a quick video clip – lol. The epilogue changes the story completely – I think most people are well aware of the epilogue now – but maybe some people may not realize it and just shut their console off after reaching the credits.
The only reason this isn’t higher on my list is I try and look at flaws – and rank games, not based on my personal enjoyment or how great they are – but based on what – if anything – they are lacking – and sadly, the gameplay is…. not great? I mean it was normal back in the 90s – but this game is turn based, rpg combat, no customization, no classes, no freedom, linear, no branching plot, just, super vanilla…
Story wise and character wise – Lunar reigns supreme – and probably always will for me – maybe in part to nostalgia or some other factors – but no – seriously – really…. the story is….. just so incredible. It’s emotional, it’s engaging, it’s surprising, it’s shocking, it’s funny, it’s witty, it’s charming. I think the story and characters for me – make it my fave game. And the world is so damn detailed, full of so much lore, back story, they really went all out, on the history of the world, and created almost a whole mythological society, with religion and culture, and traditions, all crafted just as a setting and backdrop to the real story.
I still want to see a game some day about the original 4 heroes where you play as Dyne, Ghaleon, Mel, (and forgive me I’ve forgotten the last one, pretty sure it was a female).
I’m pretty sure we’ll never get that game now – I don’t even know if it ever crossed their mind to make such a game but I always had this desire to see a game like that and I can’t be the only one whose thought that would make a great game – but sadly I don’t think we’ll see a Lunar 3 ever now – as I’m pretty sure Game Arts went out of business long ago. The last Game Arts game I’m aware of was Grandia II back in 2015. You can read my review of Lunar here.
10. Norn9 Var Commons
This was one of the very first commercially available English Otome Games on the market. It’s still one of the best. It has some major gameplay flaws though. Visual Novels as a whole lack any gameplay beyond like reading a goosebumps book and turning to the page matching your answer. But Idea Factory games seems to dumb down the gameplay even further by having you lock into a route and making every choice wrong or right, if you don’t answer every single minute tiny question exactly right – well you’re screwed and get the bad ending.
I still never fully finished Norn9 Var Commons. It is a long game, with 3 different female protagnists to play as and several guys to romance, and you have to get all of the good endings to unlock the true ending.
The concepts of time travel and mystery and suspense I think really set the game apart from most other Otome games that focus more on just slice of life stuff.
I enjoyed the story – and still want to play more to answer some burning questions and suspicions that I still have.
So Persona has been around for a long time with the first installment actually back on PS1 – and still with new installments in the works like Persona 5 S – which has not been given an official release date yet but which will be available on the PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
These games are great in terms of story and characters – and also equally great in terms of gameplay – you forge bonds with monsters you fight in dungeons to recruit them as Personas, you can then mix Personas together to create new Personas, with hundreds of different combinations.
Similar to other games on our top 10 list, you go to school, join clubs, participate in activities, and go on dates, the bonds you forge and choices you make sometimes cause you to see different parts of the game, and you can never see it all in a single play through, like if you choose to join one club, you lose access to the others, and you only have so many “game days” in which to spend your time. What you do with said time is up to you – will you go fight in the dungeons, will you work a part time job, will you go to club activities, or even go on a date. There’s holidays and special events too.
The story is more or less linear with a few different scenes changing based on your choices. Your choices don’t influence much, but they do influence some, how the characters respond to you, and what little cutscenes you will see.
The last “real” Suikoden game was back in 2006… almost 15 years ago now… There were a few spinoffs but the gameplay was vastly different ranging from puzzle games to visual novels, and not the typical gameplay we’ve come to love of Suikoden.
Konami makes a lot of bad decisions…. and I do not think we will ever see Suikoden 6… although fan rumors persist everywhere – even as recently as a few months ago.
I think Suikoden 2 was my favorite, but I have really enjoyed them all. As I mentioned way back at the begining of this long post – I have been playing Fire Emblem 3 Houses – I have not played (m)any Fire Emblem Games (for some reason – I dunno why, hmm, just never really got into the series I guess). – But as I’m playing this one – I’m feeling all kinds of nostalgia and keep reminiscing about Suikoden for some reason – as the two games bear a lot of similarities.
In Suikoden you can cook, you can build your own city, you can fish, gamble, play various mini games, and yeah, there are some characters that die. I cried. I laughed. I loved all of the characters – and damn there’s a lot of them… 108 stars of destiny.
You can only take like 6 of them with you into combat at a time, but there’s also massive huge scale wars, once again like Fire Emblem, where you need everyone to be kinda leveled up to defend your castle.
So yeah, if you like Suikoden, you’ll probably like Fire Emblem, because the gameplay is pretty darn similar in a lot of ways! I have surprisingly, not reviewed this game yet. Or at least I can’t find it – I swear I reviewed Suikoden 2… lol. I’ll do a review soon – but I’ll probably review Fire Emblem 3 Houses first because that’s what I’m playing currently.
