Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Videogame Review

With the 2018 Winter Olympics well under way, I’ve been thinking a lot about games and anime (such as Yuri on Ice which I reviewed here) that showcases the dedication that a skater must possess. I remembered fondly an NDS game from “a few” years ago that I played that allowed you to take on the life of a professional skater, competing in various events, training, dating, and dealing with drama.

This game, as it turns out, was Imagine: Figure Skater for the Nintendo DS. The game first came out in 2008 (at least in North America), making it “retro” by my definition (I consider anything greater than 10 years old to be retro.)  I’m thinking about digging out my cartridge and playing it again this weekend. I’ve also been thinking about rewatching Yuri!! on Ice.

Imagine Figure Skater Nintendo DS Otome Olympic Ice Skating Game

Imagine Figure Skater Nintendo DS Otome Olympic Ice Skating Game

First, you might look at the box art for this game, and think it is for little girls. — Not true! The original boxart in Japan was much better – featuring anime style artwork. Why they went with a photograph of an iceskater on the US version, I dunno. They should have aimed it at anime/otome fans, but this was 10 years ago, before otome games had much foothold in the US.

Gamestop has the game in-stock for just $0.99 cents! – If you have a powerups reward card, Even better, you can grab it for just $0.79 cents!!! OMG… Go, go, go!! If you like anime, ice skating, dating sims, or otome games, it will be the best 99 (or 79) cents you could spend today. Click here to buy it before it’s gone.

There’s also apparently a sequel to this game, called Imagine: Ice Champions. I have not played the sequel yet, but Gamestop has it for just $1.59.

Imagine: Ice Champions Nintendo DS Olympic Ice Skating Otome Dating Game

Imagine: Ice Champions Nintendo DS Olympic Ice Skating Otome Dating Game

These games were perhaps too ahead of their times – with the relatively recent popularity of Yuri!! on Ice, and increased representation of Otome Games in the United States, I wonder how a sequel for Nintendo Switch would fare these days, if marketed properly. Why try to forcefully create an audience, when there already exists a large audience begging publishers for such games. Do your research and understand your target audience better.

Most of us are 20+ years old, otaku/anime fans, and would rather buy the original box art on the right, than that which was designed for the US on the left. This alienated most of your “built in audience” while trying to build a new audience with younger girls.

Thankfully the art in the actual game is fully done in an anime and kawaii style which could appeal to either audience.

Now on to the review!!


Title: Imagine: Figure Skating

Developer: Spike

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platform: Nintendo DS

Genre: Career/Life Simulation Game with Dressup Game, Dating Sim and Otome Game aspects

Where to Buy: Gamestop has both of these for about $0.79 and $1.99. Check out the links above.

Geeky: 5/5 – Gameplay is solid, the graphics are a little bit pixelated, but that’s probably just limitations of the software of the time ten years ago. Gameplay using the stylus to perform ice skating moves is both fun and challenging. It offered high replay value too with different girls to play as and different events and dialogue options. It gave a good look at what skaters go thru when training. If you enjoy watching the Winter Olympics, or enjoy anime such as Yuri!! On Ice, then you will enjoy this game!

Sweetie: 5/5 – This game has a little bit of everything, all in one very cute package! Ice Skating is beautiful and elegant and as you compete you unlock new areas to explore, new outfits to wear, and you interact with friends, lovers, and rivals. It has a good dose of comedy, slice of life, drama, and surprise.

Overall: 59/70 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Game Review

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Game Review

Gameplay: 10/10 – Gameplay is where Imagine: Figure Skating really shines! When the game starts, you select one of three girls, each with her own strengths and weaknesses both on and off the ice. From there you’re whisked away to a tutorial where you get to try skating for the very first time.

Do well and advance through various qualifying rounds improving your skill and technique. You will earn money to buy new outfits and get to travel to compete in new arenas and unlock new events.

When not on the ice, you will go to school, work part time jobs, go on dates, or spend time with your friends. Rivals will show up both on and off the ice too which add to the story.

You skate by using the Nintendo DS stylus on the lower touch screen. You perform jumps and spins and get scored for each of your routines. As you play and complete your training, you will unlock more advanced moves to add to your routine.

You have complete control over designing your own ice skating routines. You select your outfits, music, and choreograph your routines to progress through the game and ultimately guide your character to the nationals.

Imagine: Figure Skating Nintendo DS Anime Games for Girls

Imagine: Figure Skating Nintendo DS Anime Games for Girls

Story: 7/10 This game, just like Yuri!! On Ice, does an excellent job portraying the struggles and triumphs of those training for life as a professional or Olympic figure skater. Just like Yuri!!! On Ice, Imagine: Figure skating has that tantalizing blend of romance and rivalry both on and off the ice. It also showcases themes such as platonic friendship, family, travel, adventure, and sportsmanship. Storywise though, this game comes no where close to generating the same emotions and reactions in its audience compared to the beloved Yuri!! On Ice, which has been countless praised by real figure skaters for its realistic portrayal of events and memorable characters.

Characters: 8/10 The characters are cute! I loved the dressup aspects and loved having multiple girls to choose from when starting the game. I loved how this game draws you into the life of the characters, showing you moments of their life both on and off the ice. I didn’t quite connect with them as emotionally and deeply as I had hoped to. This is also probably why the story felt a bit flat.

Graphics: 7/10 – The graphics are a bit outdated, but there’s so many options for costumes and the ability to pick different girls is great. The girls are all so cute.

Imagine: Figure Skater Dressup Game

Imagine: Figure Skater Dressup Game

Music: 7/10 – I feel like almost everything about this game, is about a solid 7, it’s good, but not great. The great gameplay though makes up for the rather “average” other details. I’d say the music is fine, but ultimately far from memorable.

Replay Value: 10/10 – With different girls and different outcomes along with the ability to customize just about everything, this game has very high replay value.

Overall: 59/70 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

If you enjoyed Imagine: Figure Skating and Imagine: Champions on Ice, you may also like the other Imagine Games which you can view here. You may also like Princess Debut, which I love and plan to review shortly. There’s also a game called Princess on Ice that you may enjoy – I have not played that one just yet myself.

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Videogame Review was originally published on – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News


The Best Upcoming & New Release 2018 PC Games for Girls

Back in the 90s I barely played PC Games, because so few existed that appealed to my tastes. There were exceptions of course, Torment, Fallout 1 and 2, Baulder’s Gate, Icewind Dale, King’s Quest (and other Sierra titles), Ever 17 (and anything else by Hirameki International), Petz, Black and White, Creatures, Graduation 95, and a handful of other gems that weren’t available on my consoles.

But largely, console gaming was the highlight of my childhood. That’s where all the anime games or JRPGs or story rich games were, especially in the 16 and 32 bit eras, which still remain my favorite gaming period of all time. Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, and Dreamcast, the majority of my favorite games, still to this day, lived on one of those great consoles.

But nowadays, I barely play console games anymore. Occasionally there may be an exclusive that catches my eye, such as Persona 5 on PS4, or Tokyo Mirage Sessions on the Wii U. I even bought a Wii U just for that game in fact.

But now, so many games are cross platform, and so many people like me, who grew up in the 16 and 32 bit eras are making their own indie games now such as To the Moon, Always Sometimes Monsters, Rakuten, Undertale, etc. This completely changes the gaming landscape. Now PC is by and far my preferred gaming “platform” of choice.

And where once, JRPGs reigned on Consoles, they now thrive on the PC or even on mobile devices, and in the past 5 years we’ve seen a huge explosion of visual novels and Otome games as well on both PC and mobile – and barely any of those have been released (at least in English) on consoles.