13. Fire Emblem
So I guess if I’m gonna include Suikoden, I might as well include Fire Emblem. I’m really loving this game so far – I’m only 6 hours in. I’d only ever played one other Fire Emblem game – on a handheld device – it was not the immensely hugely popular successful Fire Emblem Awakening nor was it Fates – It may have been Shadow Dragon, – I dunno. Whatever one it was before it was not for me – I played maybe 2 hours and that was it. When Awakening got so much attention – be it good (such as glowing reviews, high sales, popularity) – or bad (an example of the bad is heavy censorship) – I admit I did begin to want to play the series then – But I had a lot going on in real life, and a lot of other hobbies and games and things vying for my attention – so here I am just now, almost a year after its release, playing the first Nintendo Switch entry into Fire Emblem – and it’s great. It really is.
There is a really great story, with freedom of choice (although it’s somewhat debatable how much choice you actually have – at least there’s some choice, the largest being which house you will teach.) And very strategic combat with a lot of options for how to build your characters into different classes – but also very fun slice of life activities – that make it a great girls game too. You’re a teacher in this newest installment and you create lesson plans and can do things like choir practice or eating lunch with your students. Neat! Gameplay shines, Story shines, If I was further into this it might even rank higher up my list.
14. Atelier Series
The Atelier series is one of my faves. I love crafting, and the cute anime graphics. Each one has unique characters and different stories. Gameplay is largely the same in each version – however, there was one on Nintendo DS, that everyone seemed to hate and I really really enjoyed that had completely different gameplay. – There are a ton of Atelier games – and I’ve only played maybe 4? of them. There’s probably like 20+ of them. I feel like they’re running it into the ground, but also, always happy to hear another one has been released, I sometimes feel the story is slow, and that’s the only reason I don’t buy more / play more / or rank this game higher – however, just making our top 20 list proves it’s one of the best games for girls in the world.
15. Animal Crossing
Who here’s excited for new horizons?! I see COUNTLESS people getting Nintendo Switch JUST for this game – seriously over christmas, the animal crossing groups on Facebook were exploding with kids bragging about getting a switch – and others asking if they should get a switch, for the game. Meanwhile, it is a popular mobile game, and also popular retro game – we have people who still play the old installments because the game NEVER ends – ever… you can always sit down and play in the open word, crafting, designing, fishing, hunting (bugs), gardening, gathering and collecting items, dressing your character, and all of the cute characters, bright colors, and adorable graphics make it the perfect game for girls. This game is zen, it’s about relaxation, and there’s no time limits, or any real concept that you have to do something or should do something, it’s just about enjoying your life in the game. This makes it unlike really any other game out there – except maybe something like Minecraft – which isn’t nearly as cute or colorful as this. You can check out my review of the mobile game version of Animal Crossing here.
16. Stardew Valley
So Stardew Valley is kinda sorta like an Indie Harvest Moon – while Harvest Moon has generally been on the decline, Stardew Valley is a huge success. I played it quite a bit, but ultimately I got kinda bored because the dialogue is rather bland and repeats a lot and the characters just aren’t really very likable to me – but the gameplay is really great especially if you’re a fan of Harvest Moon. You take care of a farm, and different seasons allow you to work with different crops or different livestock, you take care of your house, upgrade your farm tools, and eventually yes you get married, and maybe even have some kids. You can cook, and there are festivals, and all of that. Like I said, it’s basically like Harvest Moon. – Because of that, 16 and 17 are pretty interchangeable on my list here. Stardew Valley now has multiplayer and the fact that Stardew Valley was made by just ONE person, and is still constantly receiving updates – makes it slightly more impressive than Harvest Moon. You Can Read My Review Of Stardew Valley Here.
17. Harvest Moon
If we’re going to give props to Stardew Valley, we have to give respect to Harvest Moon – in fact, I find the dialogue in Harvest Moon and characters to be a little bit more interesting than Stardew Valley, but that varries from Game to Game. Harvest Moon has had several installments over the years, and some are definitely better than others – but all and all – each one has that unique fun farming simulation gameplay. Harvest Moon was the first to create this type of game.
The sims is one of my favorite games – but only when I have cc (custom content) made by other players – because the base game is so friggin ugly — but with custom content – of which there’s hundreds if not thousands of things – from hair styles, to skin tones, to dresses, to eyes, makeup, toys, furniture, etc. – the game becomes beautiful and fun and exciting. It’s another one of those super open ended relaxing games – with so much freedom of choice, freedom of self expression – you can date, marry, have children, who inherit your traits, both physical, and personality wise, you can have jobs, have parties, have pets, the pets can breed and have babies, you can have roommates, have friends, go on vacation, explore the city, go to night clubs, go to restaurants, go to university – just my god, the possibilities are endless. But for some reason, after a bit, they get boring, I haven’t played a Sims game in 2+ years now. but I also ALWAYS end up going back to them time and time again. I would only ever recommend playing these on the PC and with lots of custom content. Otherwise the choices for character customization are ugly and not nearly as diverse.