Where once the PC had almost no games that appealed to my tastes, now suddenly, more and more each year, I find the PC to offer so many games I want to play that I don’t have the time, nor money, to possibly play them all! I have over 700 steam games already (and a handful on Origin, and about 50 more on GOG, and then of course my old CDs from the 90s which have yet to get released digitally.) And that’s not taking into account the PC’s ability to emulate the console games I own (probably around 300+ games there too). And emulation is perfectly legal as long as you own the original games, which I still do.

This puts the number of games I can play on my PC right now today, without buying a single thing, at well over 1,000 games! — How many of those games I’ve actually played, is probably around 25%, and how many I’ve beaten to completion / all endings etc, is probably like 5%. lol. But the point is, there has never been a better time to play girl games on your PC. If you’re a girl, there’s plenty of games that you should check out on PC. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago; my how the landscape has changed!

Here is a list of games due out in 2018 that are on my radar! I’ve selected these games for one of the following reasons: Decisions Matter, Branching Plot, Multiple Endings, Cute/Kawaii Graphics, Excellent Story, Innovating (or at least really fun) Gameplay, and Customization. If you look for the same qualities in your games, check out the list below. Warning, it’s long.

This list is not in any order – largely it’s sorted by release date, because that’s how I was browsing the games while researching this post.

Sea Dogs

Our first recommendation reminds me of Horizons New Dawn, one of my all time favorite super nintendo games.

Sorcery Jokers

This visual Novel Has Some Beautiful Graphics

Til the Dawn, Waiting

This looks sad, and also features animals, a powerful combination to tug at any heart strings

Franky the Bumwalker

Super cute and colorful adventure game that probably doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Dragon Cliff

This indie RPG features an extesnive crafting system and city building aspects as well as cute retro graphics.

Stunt Corgi VR

If you’re lucky enough to have a VR headset you might like this title that lets you create obstacle courses and watch a cute corgi try to navigate the courses you create.

Project Bits

If you like rhythm games, you might like this one with cute anime artwork. Plus it’s free to play.

The Mind Hero

An anime visual novel where you help 8 different characters overcome their trauma. It aims to teach psychology inside a video game. It’s also free and features a comic book style.


This looks to be a very emotionally engaging and beautiful pixel retro style RPG. The developers have said that the game uses real-life world war 2 letters that were written by soldiers to their families.


The ability to customize everything about your mechs and the appeal of mecha genres from decades of anime such as macross, robotech, go lion, voltron, evangelion, gundamn, etc, make this appeal to me, despite the more dark realistic graphics. The gameplay looks fantastic. And who doesn’t love giant robots?

In The Valley of Gods

Explore pyramids in this narrative adventure.


This game aims to balance the skills and economy of its players so that they are forced to work together. Sounds promising. Let’s see how that works once the game releases.

Grow Bot

This just looks so utterly adorable!

Boyfriend Dungeon

With a name like Boyfriend Dungeon, how could this not make our list? It’s an otome dating sim and hack n slash RPG adventure, where the boys are weapons.

The Iron Oath

I am beyond excited for this game! True, it doesn’t have the visual aesthetic that I like, but nearly everything about the gameplay appeals to me greatly! Decisions matter, the guild management sounds fun, every character has a back story. Characters die / perma death, you recruit new characters, I’m ready to play this awesome looking tactical RPG.

Living the Deal

Business Management and Life Simulation Game. This one is high on my wishlist (despite how hideously ugly the characters look lol).

Wolf Gang

Play as cute wolves chasing cute sheep in a game which promises unlockable content and character customization.

Freedom Planet 2

Furrie fans and fans of old school Sonic games still love the original Freedom Planet, and soon the wait is over for the much anticipated sequel.

The Forgettable Dungeon

Co-op Action RPG that you can play with up to 15 friends.

Next Up Hero

This MMORPG has some unique gameplay features, such as no healing, except for when you die. When you die, you come back as an “avenger” and can heal other players, until you decide to take over one of their corpses and rejoin the fray. When you die, someone can also take over your character. So don’t get too attached.

Leilani’s Island

This super colorful platformer looks like a lot of fun and has a great brightly colored retro style.

Sentou Gakuen: Revival

This is an MMORPG Visual Novel. All of the characters in the novel are other players just like you. Not sure how that will work out, but it’s innovative and different – that’s for sure. And that alone makes me curious enough to want to play this one.

Dungeon of Zaar

Dungeon of Zaar has a great style, and some fun looking gameplay mechanics including pvp and local multiplayer.


Wytchwood looks absolutely beautiful and the crafting and exploration gameplay mechanics really appeal to me as well.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

They promise that choices will truly matter in this RPG inspired by D&D and featuring pirates on the high seas.

Cyberdimension Neptunia 4

A new Neptunia game, because why not? I love the cute graphics and silly nonsense storylines of these games.

Jenny LeClue

I love the handdrawn artstyle here. But what I love even more is that decisions and choices matter and “permanently” influence other “characters” (by that I think the Devs mean in sequels or episodic content that will be created.) The Devs also say that “The goal is for everything to be interactive, to reward players who poke and prod at every last item and object with insight, secrets, and humor.” Which fits my playstyle anyways. Exploration is often my favorite part of gameplay.


They don’t have much information available. But you play as a fox in a colorful world.


This is a VR game although it’s not listed as requiring a VR headset to play so that remains to be seen. If I’m able to play without a VR Headset (because I don’t own one yet), I’m going to be all over this game. It has a deep “psychological” story. Your choices matter. The Devs say “The choices you make from every angle ripple through time and space, as you learn their story.” – I’m extremely interested in this game – maybe even enough to break down and buy a VR headset if it requires one.

Skull & Bones

This must be the year of pirate games. This is the 3rd such game to make my list. You start out very low, and then recruit your own gang of pirates and customize everything about your ship, as you grow your infamousy and riches. You can play alone or with up to 5 players.

Donut Country

This somehow reminds me of Katamari, except instead of rolling things up, you’re a hole and you swallow things, and the more things you swallow the bigger your hole gets, allowing you to swallow even larger things. I love Katamari, so I suspect I’ll love this game too. The cute colorful graphics also appeal to me.


Speaking of Katamari, here is a new game from Katamari’s creator. In this game you explode everywhere. The bigger your explosion, the more friends who come to play. The graphics are super cute, things like frying pans, bacons, eggs, poo, etc all with cute little anime faces drawn on. It’s very colorful. And there’s nothing else like it.

Darksiders III

If you’re a fan of the first 2 Darksiders games, the 3rd installment is due out in 2018.

Lost in Harmony

They’re hailing this as the first musical runner – but I don’t think it is, because I distinctly remember a game on PC a few years ago that let you run to any MP3 on your PC. But well regardless of if it’s first or not, it looks fun. You can create your own levels, as well as customize your characters.

Just Us

Animal breeding, farming, crafting, fishing, foraging, and probably a pretty deep philosophical story about a couple questioning if they’re the only people left in the world after a catastrophic event.

Lost in Bardo

Pretty looking pixel game with a philosophical story and puzzle solving gameplay.


A gorgeous looking point n click adventure paying hommage to many 90s retro games.

Chiffa 2

Play as a cute little fox trying to save his best friend, a chicken, from a big bad wolf.

OSM Old School Musical

The crazy looking chaotic gameplay and colorful retro graphics make this rhythm game stand out from the rest

Orcish Inn

Very cute survival game in which you farm, build, and manage a tavern.

College Days

Visual Novel with some very pretty artwork.


Interesting concept for a game, you cast and interpret astrology charts as a doctor to answer your patient’s questions. I’m kinda interested in astrology (especially numerology (not necessarily related to this game just as an aside)) so my interest in this title is piqued by sheer curiosity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game about astrology before.

Village Monsters

Animal Crossing clone, looks cute, fun, and relaxing.

Where Cards Fall

This looks fun, and seems to have a fairly decent story about childhood memories shaping our perspectives as adults.

Alone Without Her

A story where your choices matter about a man who survives while his wife dies in an experiment that would freeze them for 1,000 years. The concept sounds similar to Passengers, which I saw last year and rather liked, so I’ll probably enjoy this story too.

Miracle Mia

This game looks very colorful and cute.

Cursed Lands

For the first time in any Winter Wolves game you can sleep with more than one love interest. The devs say – However, they also caution you to be ready to deal with the consequences of that decision. You can bluff and intimidate enemies in this RPG / Dating sim hybrid.

Fault Silence the Pendant

Takes place 5 years before the events in Fault Milestone One

Xaiga Wars

Visual Novel with Very Cute Graphics

A Near Dawn

A Psychological Visual Novel / Point n Click adventure with full voice acting and multiple endings.

Unto The End

This game looks both beautiful and challenging, and it also features choices and consequences that change the story of the game.

Once Upon a Coma

I love the art style of this game. I’m betting the truth at the end of the story is also pretty sad.

Broken Reality

Colorful Adventure Game which is set in a parody world based on the 1990s internet. Cut ads with your katana, collect likes to upgrade your social media accounts to reach new worlds, purchase upgrades, and make new friends. The Devs promise a game with no violence as well.

We the Revolution

Fun looking political simulator based on the French revolution.

Dodgeball Rising

Cute looking anime style multiplayer dogeball game


Gorgeous looking little voxel game with lots to explore and collect

Kitten Super Adventure

I actually promoted this game awhile back I’m excited because it looks to combine Spyro with Adorable kittens.

Mineko’s Night Market

Play as a cute girl, in a cute Japanese inspired world, full of cats! Extensive crafting system, fun mini games, and a market where you can sell anything you make or find. I’m definitely picking this game up!


From the dev team that brought you Skullgirls comes a new 2D adventure, with music provided by the composer of Secret of Mana.

The Eldritch Zookeeper

Raise horrible monsters in this simulation game inspired by Themepark World and Dungeon Keeper

Battle of the Bands

Another visual novel game. This one doesn’t look terribly good to me, but I will play it before passing judgement.


Looks quite similar to Terraria. I love Terraria… but I wonder what this game has that will differ enough from Terraria to make me want to purchase yet another minecraft clone.

Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass

Colorful little RPG with an Adult Story

The Gardens Between

Beautiful puzzle game with time travel and nostalgia.

Knights and Bikes

This charming adventure game is full of nostalgia and looks fun, especially in multiplayer. It’s from the creator of Little Big Planet and Tearaway Unfolded which I loved both of those games, so I have pretty high hopes for this one as well.


Love, Relationships, and unresolved trauma? Sign me up for that. 🙂 This looks to have a fairly deep and depressing story.


I have a feeling this game will play like Papers Please or Beholder. You work in a food inspection booth, how you react to NPCs determines your fate and changes the story and endings.


A hand-drawn point n click adventure game about robots.

My Girlfriend

A visual novel in a highschool setting with cute girls.

Ciel Fledge

Basically Princess Maker – Which I have reviewed here. I need more Princess Maker in my life, so heck yeah, I’ll be buying this.

The Luckless Seven

Visual Novel that differentiates itself from the rest with an innovative card game system.

The Last Night

Absolutely beautiful looking scifi game.

Echo Tokyo

Dark Visual Novel set in a dystopian Tokyo

Tiny Thor

Colorful looking retro platformer where you throw Thor’s hammer to attack your foes.

City Game Studio

Manage your own gaming company

Prehistoric Kingdom

Jurassic Park simulator anyone?

The Adventure Pals

Cute Comical and Colorful little platformer


Anime sandbox game with farming and quest mechanics similar to Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon

Warped Reality

Cyberpunk Visual Novel with truly lovely anime inspired artwork


OMG I almost forgot about this game. I remember when it was first announced, and now, the wait is almost over, as it will launch some time in 2018

Reality Raiders

Perhaps inspired by Secret of Evermore and Chrono Trigger, this little indie RPG lets you travel through different periods in the past to understand your present and shape your future.

Mystic Destinies Echoes

This visual novel has a somewhat realistic painterly style and takes place in Atlantis.

Snares of Ruin

6 Romanceable Ladies. You can form platonic or romantic relationships. How you interact with them determines the flow of the story.

Detective Case and Clown Bot: The Express Killer

This point n click has cartoon-network or simpsons esque animation. It probably doesn’t take itself too seriously either.

Beavers Be Damned

Cute 2 player Co-Op game where you play as cute beavers avoiding crazy obstacles as you try to build your dam.


Adorable colorful puzzle game that takes place inside monsters’ heads. Seems to have an emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving. My only concern is it may be quite short as it only has 9 levels.

I Saw Her Standing There

Colorful kinda abstract looking action/puzzle game with over 300 levels to explore. The devs say that their game is “about love, death, and pancakes”.

Wonder Wickets

Colorful and Cute Miniature Golf game.

Dab on Em Haters

Celebrity Vlogger Simulation with cute pixel graphics – Caution this one has explicit insults and hate speech, but that’s kinda the point of the game. Pick which topics to vlog about, then respond to your comments. The goal is to like positive comments while “dabbing” negative comments. (Do you know how old this game makes me feel? I thought dabbing was a thing kids do with their arms for selfie pics, that some football player started. Since when did Dabbing become a negative word? lol. I’m too old for this game. lol.)


I actually mentioned this game in a roundup of Casino Simulation Games – It used to be a web browser based game, and now it’s coming to Steam. I don’t know what if any improvements or changes have been made between versions. It’s a city building simulation that lets you build, run, and play in your own casino.

Midnight Quest

Very cute looking point n click adventure game.

Heroes of Arzar

Cute, free anime collectible card game


Well, I had never heard of this comic or the author, Jason Shiga, until just now. The art style kinda reminds me of the Oatmeal. Apparently this comic creator incorporates puzzles and choose your own adventure elements into his comic books (maybe similar to the goosebump novels I read as a kid back in the 90s? lol). I’m curious to check this game, and some of his comics, out now.

Love Story: The Beach Cottage

I usually don’t play hidden object games – I know a lot of girls love them, it’s just never been my cup of tea. But this one sounds intrigueing because of the sad story. A woman very late in her life (50+) returns to a beach home to execute her deceased father’s final will. She hasn’t been back in this house for over 40 years, and she will relive memories of her first lost love and become stronger in the process.

Survived By

This is an MMO Bullet Hell Game with Permadeath. After you die, you come back a little bit stronger as one of your descendants. It says there are different descendants to collect. Might be interesting, although probably also very frustrating too.

I Love My Brother

While many readers will be put off by the nature of this story being such a taboo subject, I’ve included it in the list anyways for a few different reasons. 1.) It’s a visual novel. 2.) You play as Beth (a girl) 3.) This makes it an Otome Game. 4.) It’s a game told by reading entries in Beth’s Journal 5.) The journal is full of cute colorful stickers, beautiful handwriting, and other charming graphics. 6.) The story doesn’t bother me that much. Some of my favorite Korean Dramas have that incest component, such as 90 Days Time to Love and Autumn in my Heart. 7.) Little Sister Kana is one of the greatest visual novels of all time. 8.) If the game handles the story tastefully, and doesn’t make it just a raunchy taboo fantasy, there’s potential here for a very sweet and sad love story (such as in the games and Kdramas I’ve mentioned above). 9.) For all of those reasons I will give this game a shot.