19. Dragon Age
One of my favorite PC games of all times, lots of things to do, and your choices definitely matter. From different starting characters/stories, to different plot points, the choices you make have a great influence on how the story plays out. I find this game to be much more fun than traditional visual novels and other choice based games. Witcher is another good example of these types of games – I prefer Dragon Age a bit more – but Witcher is good too – but not good enough to get my next spot on my top 20 list. If I had to squeeze it in though it’d probably go right about here with Dragon Age, the two games are very similar, and which one you like more is just a matter of preference.
Pokemon has to get a spot on our list somewhere. Although the games get repetitive and boring fast due to really any sense of story – the cute characters and fun “gotta catch em all” mentality make for a great addictive gaming experience. Most of the recent forays into the series include the ability to play as a female and many dressup and character customization options as well. The cute graphics and adorable pokemon continue to steal the hearts of new generations of gamers each year.
So there you have it – that’s my top 20 games of the past 20 years – did your favorites make my list? If not then what’s your favorite game of the past 20 years?
There’s been so many great games – but my favorite decade for gaming is still the 90s – although in the last 5-10 years especially we’ve seen a lot of otome games and visual novels come out and for that I’m grateful.
There’s been a lot of other really really great games for girls on console, PC and mobile, but unfortunately my list only included an in depth look at my top 20.
In no particular order, here’s a list of some honorable mentions:
Torment – yes the original was before 2000, by one year, but there has been remastered versions and even sequels released since then
Rune Factory – a spin off of Harvest Moon
Zelda – my favorite Zelda is still a link to the past from back in the 90s, but the newer installments are great too
Clannad – and other visual novels by KEY – my favorite KEY novel is AIR.
Tsukihime – my first and probably favorite visual novel – it had horrible artwork but great characters and a great story – to my knowledge, the remake is still in works – but it’s been in works for like 6+ years and not much news is ever shared of it. The story is the best of any visual novel I’ve played – I have never seen the anime and I hear it’s garbage – but the novel was great. Super thankful to the fan translators who tackled such a huge script.
Life is Strange – I have not played the sequel yet – but the original game is one of my faves.
Shout Out To some of my favorite mobile games (dressup games, otome games, visual novels) In no particular order:
Mr Love Queen’s Choice
Anything by NTT Solmare – love you guys – keep giving us more please – my favorite is Wizardess Heart.
Anything by Voltage – even though you have to pay for most of their stuff
Anything by Ciagram – another great publisher of English Otome games
Idol M@ster – wish they’d bring it out in English
Ensemble Stars – also wish it was in English
Show By Rock – again wish it was in English
Bang Dream Girls
Dream Girlfriend / Dream Boyfriend / Animal Boyfriend / Fairy Doll – some of the best dressup games / gacha games around – lots of limited events and special items.
With that long list of shout outs I think we’ll end there – there are many many more games that couldn’t make the list for brevity’s sake. 🙂
These past 20 years of gaming have been great – where will the next 20 years take us?
I just recently purchased the Fairy Pink Tamagotchi On from Barnes and Noble. Here’s my thoughts after the first 24 hours. I did a lot of research prior to purchasing Tamagotchi On. Tamagotchi On is also known as Tamagotchi Meets in Japan and Tamagotchi Some in Korea. The Tamagotchi Meets has a lot of bugs which were all fixed for the English Tamagotchi On. The bugs included things such as draining the batteries in just a day or Tamagotchis getting glitched when they evolved.
I also read that a lot of people received used looking Tamagotchi On from amazon who had badly scratched screens despite being brand new. Luckily mine was in perfect condition. I don’t know if the scratched screens were just from Amazon, or maybe a bad batch, afterall it’s been out for about 2 months now so my tama is from a different manufacturing batch.
I chose to purchase from Barnes and Noble because you can get 30% off your first toy order when you join the free kid’s club. Tamagotchi On are pretty pricey around $50-60 so saving 30% is a big deal.
I also prepared for my Tamagotchi’s arrival by buying a “case” which as far as I can tell is just a decorative touch. It might offer some protection but not much. When it comes to Tamagotchi “cases” there’s 3 basic types. Silicone which is what I bought – I picked out a pink Pusheen case which still isn’t here. Crochet cases from places like Etsy – many of which have cat or rabbit ears. And Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer holders which people are using mostly as wrist straps. Unlike the original Tamagotchis of the 90s, the new ones are not keychains. They do have a place you could attach a chain, wrist strap, or lanyard though. Or just pop your tamagotchi into the Bath and Bodyworks hand sanitizer.
The other ways I prepared for my Tama’s arrival include buying a tiny screwdriver and some rechargeable batteries. The battery door is secured with a tiny screw. I bought an eyeglass repair kit. If you live in the united states you can buy these at the dollar tree store. It comes with 2 screw drivers that fit the tiny screw and a cleaning cloth that you can use on the screen. And it only costs a dollar.
I dunno about you, but I am a 90s kid. I grew up with the original Tamagotchi. The new Tamagotchi On is very similar to its 90s counterpart. The basic concept of the game remains the same, you navigate the menus with 3 buttons. The first button toggles through the menus, the 2nd button confirms your selection, and the third button cancels and goes to the previous screen.
The gameplay also has not changed much on the surface. You feed, play with, and clean up after your virtual pet. The big differences between Tamagotchi On and the 90s version are that the Tamagotchi On is in full color and has a backlit screen. The Tamagotchi On also features some new gameplay elements, the biggest of which is the ability to connect to the Tamagotchi On app and play minigames to earn coins, or meet other players from around the world. Once your Tamagotchi is an adult, you can even marry another player’s Tamagotchi and have babies, including twins. The genetics of the parents pass down and there are over 1 million different combinations and ways that your Tamagotchi can look. You can use the coins from the minigames to dressup your tama, decorate your room, buy toys or food for your tama, or put your Tama in a daycare so you can take time away, perfect if you have to leave your tama when you go to work or school.
If you have 2 Tamagotchi they can have playdates or communicate when you connect via infrared. You may want 2 Tama anyways because there are 2 versions *and more in Japan* with exclusive places you can unlock and a few Tamagotchi exclusive to each version. And in some cases (in Japan) there are rare genes in the special versions. The two places you can visit right now are Magic Land in the Purple or Green Magic Tamagotchi On US versions, or Fairy Land in Pink or Blue Fairy versions. The fairy version has more cute type Tamagotchi while the Magic version has more cool type tamagotchi. So which version you get may be influenced by what type of Tamagotchi you like best. If you like cute things like unicorns, or cool things like bats, vampires, witches, etc. But in the end it really doesn’t matter since you can marry and have babies and get the genes from all of the versions, even the Japanese exclusive versions, so you should just go for the shell color you like best. The white Magic one was limited in Japan but it’s now going to be an amazon exclusive in the US and Canada.
There are also many special events that happen. Like right now it is fall time and sometimes a tamagotchi will visit mine and they will go harvest fall food from the trees. Sometimes my tamagotchi will play hide n seek, or play with bubbles, or try to talk to me to get my attention.
It is a simple cute game with the object being to reach adulthood and breed and aim either for genes you like, or for rare genes that you want to collect.
Is it worth the high price? It faces a tough market, saturated with apps on the phone, some including other virtual pets, or even more complex games, all for free. each day new apps release, and kids have cell phones these days. But maybe Bandai never intended to target kids in the first place; perhaps they’re banking on people like me who collected the first tamagotchi to be willing to pay for the new Tamagotchi On.
What I like about Tamagotchi On is the feeling of nostalgia, the cuteness, both of the graphics, and the outer shell, and the ability to breed and see genes pass down to the babies. I also like that I only need to spend a few minutes a couple times a day checking in on the Tamagotchi. It doesn’t require much time, effort, or thought. It’s just a simple cute game. I like the feel of the egg in my hand, and the buttons are comfortably placed. This Tamagotchi is larger than the 90s version and seems a perfect fit for my hands. The color backlit screen is also a big improvement over the 90s version.
What I don’t like about Tamagotchi On is no built in keychain/wrist strap/lanyard mechanism, and sadly, I think I’ll enjoy the game for a few weeks and then bore/tire of it quickly because it’s just too simplistic. But on the plus side I do think I will revisit the Tamagotchi from time to time, whenever I feel like playing a cute and carefree game.
I had downloaded this game, Mr. Love Queen’s Choice, months ago, and forgot all about it, until I saw someone on instagram sharing a video stream of the game, and I was like wow that game looks fun. Then I saw it was by Elex, makers of Love Nikki Dressup Queen, and I was like, I need to play this game. Since then, I’ve sunk probably 20 hours into the game and am really enjoying it so far.
Release Date: I think I must have used Qoo App, because I am already playing the game, and it says Pre-register on the play store. Or maybe I got into beta? I am not sure, anyways, yes I am playing the game currently. You can check Qoo App, which is probably how I got it. And yes I’m playing it in English.