Sister’s Love

I can’t tell if this game is the same as the one above or not. It also is about a brother and sister in love. Different names though. It’s also told through a journal, although the stickers and graphics in the journal look different. In this one they have a more mature/romantic look, and in the other a more bright colorful cheery innocent look. Anyways it’s included for the same reasons as the above.

Maze of Adventures

The retro style colorful graphics in this puzzle game look quite cute.

Lunch Truck Tycoon 2

Open World Simulation Game that lets you manage a food truck. I want some street tacos now lol.


I don’t really approve of hunting whales and dolphins (IRL), but the game sounds fun anyways. Loosely based on Moby Dick, this game allows you to customize your ship and crew as you sail around the world to hunt Moby Dick, in what they call a whaling strategy game.

Ascendant Hearts

Humorous Parody Visual Novel with some lovely graphics that pokes fun at itself as well as the genre.

Dude, Stop

I don’t really know if there’s any point to this game lol. People seem to think it’s funny. At least the developer thinks he is funny. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. But it’s strange, and dares to be different, so it earned a spot on our list anyways. The point of the game is to do the opposite of whatever the developer (narrator) tells you to do, or not, it’s up to you. His narration changes as you play depending on your choices. Make him angry and he will yell at you.


I really love the artwork in this visual novel. Cicadas are annoying though. I distinctly remember hating that sound effect in other visual novels (I think Tsukihime used them? I can’t recall which novel it was now, but it talked about it being hot in the summer and the cicadas hissing. And it had this horrible cicada sound effect and no background music at this part, and it drove me crazy.) — Anyways here’s another visual novel with probably more equally annoying cicada buzzing sound effects. PS: I always thought Cicadas were a Japanese thing – until last summer when I heard them in real life, here in Western Pennsylvania. They apparently only come up from their burrows once every 17 years – Thank god because they are annoying AF. And I have a phobia about insects. — I’ll still play this beautiful visual novel, despite my fear and loathing of Cicadas (or insects in general lol).

My Big Sister

I kinda feel like this game is trying too hard to be dark and edgy and “cool”. The character you play as is a 12 year old girl (although the devs can’t seem to decide if she’s 8 or 12 as they make reference to her being 8 as well). She tries to rescue her 19 year old sister after they are both kidnapped. The graphics are cute, but the writing looks like trash. How many 12 year olds cuss like sailors? They say she has a sarcastic playful attitude and that she’s not as scared as her big sister – but still, that seems too much. This game’s script looks terrible and that’s just from the screenshots and trailer. Random explicit words for no reason at all do not make your game more “adult” or “dark” or “edgy” or “cool”. In fact, it kinda makes your game the opposite of those things. Of course, occasionally well timed explicit words can add to the feelings/emotions of a story. But when there’s 3 or 4 expletives used within a 6 sentence paragraph, that’s way too many. Which is a shame, because the graphics and actual gameplay look very nice.

Spring Breeze

Chinese Visual Novel (with English subtitles) where you date twin sisters and experience university life in China. I feel this translation and writing may be subpar, but the graphics are really pretty, so depending on the price, it may still be worth checking out. Sounds short. 10 scenes, and only 2 endings.

Tale of Toast

Very cute looking free-to-play MMORPG. It promises to not be pay-to-win as the only micro-transactional items will be things like transferring to another server or buying cosmetic only items such as pets and costumes (that do not grant stat bonuses). It has optional PVP and procedurely generated dungeons. It uses a classless system and includes crafting and exploration.

FEN: Prologue

Survival game that has you dumpster diving for resources. Cute pixel graphics and a procedurely generated world.

As an aside, there’s another game, simply called FEN that will release at the end of the month as well.


Beautiful game where you play as a fox, doing things foxes do, hunting rabbits, exploring the forests, etc. It reminds me a lot of Shelter 1 and 2 (dunno if it’s by the same dev team, or just inspired by such games though).


Play as an adorable skeleton and his best friend, a cute little bat in this rogue like, where monsters in the dungeons are friendly and human invaders are the enemy.

Talk to Saki

An idle visual novel game, where time passes in real time. You type questions to Saki using keywords, and check in on her every day. New conversations happen each day.

(as an aside, there’s also a game called Talk to Aya that came out about 2 months ago and is $1.99 on steam. Aya is more “my type” because she reminds me of myself. While Saki is very athletic and outdoorsy, Aya is an indoors type who loves manga.)

The Pirate’s Fate

Over 300 choices that matter with 45 different romances in this gorgeously animated furrie game.

Stage Fright

This game meshes together 2 very different genres, rhythm and horror game. The better you play, the harder the game tries to scare you and the more difficult the game becomes.


Adorable Colorful Virtual Pet Game

The Red Strings Club

Interact with customers as a bartender with a story presenting moral dilemmas and decisions about happiness and the means to obtain it.

The Scent of Summer

Virtual Reality Game (VR Headset Required) where you walk home with a cute anime girl.


Cute platformer with a heart wrenching story.


Adorable anime voxel farming game, similar to Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley

Lost Sphear

From the creators of I am Setsuna

OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes

Super cute and colorful game based on the cartoon network show of the same name.

My Time at Portia

Seems to pay hommage to Rune Factory, Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Atelier, Mana Khemia, and other similar gaming series

Wildlife Park Remastered Gold

Includes remastered versions of Wildlife Park and Wildlife Creatures. You can train, breed, research, and catch various animal species.

Zweii The Arges Adventure

Beautiful looking humorous JRPG from XSEED with tons of minigames and a leveling system that involves eating or hoarding and trading food for better food.

Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds

This beautiful looking indie RPG pays homage to many great 90s and early 2k RPGs. It includes minigames, crafting, and city building aspects as well as traditional turn based RPG combat.


3 games in one. The first is a dating sim/visual novel. The second is more of a traditional JRPG/Dungeon Crawler. The final one is a scifi setting with gun based gameplay. Each with an anime and retro feeling.

Dead in Vinland

I’m already sold just by this feature right here “Build your community of up to 14 playable characters. Meaningful choices will alter the relationships in your team and the story. Expect romances, hatred and betrayals!” – But in addition to that, it has a huge world with over 150 maps to explore and more than 150 items to craft as well.


Very colorful and beautiful strategy game set around the characters and stories within Japanese folklore.

Dust and Salt

Decisions matter in this narrative adventure game

Egypt Old Kingdom

City Building and Political Simulation in Ancient Egypt.


Beautiful little platformer with plenty of secrets and mysteries to unravel.

Grisaia Phantom Trigger 4

The story that began with Fruit of Grisaia continues in this new installment

Timber Tennis

Cute and colorful pixelart in an online or local multiplayer tennis game.

My Life as a Maiden

Cute looking visual novel where you play as the only boy (disguised as a girl) at an all girl’s school. (This theme is done to death in these games, but the nice artwork may be enough to make this one worth picking up as well.)

Melancholy Republic

Decisions matter as you take the role of a young heroine trying to run the country after her father’s assassination in this JRPG inspired indie game with an excellent soundtrack performed by a live orchestra.

Ultimate Arena: Showdown

The graphics look a bit crude, but the game seems wacky and different, and fun, and does feature large amounts of character customization.

Clumsy Knights

Very cute little indie RPG with an extensive crafting system


This looks cute and colorful, although a bit nonsensical and crazy.