Overall: 65/80 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
Geeky: 3/5 – Basically just a card collecting game, but with a twist, you manage a TV studio and produce various korean tv shows and commercials. The cards have different skills such as if they’re good at drama or news or gourmet cooking shows, as well as stats for things such as affinity, decision, creativity, and other skills that you would expect an idol to need to have to be successful. Some cards are more rare than others. You can also level the cards up. But nothing too complex here, definitely a casual game.
Sweetie: 5/5 – there are otome aspects, sometimes the guys will call you, and it is partially voiced in English. The artwork is beautiful, the voice acting is pretty good, and the whole Kdrama Producer thing really speaks to anyone who loves simulation games.
Overview: 10/10 Mr Love Queen’s Choice lets you run a TV studio and recruit idols, as mentioned, with various specialties and stats. The main draw of the game is collecting idols, progressing through the story, and dating the idols. I think it is a unique concept, there’s a lot of idol producer games, but not too many that take a TV Studio theme.
Gameplay: 10/10 Gameplay is pretty simple, and if you’ve played Love Nikki you will be instantly familiar with the user interface as it seems to just be reskinned and given a new theme. No, this one is not a dressup game, but the way you progress through various levels, and the achievement system and basic interface are very similar. I give full marks to Gameplay because I’m really enjoying the simulation aspects of this game, casting idols based on their strengths as to who will perform best at various assignments. You also can experience otome game elements by choosing how to respond to various parts of the story. I am not sure how much consequence your choices carry – if any at all. But it is a nice touch.
Story: 10/10 – Actually for a mobile game, I’m really enjoying the story. First of all, yes I love korean dramas, and the thought of a game that lets you simulate your own Kdrama production studio, is a huge draw, but that’s not the only thing the story offers. You are daughter of a famous Producer who has passed away and left the studio to you, but it is struggling to stay afloat. As you struggle to step out of your Father’s shadow, and take the company to new heights, you also have recurring dreams about an accident that happened when you were a child. You narrowly escaped death and now your thoughts turn to trying to remember the face of the man who saved you all those years ago. As you’re occupied in your thoughts one day, you find yourself again in a similar situation and rescued by a mysterious man. Could it be the same man from your past? And why do these men keep appearing around you? One such man tells you that you are an Evolver, and that you do not know it yet, but you will soon awaken to your true powers. Leaving you (both as the character and the person playing the game) completely confused as to what he meant. Strange things also begin happening around town – could this be related to your supposed powers? The story offers a lot of mystery, intrigue, romance, and suspense. I have not fast forwarded or skipped a single screen.
Characters: 5/10 – I’m giving 5 out of 10 here. I do like the characters, and I appreciate they have a strong tie to the story, but there just aren’t enough characters to collect for an idol simulation game. I hope they continue to add new characters in the future!
Music: 5/10 – Kinda average, I don’t have strong feelings either way. I usually play mobile games on silent while other people are watching movies or something else anyways.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – I do like that they have voice acting in the game. It is in English, and some of the actors are really good… But some of them are not as good… I’d say overall though the acting is better than expected for a mobile game.
Graphics: 10/10 – I love the artwork of this game.
I am really into Idol M@ster Shiny Colors. Unlike other Idol M@ster Mobile Games or Love Live or Bang Dream, Idol M@ster Shiny Colors is not a rhythm game. Idol M@ster Shiny Colors is a simulation game. You are a producer and “hire” idols to work in your studio. You draw the idols from gacha.
Please note – I did not realize this when I played, but on your first 10 play gacha, you get UNLIMITED REROLLS by pushing the YELLOW BUTTON on the left. Once you are happy with your cards press the PINK button on the right. I didn’t know, I pushed the pink button and I only had one SSR. I have been thinking about starting over (and still might) but I think I had some pre-registration bonuses and other things I don’t want to lose by restarting the game. So definitely do not push the Pink button until you have the cards you want.
Collecting and dressing girls is the main appeal of the game. But what do you do once you have a team of idol girls? You can plan their schedule – like a true sim game. You can have them practice, give interviews, or other activities to promote their stats.
The stats also can be increased in a final-fantasy-style skill tree system where you spend skill points to unlock stat-bonuses like +20 vocals, +30 dance, +20 vitality, etc. Depending what “path” you take in the skill tree your girls will develop in different ways.
You have one main girl, and several other backup idols. The main girl is the one to gain from this skill tree system.
Performing a live show is quite different from other mobile idol games. It’s more almost like an RPG battle. You tap a girl’s face below the stage and then tap a “skill” along the left such as vocal, dance, etc. Then a colored bar will appear on the screen, try to time it right and tap the screen when the needle on the bar is in the white color. White will give you the highest bonus. Purple the least, and yellow a medium boost. You can also “link” your girls’ actions to perform together in one attack. On the right hand side of the screen are some other bubbles. i think, but could be wrong since I do not read Japanese, but think that you are competing against other idols, and as you perform these skills you can defeat the idols to the right hand side. But if you miss, you will notice your own idols on the left dropping off the screen. Once all the idols either on left or right are gone, the performance ends.