Make Sail

Build Sailboats, sail to other islands to gather materials to make better sailboats, and rinse and repeat.

Slave Story

Cute anime style game where you play an indie game maker and interact with a cute anime girl.

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

A collection of short stories from authors all over North America


Point n click game with nice anime style artwork and dark story.

Soul Saga

Gorgeous looking indie game inspired by classic JRPGs

Mhakna Gramura and Fairy Bells

This is by the same author as Fault Milestone One and apparently, at one point, these visual novels were all books? Hundreds of years ago? Like in real life? I was not aware of that. This is a kinetic novel meaning there are no choices, no branching plots, and only 1 ending. However it is beautiful and part of a very popular series of visual novels. The story is mentioned in several of the games, but only recently has the full text been discovered because the book is hundreds of years old. This makes it kind of an interesting way to preserve history.

Fatal Twelve

Another very beautiful looking visual novel with female protagonist.

Bacon May Die

Very colorful brawler game with cute little pigs. Customize your pig and fight off hoards of bacon hungry zombies. It looks cute and has a good sense of humor as well.

Serment – Contract with a devil

Indie tactical RPG and Dating Sim hybrid with lots of cute anime girls.

Final Fantasy 12 Zodiac Age

A remake of FFXII with a few new gameplay mechanics.

Foto Flash

This may be similar to Sonicomi which I reviewed here.


Cute funny little puzzle adventure game with adorable characters.

Startup Freak

This game lets you simulate many aspects of building a startup conmpany, from designing your office, hiring team members, researching and developing new products

Into the Breach

Interesting looking strategy/simulation game with mechs and time travel.


Action RPG with gameplay similar to Zelda and based on ancient Mexican lore.


Boardgame with strong focus on faction choice and strategy.

RPG in a Box

If you’re looking to create your own games, RPG in a Box may be an alternative to the popular RPG Maker series.

Guardians of Arcadia

A very cute anime indie game inspired by classic JRPGs

Shots Fired

Explore with your cellphone, take photos for buzzfeed (fuzzbeed), and avenge your wife and daughter (and reclaim your tv) in this pixel based action adventure game.


Anime styled episodic visual novel

Toe Jam & Earl: Back in the Groove

The original games on Sega Genesis are some of my favorite childhood memories. Days and weeks on end spent playing with my best friend.


It seems decisions matter quite a bit in this cartoon style indie RPG

Omina Mortis

I like the concept of this game, which is basically a visual novel in story book format; however, it is clear English is not their first language. Their steam store description needs help, and if that’s any indication as to the quality of the writing within the actual game, this game may be nearly unplayable. For example the description says: “In Omnia Mortis you will be confused by a tangle on the edge of mystic and action detective that will be fully solved only after multiple passing the game.” – I’m already confused just by reading this description LOL. I get that they meant to indicate it has multiple endings, or “only after passing the game multiple times” or “only after multiple play throughs” but “only after multiple passing the game” sounds really awkward and incorrect as a native English speaker… and I’m still not sure what they’re trying to say with “on the edge of mystic and action detective” – What does that even mean? — Concept seems good – but they really need to hire some English language play testers and proofreaders. Hopefully with enough proofreading and playtesting, this will end up to be a nice game.

A Song in the Void

This seems far too short, clocking in around 6 hours of gameplay, but it seems innovative by the fact that every aspect found within the game reacts and grows with the music.


Inspired by Retro RPGs of the late 90s, Earthlock looks like a great upcoming indie game. You can also grow trees to bring kittens into the world which sounds pretty cute.


Cute pixel RPG with procedurely generated dungeons and shop keeping elements

Rain or Shine

Very cute looking VR game that requires a VR headset


A challenging rogue-like dungeon crawler with adorable anime graphics

Love Bites

Visual novel about vampires. Appears to have 2 playable characters (1 male and 1 female) and 4 romance options (2 male and 2 female)

Into Oblivion

A drinking simulator where you mix and drink virtual drinks with other players and bet who will get sick first to earn coins to get new items from the shops to customize your characters.

Prisma and the Masquerade

Absolutely gorgeous looking platformer with a female protagonist and orchestra soundtrack.

Long Gone Days

Awesome looking visual novel with shooter elements and gorgeous anime artwork.

Samurai Forge

A collectible card game with an interactive story that changes according to players’ decisions

Swordart Online Fatal Bullet

A Multiplayer game based on the famous Swordart Online anime.

Marie’s Room

Seems to have an interesting story about childhood friendship, perhaps with a few twists and some drama. A bit of mystery too.

Movie Studio Tycoon

Select a genre, choose your script, hire and train directors and actors, compete with other studios to win awards.

Orwell Ignorance is Strength

This political thriller aims to warn us about how we give and how others use our private and personal information and how such information can be misinterpreted and to what lengths people or our governments will go to to protect us from perceived threats within this information.


Colorful Cute Dinosaur “Jurrasic Park” Simulation game where you travel back in time to collect dinosaur eggs, and switch to first person to handle dinosaur rampages.

The Swords of Ditto

I love the graphical style of this cute little indie Co-op RPG.

One Helluva Day

Another interactive fiction game where English is clearly not their native language. Hopefully the game will be proofread and play tested sufficiently because judging from the steam description, the creators struggle with English grammar. Aside from questionable writing and formating, the concept of the game looks promising. You play as a business owner trying to save his failing company, as well as trying to save the world. There are multiple endings, and you can either work together to help other characters, or take advantage of them to achieve your goals. How you work with others, determines which endings you receive.


Adorable anime graphics in this free to play game.

Secret of Mana

Remake of one of the best SNES games of my childhood.

Detective Gallo

Humorous point n click adventure game with a cartoon duck as the hero.

Austen Translation

This solo or multiplayer rogue like marriage simulation borrows heavily from various visual novel mechanics

Speed Dating for Ghosts

Cute looking dating simulator by a former Bioware developer.


A roguelike pixel game that pokes fun at relationship drama

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Story heavy open world historical RPG with player choices and consequences.

The Longest Five Minutes

Humorous pixel RPG where the main character has amnesia right before the final boss fight.


Colorful cute indie game where you play as a traveling bard.

Crossing Souls

Colorful retro inspired game set in 1980s California

The Seven Districts of Sin

Short cute visual novel with some nice anime artwork and 9 different endings to discover.

A Case of Distrust

Play as a female detective in this 1920s visual novel.


Cute indie anime pixel sidescrolling adventure game.

Monster Garden

Cute, very short (1 hour per play through) game with multiple paths and multiple endings with over 15 monsters to meet. You can’t meet them all on a single play through which adds some replay value, despite still being a short experience.

The Painter’s Playground

Create or collect 2D artwork and trade it in an online marketplace with other players

Card Crawl

Dungeon Crawler played with a deck of cards. Solitaire like gameplay with deckbuilding mechanics.

Opus Rocket of Whispers

Indie hand-drawn painterly styled game with an emotional post-apocalyptic storyline.

Feudal Alloy

Cute looking indie action RPG with robots.

The Forbidden Arts

Anime style action platform adventure game.

We Were Here Too

Emotionally charged Co-Op adventure game

Minion Forest

Adorable monster raising game

The Best Upcoming & New Release 2018 PC Games for Girls was originally published on – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Atlus Confirms that Catherine Full Body Remix for PS4 and Vita Is Getting an English Release

Atlus has confirmed that their cult classic and fan favorite, Catherine will get a new makeover in 2018 – along with an English release in North America and Europe. Catherine is a visual novel and puzzle game with gorgeous breath taking cel-shaded 3D artwork sprinkled in with some equally gorgeous 2D anime cutscenes.

I reviewed the original release of Catherine here. And as of this write up, the original Catherine is currently the highest rated game on my site. Catherine is not my favorite game of all time, but it does almost EVERY-thing right! It’s hard to find any flaws at all which makes it continuously at the top of my list for the Top 10 Best Games for Girls.

It has some of the best graphics and character designs I’ve ever seen, and that includes even standing up also against newer games that have been released on newer systems and with more technology prowess than the PS3 and Xbox 360.  I still rather play a game that looks like Catherine. Give me more games that look THIS GOOD. Please!!

But not only does it LOOK good, but there is heart and substance to it too! The story, the characters, there’s drama, mystery, suspense, love, romance, comedy. It has it all. The story revolves around Vincent, a young man who currently is in a relationship with a young woman named Katherine – with a K. Katherine is much more emotionally mature than Vincent. Although Vincent does love Katherine very much, her “put a ring on it” ultimatum scares him into the arms of another woman, Catherine – with a C. But Catherine with a C has her own secrets and own agenda as well. Because when it comes to love, nothing is ever that simple. To make matters worse, people have been dying in their sleep, but with looks of horror and terror on their faces, and no one knows why. How is Catherine connected to this, and how can Vincent escape a similar fate?

The gameplay is kinda like a combination of Qbert and Visual Novels where you choose responses to fork the story down different paths, seeing different parts of the story on each new play through, with multiple endings and tons of replay value.

The music score and voice acting were also fantastic.

Gameplay, Story, Characters, Artwork, Replay Value, Fun, what more do you need? – Catherine has it all. I’m so excited about the remake!

Not only is it a remake but it brings a ton of new additions to Catherine as well, including a completely new character with her own story route(s), and how her route(s) will also effect the story branches of the other 2 characters.

That’s not all though, there’s also new online battle modes, and new difficulty settings. — I totally cheated in the first game and played it on the super easy hidden mode – because I was playing it mostly for the story(s) — I wonder if that mode will also exist in the new Catherine as well.

Take a look at the English teaser website.

Atlus Confirms that Catherine Full Body Remix for PS4 and Vita Is Getting an English Release was originally published on – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Sekai Project Visual Novels Featured in New Humble Bundle

Sekai Project is one of many companies localizing Visual Novels into English. And for the next 2 weeks you can get 17 Sekai Project Visual Novels for $12. That’s less than $1 a game. (or pay less and receive less games) And it supports charity too! Feel good and score some awesome Visual Novels with the new humble bundle.

Pay just $1 to receive:

Fault Milestone 2
NekoPara Vol 0
Ame no Marginal – Rain Marginal

Beat the average (currently $10.16) to receive:

All of the Above PLUS
NekoPara Vol 1
Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 1
Marcissu 10th Anniversary Anthology Project, Plus Season PASS DLC
Fault Milestone two side:above
Sound of Drop -fall into poison
Highway Blossoms (a Yuri game (girl x girl game))
Japanese School Life

Pay $12 to receive it all:

All of the Above PLUS
NekoPara Vol 2
Wold End Economica – Complete Edition
Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 2
Memory’s Dogma Code:01
Robot Double – Before Crime After Days Xtend Edition
Sunrider: Liberation Day – Captain’s Edition

That’s a whole lot of visual novels for not a big price! I only had 3 of these currently in my collection (and almost all of them wishlisted). I am super excited about this bundle and can’t wait to start playing.

Robot Double sounds incredibly interesting to me from the brief description. It states that unlike traditional Visual Novels, there are no clear cut choices, but instead you control the story purely through your emotions.

If you’re interested in grabbing this bundle for yourself, check out

Sekai Project Visual Novels Featured in New Humble Bundle was originally published on – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Stardew Valley Review

As mentioned in another post here, I spent much of this past weekend playing Stardew Valley on the PC. Stardew Valley is a game that harkens back memories of popular retro games such as Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. The game is fun and relaxing… however, like most games in this genre, the gameplay can get tedious and repetitive at times. Stardew Valley also suffers significant development delays and setbacks, which is not surprising considering the entire game, from the graphics, to music, to programming, was all made by just one person. It doesn’t get anymore “indie” than that. Despite these few small flaws, the game is one of the highest rated Steam games of all time with nearly 50,000 Overwhelmingly Positives since its release in February 2016. If you’re still wondering if Stardew Valley is worth playing, read my Stardew Valley Review below.

Title: Stardew Valley

Developer: ConcernedApe

Publisher: Chucklefish

Platform: PC (also recently released for Xbox One, PS4, and soon to be released for Nintendo Switch)

Genre: Farming Simulation

Where to Buy: PC Version on Steam Here.

Release Date: February 2016

Geeky: 2/5  –  This is a low budget indie game, so you won’t see triple A graphics here. And given the genre and nature of farming simulation games there isn’t much action going on. I also feel the controls and UI are clunky, to the point of detracting from the gameplay (read more about that later in this review). However, given that 1 man made everything in this game, that’s pretty impressive and worth an extra star at least for effort!

Sweetie: 4/5  – Everything about this game exudes charm and cuteness. However, the characters feel impersonal and the story a bit lacking, costing it to lose 1 heart for “sweetie” factor.

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Concept: 8/10 It’s hard to believe this game has been out for less than a year; it’s so wildly popular and became an instant fan classic, that even games by fully staffed development teams have not made nearly as successful games or seen as many sales or positive reviews in years worth of time. And day by day new fans come to experience Stardew Valley for their very first time and fall in love, and continue to share their experiences. I was somewhat late to join the party, starting back in maybe July of 2016.

At that time, people were growing restless with lack of progress made on features that had been promised such as multiplayer. Here we are another 6 months later, and there’s still no word on when multiplayer will be added, just simply that it is in the works. The game has received several updates and improvements, including finishing “routes” for “new” characters (The characters were already present, but now you can date more of them).

And that’s important because really… the game of Stardew Valley is like the game of your life. Stardew Valley’s open sandbox environment and multiple choices and decisions that you will make, all shape what will happen. Will you get married? have kids? Choose a life of adventure exploring dungeons, fishing all day, or focus on rebuilding your grandfather’s farm? Or maybe just sit at the tavern, playing games, and wasting your virtual life – the choice is yours.

Although the game starts slow, once it picks up, there will be numerous choices you must make (which you’ll start to notice around maybe Fall of the first year or so)… Things such as deciding if you want to let fruit bats live in the cave near your farm or if you want to use the cave to grow mushrooms. Hopefully by Fall of the first year you’ve had time and resources to upgrade your house or add new buildings that let you craft new recipes and add new gameplay elements such as making pickled vegetables, fruit preserves, wine, cooking meals from your crops in your new kitchen, etc. Characters at times may also ask you questions which may impact the game or change their friendship towards you, such as asking you what types of books you like to read, etc. Lil bit by lil bit you will begin to see how YOUR farm in Stardew Valley differs from that of your friends’ farms. (Or how it will differ for you on subsequent playthroughs).

There are also numerous in-game events held throughout each season such as festivals, cooking contests, dance parties, and more. If you’ve been working on your social skills in the game and making friends, or even romances, these special events will be even more special, having someone to share them with.