The artwork in the game is very kawaii, and SSR and higher cards have movie animations, both when retrieving from the Gacha and also when performing a live show. All of the idols are animated with Live 2D which brings the characters to life on your screen. Many of the cards have “multiple characters” on one card, and when performing a live show, or meeting the idols out in town, you may see special scenes featuring the characters all together.
The voice acting and music is also top notch as you would expect from an idol game.
Replay value is high due to limited time events that offer rewards such as gacha tickets and gems.
My only complaint is a lot of the gacha are for paid gems only. However, the gems are fairly cheap, you can get a few hundred gems for under $10 – I haven’t bought any yet.
Will we see Idol M@ster Shiny Colors get an English release? Probably not. They tried years ago to release some Idol M@ster games in English and it flopped – however, they wanted $65 for a mobile game – And worst of all, after it flopped, they pulled it down and even if you had paid for it you could no longer play it!!! I wish they would try again but with some of their “FREE” mobile games, either Shiny Colors, Theater Days, or Cinderella Girls. — But my hope is slim… However there are 2 things that give me a little bit of hope. 1.) They seem to understand that there may be English speaking players playing Shiny Colors, when the visual novel aspects come up and the choices appear, they show in English an emoji and English words that say “Perfect” “Good” “Normal” so even if you can’t read the choices you can pick the best response still. And when purchasing diamonds, the currency is shown in US Dollars, not in Yen, which is odd. I’ve literally never seen that ever before in any Japanese games. Which is a nice touch so I don’t have to try to convert it, if I ever decide to buy diamonds. And 2.) I have hope because we are getting more and more and more English idol games, with the upcoming Revue Starlight Re LIVE, or last year’s Bang Dream Girl’s Band Party and Utapri, or the ever popular Love Live School Idol Festival, we continue to receive more and more games in this genre, but we have yet to receive any of the free Idol M@ster games… Shiny Colors is only a few weeks old in Japan, maybe in a year or two we could hope to see an English release? But it is still fairly easy to play even in Japanese. But it would be nice to be able to enjoy the story! I’d be more likely to buy paid gems if the game was in English.
Overall Score 70/80 88% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”
Geeky: 5/5 – collect virtual waifus. very geeky. And simulation aspects set this game apart from other idol games.
Sweetie: 5/5 – the girls are adorable
Gameplay: 10/10 – finally a true simulation game, similar to Princess Maker or Tokimeki Memorial, you schedule your idol’s activities and watch their stats grow. I enjoy this much more than just a tappy tap rhythm game. Your girls develop in different ways based on your choices and I love that.
Story: 0/10 – I can’t read Japanese so this may not be a “fair score” but until an English version exists I can’t judge the storyline.
Characters: 10/10 – cute, gorgeous artwork, huge diversity of girls.
Artwork: 10/10 – cute, live 2D, SSR and higher cards have full movie animation sequences.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – all of the girls sound so cute.
Music: 10/10 – of course a game about idols is going to have catchy and cute music.
Replay Value: 10/10 – Lots of events, they give a lot of SR tickets and free Gems and the fact that this is a simulation game also adds replay value because the girls change based on decisions you make.
Overall Score 70/80 88% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”
Revue Starlight Re LIVE is an idol simulation game based on the popular anime Revue Starlight. The game uses Live 2D technology to bring the anime characters to life. You can pre-register now for the English release at the Pre-Registration website at https://www.en.revuestarlight-relive.com/preregistration/
They are running an event for Pre-Registration where they will give out rare girls based on the number of users who pre-register. So get all of your friends to join so we can all benefit from more Waifus.
The game and anime story follows a group of 9 girls all competing for the center stage, the shining star, lead performer role. The girls who were once friends now find themselves as rivals.
Not many details are available on the pre-registration site, but I expect an experience similar to Love Live School Idol, Bang! Dream Girl’s Band Party, or Idol M@ster.
A game where you collect cute girls, level them up, add them to your team, and play a rhythm game in solo or multiplayer game modes while enjoying a simple slice of life story.
Although the gameplay may be simple, the allure of collecting rare and time-limited girls will keep players coming back.
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World is a brand new game by Koei Tecmo Games to celebrate 20 years of the series. Wow has it been that long already? I still remember the first 2 games way back when. And you know what else I remember, a little-known Nintnedo DS offshoot game in the Atelier Series called Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island which came out about 10 years ago.
So why Am I mentioning Atelier Annie? Because, if you’ve ever played it, then you know what to expect from Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists. Both games are unlike any of the rest of the Atelier Games, and instead put you in a role of managing a city and completing missions to advance.