You start with little in way of resources to begin the game and with little to do. When I first started playing, it was tedious. It felt like work, like real life. It was made somewhat worse by bad controls and UI… However now, as my first year in Stardew Valley draws to a close, the game has me firmly hooked. I couldn’t believe I stayed up until 1am playing it lastnight, and I want nothing more than to go home and play it again as soon as possible. — Soon you will be able to take Stardew Valley with you everywhere you go with the Nintendo Switch! For many, this means starting all over from scratch though and replaying through these tedious first few hours of gameplay as I seriously doubt it will sync your game saves — though it would be awesome if it did!

Stardew Valley is slow paced, and definitely not for everyone. There is some combat; however, at least on the PC, the combat is simple and basic at best, and involves no strategy, and just mindless clicking. The controls also make any actions, from combat, to fishing, to farming, a real pain at times. However, despite these flaws, Stardew Valley shines because of the charming retro vibe and relaxing gameplay mechanics. It’s one of the best casual games around and guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. It is just simply a “Feel Good Kind of Game”.

Gameplay: 6/10 If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game then you will be right at home in Stardew Valley. The basics of gameplay include planting, watering, and harvesting crops, conversing with townsfolk, dating/marrying a townsfolk, upgrading/decorating your home, exploring dungeons, collecting and crafting items, and joining in various events. — It was also marketed as an “Online or Multiplayer” farming game (which drew many fans who have long dreamed of an Online Harvest Moon — however, that feature, which arguably is the game’s MAIN feature, is still no where to be seen and with no estimated release date a year later.

I’m critiquing the gameplay for the PC version right now since it’s the only version I have played as of time of review. While the features of the gameplay would get high marks here in terms of the vast amount of things to see, do, choices and consequences, and customization, the score ultimately suffers due to terrible controls and UI. Please note for this review I play on a laptop and do not use a mouse. I am a keyboard only user. As such, there are some things that just DON’T work. Period.

Like for example, I read that to put bait on a fishing pole you left click the bait then right click the fishing pole, but nothing happens when I do this. Luckily, you can fish without bait, but with some tools you aren’t so lucky. I assume that loading the slingshot with stones also works in the same fashion but can’t figure out how to load it with ammunition either which makes it completely useless to me. At the fall grange faire, the controls for fishing were different than fishing on the main map too! In the main map I can use my button shortcode which is C as opposed to mouse clicking, — this for some reason does not work at the fall grange faire and you have to use the mouse (in my case keep in mind, I’m using my laptop’s “touchpad” which you can click/scroll/operate like a mouse.) —

I have read that PS4 controllers will now work in Steam so I may have to try that and hope they are supported in Stardew Valley. I also do have a usb mouse – but given that I play largely from my bed, it makes finding a place to put the mouse a challenge. I am surprised because quite simply, this is a casual game. If I were expecting to smoothly play a triple A title without a mouse, from my bed, well that would be my own fault for having unreasonable expectations… but the truth is, there’s nothing here that should require finesse or skill.

And it’s not just a little bit cumbersome, it’s that things completely don’t work in some cases as illustrated above at worst. At best, I find myself constantly turning away from my target while fighting in the dungeon, or watering an empty square next to the plant I’m trying to water. Or I’ll forget I have an axe equipped and accidentally kill a crop I’m trying to work with (OK so that last one is my fault 🙂 lol).

The gameworld is not that large, but you walk really slow, which makes it seem a bit larger (Please note for this review, I’m critiquing the default map, not the new ones added in after release). You will also find that you get weak from exhaust and/or injuries easily when you first begin playing, and that even adding new weapons, armor, and accessories, doesn’t seem to speed up combat as much as you might hope.

Despite these weaknesses, the gameplay is actually fun and enjoyable with a wide variety of things to do and see. In fact, there’s often not enough in-game hours in a day to do everything. I love rainy days in the game so I can go fishing or explore the dungeons without wasting half a day tending to my crops. I also love that as you continue to do something in game, such as fish or fight monsters, you gain levels of proficiency with different skills and at certain levels, these skills branch off and force you to choose a path, with different pros and cons, which further customizes your experience from that of your friends – and also greatly adds to replay value.

There could be some other features added that would further enhance gameplay, difficulty and challenge, such as making certain foods expire – would also create need to use the preserve machine — or making for example icecream melt after so many in-game hours. As it stands right now you could buy or grow an item in year one, and eat it 5 years later without risk of getting sick, etc. They could even add a temporary debuff “Food Poisoning” that would wear off after so many in game hours.

Story: 6/10 – Well the story is that you write your own story. You decide exactly what you want to do, who you want to be with, and shape your own virtual life. It offers a ton of customization and the story does branch and reveal different routes based on who you date and other decisions you make within the game, but largely, by the end of the first year, the story has felt weak and bare bones at best. The in-game events do help to spice things up however, I suspect that after the first year they will be less exciting since you’ve already seen them. — However, it makes up for this in the amount of customization, freedom, and exploration that these open world sandbox games are best known for. Watching slowly as your farm takes shape and beginning to set a path for yourself and discover how to make your farm uniquely your own is truly the best aspect of this game, and that will become even more of a big selling point once multi-player finally gets implemented so you can visit friends’ farms.

Characters: 6/10 – Well, there’s a lot of them, but none of them are terribly interesting… They will recycle through the same dialog over and over. In the beginning, as to be expected, many of the characters are distrustful of you (You’re a stranger afterall!), and so they do not talk about anything meaningful or overly deep. Getting close to people, just like in real life, takes time. Relationships take work, and Stardew Valley is no exception to that rule… I have yet to see if the characters, or story for that matter, get more interesting past the first year, but with well over 30 hours of real life put into the game, that’s more time than one should be expected to “wait and see” if things improve.

Right now my highest relationship, according to the fortune teller at the fall grange fair, is with Shane, one of the newly added routes in a recent update. He is sorta the Tsundere type. Rough on the outside. He often plays guitar in the tavern. He likes Hot Peppers, Spaghetti, and Pizza for presents, and he is a cold unfeeling jerk lol. At least initially. I think there may be more to him, which is why I was curious to pursue him. I think his route shows the most promise for “character development” if written correctly. It will be nice to see him warm up and hopefully be less of a jerk over time lol.

Other characters seem to pay homage to various Harvest Moon games, there’s a guy named Linus (not dateable) living in a tent who reminds me of Gustafa from Harvest Moon on the Gamecube. There’s Harvey who is a doctor, Demetrius a scientist (who at time of this review is not dateable), Sebastian who is a stereotypical Emo/Goth guy, Alex a fitness nut,  a Magician (I don’t believe he’s dateable either), Clint who is a Blacksmith, and Elderly couple. The tavern workers, a Museum worker, a Carpenter (female), Goth girl, Librarian (female), and a handful of others.

Despite not having much “depth” to the characters (at least after almost a whole year of time passing in game), the characters themselves are charming, and always busy and on the move. They breathe life into the game and keep it feeling active and bustling year round. Not only these human characters, but the animals on your farm, the monsters in the dungeon, and even just little touches like birds and butterflies randomly flying or a squirrel quickly climbing a tree, or a rabbit running through the bushes, they all make the game seem… living. It seems as if every character has a mind of their own and a life of their own. This is a big plus and part of the game’s unique charm.

Graphics: 8/10 – Keep in mind, this is an indie game that wanted to go for a retro-vibe. If you’re not a fan of “outdated” graphics, RPG Maker style games, and Isometric Top-Down view style games, then this is not the game for you. — That said, Stardew Valley is for you if you grew up with the 16 bit Harvest Moon games, don’t mind “indie-retro” games, like to customize the appearance of your character, and like “cute” bright graphics.