Nelke has some really negative reviews – at least on Steam, but I purchased Nelke anyways, on a hunch it’d be like Atelier Annie, and you know what, I’m not disappointed. If you liked Annie, you’ll like Nelke. Conversely, if you hated Annie, you’ll hate Nelke, and if you’ve never played either game, well there’s only one way to find out then, and that’s by giving it a go for yourself.
The reviews on steam are complaining how different Nelke is — and to some — how boring it is… But honestly Atelier Annie was one of my favorites in the series. I loved the humorous story / humorous main character, and yes, I enjoyed the more “Sim Like” gameplay of building a city.
Nelke is not without flaws however; Unlike Annie, it lacks the humor and charm, and feels a bit dry and dull so far in the story. I’m 4 hours in at this point… which brings to another flaw, in that 4 hours in, I’m still in the tutorial… This game is very very very linear in the tutorial… Like almost everything will be on lockdown… for a long while… expect your first 8+ hours to be linear AF….
After that though there really is a TON of stuff to do in this game. It is NOT boring at all. You can craft items, gather materials, build new buildings, talk to your villagers, discover new recipes, sell items in your shops, and invest in new routes and tools to use in your adventures. There are simplistic turn based combats and different characters to recruit to your village.
You have to complete some required, and other optional tasks within a set number of days within the game. This can make it difficult and frustrating, so save often and in multiple save slots to try to minimize time lost if you miss a goal.
The game either runs slow on my laptop, or just is really slow by design, to the point where its a little frustrating. It may just be my laptop though and can probably be improved if I adjust some settings.
The main complaint a lot of people have is that while exploring you do nothing but watch your characters walk by on the screen. They will converse, gather items, and occasionally run into random enemy encounters. The battles are also slow and tedious. I do agree with these basic gameplay flaws. However, they don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the other aspects of city building and mission completing and watching my city grow and evolve based on my decisions and choices made in where to invest and what to build next, etc.
The graphics are insanely adorable as always with the Atelier series.
Unlike a lot of the other games in the Atelier Universe, this one does not have English voice acting. I do like to have the original voice actors, but I also sometimes like to have an English cast too. I was disappointed they didn’t offer both.
I assume replay value is high because each city you build will be pretty unique and you will attract different stores, different npcs, and different quests based on how your city is developing.
All and all I’d rate the score card like this:
Title: Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists – Ateliers Of The New World –
Platform – (for this review The PC version was used.) It’s also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Geeky: 3/5 – Points for bringing back some of the popular characters from this series over the past 20 years.
Sweetie: 5/5 – For the casual gameplay and kawaii art
Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”
Gameplay: 7/10 – I do love the sim aspects, having been a huge fan of Atelier Annie (easily one of my top 3 games in the Atelier universe). But I do agree that the game is slow and the wait for the payoff/reward is pretty steep. The game also doesn’t run great, can’t tell if it’s just my PC though maybe.
Story: 3/10 – I’m not loving the story, or lack there of. I’m 4 hours in and there’s not much of any story to be found; it does keep hinting at solving a mystery about a fruit from a legendary tree. But compared to other Atelier games the story feels less engaging so far.
Characters: 10/10 – I love seeing popular characters from the Atelier games return all in a brand new game. I also love the new characters that were created just for this game.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – The original Japanese voice cast does a great job and sounds super cute, but where’s the dual English voice acting? A bit disappointing especially for a 20th anniversary edition, you’d think they would have put a little more time and effort into the localization on this one. It feels cheap and rushed to not have both to choose from.
Music: 10/10 – Always love the music in the Atelier games, and Nelke doesn’t disappoint here either.
Replay Value: 8/10 – I think replay value will be very high, but I’m not looking forward to dredging through 5+ hours of linear handheld tutorials each time.
Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”
Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who does not mind slower paced casual simulation games, or to anyone who remembers playing Atelier Annie on the DS. I like Atelier Annie a lil bit more because of the humorous story; but Nelke’s story may pick up and become more interesting. I may come in eventually and update my review scores if I find the story to improve as I get further into the game. Gameplay wise though it is almost identical to Atelier Annie, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check Nelke out.
There are many tutorials out there for how to play Japanese Google Play Store Apps on Your (non-Japanese) Android Device. When I got my Google Pixel 3 a few weeks ago I researched how to install games such as Idol M@ster Million Live. I found a tutorial of how to use Tunnel Bear VPN and create a 2nd Google account and change your country. I did so, and was able to download a few Japanese games no problem… but somehow inexplainably, a few hours later, without me doing any thing at all to my phone or new Google account, my country had changed to the United States. And Google has this weird policy where you can only change your country once every 365 days… I could in theory make about 365 different Google Play Store accounts – but there’s a much faster and easier way that allows you to download Japanese Google Play Store Apps without needing a VPN like Tunnelbear and without creating a 2nd Google Play Store account and without having to change your country.
The answer is Qoo App. I had used Qoo App before on Bluestacks to download some games so I was familiar already with the service.
Please Note: I have no idea how safe this is… I have not had any issues but I am not responsible for anything that may happen to your account or your device… Qoo App claims to personally verify every game on their site and be virus free. But I don’t actually know how safe this is – so please understand you are accepting some risk in using this service.
You will need to register an account and download the qoo app itself.
Qoo App cannot be obtained in the Google Play store.
But Android devices allow you to install apps from other sources – you will be presented a warning about how this app may harm your device – If you feel brave go ahead and accept the risk and install Qoo App.
Once Qoo App is installed, launch Qoo App to browse their games. It claims the games are coming directly from the google play stores. So now you can finally get those games that claim to not be available in your country.
Most games will not be in English – except for a few global versions of games that support multiple languages.
You can even Pre-register for up and coming games.
You can search for games with different tags, such as Otome or Fashion or Idol or RPG or Card to name a few! You’ll also be shown related similar apps to explore. You can also see the newest added games or see what’s popular right now.
Once you find a game you like, you can install it right from Qoo App.
After the game is installed, you will find it in your app drawer, just like a regular app that you would download from the Google Play Store. You don’t need to launch Qoo App to launch a game downloaded from Qoo App. Just launch the app right from your app drawer or create a shortcut on your home screen.
Qoo App lets you get games from Japan, China, Korea, and other Asian territories.
Not all games are available, but a huge selection are there.
Qoo App also has exclusive offers for in-game event items and bonuses.
They also provide reviews and news about new and upcoming Asian games.
Say goodbye to TunnelBear VPN and Hello to Qoo App.
Overview: 10/10 Helix Waltz is very similar to Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary with a few differences. It has a slightly more detailed / less “cutesy” artstyle, and more focus on story. In fact, before getting the meat of the game, you must go through a very lengthy tutorial, that for a mobile/casual gamer will probably take more than a few days to complete. In this tutorial you learn a lot about the story and setting of Helix Waltz. This is where we see the majority of the differences that set Helix Waltz apart from other similar Dressup Games.
Story: 10/10 Helix Waltz puts you in role of a young orphan adopted by a (former) noble lady, and being groomed for a life of royalty. A strange visitor also enlists your help as a spy amongst the noble court. Your job is to chat with other nobles, gather intel as a spy, and impress them with your fashion to work your way back as a noble family. There is definitely more backstory than found in most dressup games, and that story is tied to the gameplay too.
Gameplay: 9/10 Like Love Nikki Dressup Queen and Romance Diary, you compete in Fashion Battles with NPCs to advance through various story stages. You collect various items which you layer and equip together to create unique looks. Each level requires certain styles or colors of clothing to get the best score possible. Such as equipping a dress, or tops and bottoms, along with shoes, stockings, jewelry, necklaces, rings, bracelets, hairstyles, makeup, and so on.
Unlike Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary, the majority of the game is focused on navigating through the story and playing against NPCs. Until you reach at least level 19 when you finally complete the lengthy tutorial. Playing 2-3 hours a day, it will still take a few days to complete all of the tutorial missions to get to the free play mode. I have yet to complete the tutorial so I’m not sure if Helix Waltz allows you to compete against other human players as well.
Also unlike Love Nikki Dressup Queen, but similar to Romance Diary, Helix Waltz focuses more on Otome aspects, but not so much on romance. Instead it has a very interesting story of intrigue and deceit. At the waltzes, you can search for specific NPCs or you can wander about and bump into random NPCs, you can select various things to chat about and choose your responses which will affect the NPC’s moods and overall opinion of you. You can also challenge the NPCs to a fashion battle, or you can eavesdrop on NPCs to gain valuable intel.
I enjoyed the unique approach in both story and gameplay to focus more on infiltrating the noble court and gathering intel. I didn’t enjoy the linear nature of the game in the early levels and lengthy tutorial.
Artwork: 4/5 – The artwork is very detailed, but to me it isn’t as cute as similar games like Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary. This may just be down to personal tastes. I’m sure some of my readers prefer the art style of Helix Waltz over the other games as well.
Music: 4/5 – The classical music fits the game’s theme very well. You also have the option to change the music later in the game.
Geeky: 2/5 – Although the aspects of infiltration and espionage add a new exciting twist to the traditional gameplay and story mechanics of most dressup games, this game is still for casual female gamers and not likely to appeal to a wider audience.
Sweetie: 4/5 – Helix Waltz loses a point for slightly less appealing artwork (compared to similar dressup games). Otherwise, those who enjoy dressup games, and a good story, with strong female lead, are sure to enjoy Helix Waltz.
Overall Score: 43/50 86% B “Very Good Game For Girls”