Everything about Stardew Valley is exceptionally charming. And there is a lot of work that went into everything from the tile sets used in town or your farm, to the dungeons, character portraits, or animations. As mentioned above, the environment really feels almost like it’s alive somehow, with so many small details and little touches, falling leaves, wind, rain, animals, and background animations that really add to the charm and little extra love that was poured into this game.

I’d like to see maybe a tad more detail on the character sprites, and even more options added for character customization and more interior decorating items, or more various monster designs and not just recolors – but that’s just a wishlist, already, the artwork is pretty great if you’re a fan of pixel style games.

I did take off a few points for the following:

  • It gets pretty hard to see where I’m going at night. I dunno if it’s my monitor settings – and I am well aware you can craft items like torches and etc to brighten things up, but I get pretty lost.
  • Also some items can be hard to see if they’re behind trees, or other tall graphic items, and this too, can at times cause you to feel “stuck”.
  • Lastly, back to the UI again, it is just a lil bit clunky and could use some refinement.

Music: 10/10 – The soundtrack is one of my favorite things about this game. It is infectiously catchy. Not only does it feature great music, but sound effects are skillfully used to further create immersion and once again give rise to a game world that feels bursting with life. Sound effects for weather effects, animals, monsters, and machines and tools all help paint a picture of what life in Stardew Valley is all about.

Replay Value: 10/10 – Despite myself criticizing many things in this game such as terrible controls and user interface, lack of promised features and development setbacks, and a rather barebones story and characters who are dull and cliche, there’s just something indescribable about the gameplay itself. It is just a fun game. It’s not a perfect game… but it is one that I would recommend. I can seriously see myself sinking hundreds, or even thousands, of hours into the game, a single playthrough takes probably a hundred hours or more, and if you want to try a different profession or pick a different husband or wife, you’ll be starting a new farm, as the game autosaves every night which takes the freedom of creating multiple save files from a single playthrough out of your hands.

When I play Stardew Valley, I feel like I’m living a second virtual life, I come to care about my character, her friends and relationships, the farm, the city, and everything that’s going on in the game world. It offers me a challenge with several aspects being only discovered later in the game, and that too keeps the experience feeling fun and fresh and wondering what will happen each time I play.

Stardew Valley is a game that pulls you in with all of its charm — However, it could do with some fine tuning to greatly improve certain gameplay and story aspects.

Would I play it again? Absolutely. Given the sheer amount of things to see and do, it is impossible to accomplish everything on a single playthrough and no two farms are exactly alike.

It is that feeling, that my farm, my village, my animals, my crops, my house, my little virtual family, that they are unique and truly unlike anyone elses’ that is the driving force that makes me want to sit down and invest my precious time and energy into this game. That and the kawaii cute graphics and charming nature of the game that seem to just suck you right in.

And once Multiplayer gets implemented, kiss your real life goodbye, as the 50,000 people who think “Overwhelmingly Positive” things about the game, as well as thousand of new players, will be busy visiting their friends’ farms and experiencing brand new gameplay elements.

Stardew Valley is constantly evolving with new maps, new characters, new skills, new recipes, and new fun!

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Stardew Valley Review was originally published on – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Princess Maker 2 Refine – Now Available in English on Steam

I reviewed Princess Maker 2 awhile back, one of my all-time favorite games. You can check out my review of Princess Maker 2, here.

In that review, you will see that I say the game was never released in English – because at time of my writing that review, that was true – although the game was fully translated and a leaked copy could be found online — with age and technology, it became increasingly difficult for some people to get that old dos copy of the game to run on their newer machines…

It seemed Princess Maker 2 was destined to just fall into obscurity – although many similar games (typically by English speaking fans) both indie and commercial have come out in recent years… Princess Maker 2 never saw the light of day…. Nor did any of the sequels….

Until this happened…. It appears while no one was looking, somehow Princess Maker 2 has had a commercial release in English at last!! It is now available for $19.99 on Steam. – You can also get the soundtrack for $9.99 if you feel so inclined. Here is how to get the game or soundtrack on the steam store:

Being out for just shy of 5 weeks now, the game has overwhelmingly positive reviews from hundreds of gamers.

I believe the gameplay to be left largely unchanged – however, the game has been “enhanced” with new graphics – while the overall designs of the characters have been left more or less unchanged, the artwork has been made more clean and crisp — In this (and the old 90s PM 2) game, the daughter has frizzy brown curly hair — much like myself in real life. I always mused that if I were an anime character, that’s pretty much how I would look lol. Still not a big fan of that look – compared to newer versions of the Princess Maker games — but none the less — perhaps this long awaited gem will usher in the following sequels in the series which have never before had an English translation.

Future is looking a lil bit brighter for gamer girls and otome fans.

Princess Maker 2 Refine – Now Available in English on Steam was originally published on

Sonicomi Communication with Sonico English PC Game Review

Title: Sonicomi Communication with Sonico

Genre: Visual Novel / Idol Simulation / Rhythm Game / Photography Simulation / Dating Sim / Raising Sim

Platform: PC

Developer: Nitro+

Publisher: JASTUSA

Where to Buy: Jlist – use Coupon Code: MOE-22Y-E8BNV5 to get 5% off!

Geeky: 4/5 – High quality anime style graphics. This version of Sonicomi is the original PC version; however, for the US release, they integrated the new improved graphics from the Playstation version which adds a lot more visual appeal to the game. Sonicomi comes to life with fully animated and expressive movements. Unlike other visual novels which show only static images, the graphics in Sonicomi definitely do impress. There are multiple game modes and tons of achievements to unlock as well. Like most visual novels, this game is light on gameplay, however, there is some challenge to see how high you can score each photoshoot, and the appeal of unlocking new outfits for Sonico. There’s also 18 different endings and a surprisingly touching story.

PC Game Review: Super Sonico Sonicomi Communication With Sonico
PC Game Review: Super Sonico Sonicomi Communication With Sonico

Sweetie: 5/5 – Sonicomi is very cute! And the ability to customize her with hundreds of different pieces of outfit and tens of thousands of combinations for those outfits, makes this a game that girls are sure to love, just as much as guys who like the busty and sexy appeal of the pink haired gravure idol.

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Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Concept: 10/10  As I mentioned when I announced the preorder bonuses for the game here, this game basically is like combining Princess Maker (which I reviewed here) with Pokemon Snap (a game in which you photograph pokemon). Of course, Sonico’s lusty and busty figure make this game a lot more “Ecchi” or perverted than those games, but the game mechanics are like a perfect mashup of these two gaming gems. You determine Sonico’s fate and what direction her career will take (similar to Princess Maker), while the gameplay itself is a visual novel with about a dozen different “levels” each defined by a photo shoot. On these photo shoots your client will request different images, from sexy to sweet and innocent, or even weird. You must try to recommend different locations, outfits, and poses to meet the needs of your client. At different points in the story you will be presented opportunities to respond to Sonico in different ways (hence the name of the game), your responses, as well as choices made and how well you perform the various photo shoots will lead you to one of 18 different endings. Each time you play the game, you keep any outfits you unlock and continue to add new items to use to dress up Sonico however you’d like. There’s different difficulty modes, and even a free play mode where you can just photograph Sonico without worrying about a timer or any requests from your clients. You can save and share these images to show off how cute Sonico has become.

Gravure Idol Simulation PC Game Super Sonico Communications with Sonico Review
Gravure Idol Simulation PC Game Super Sonico Communications with Sonico Review

Gameplay: 8/10 The story unfolds like a visual novel at different points you can talk to, or even touch Sonico in various ways which raises her affection or changes her mood or even changes how the public views her as an idol. The main gameplay however comes in the form of photoshoots. You start by choosing an outfit for Sonico by combining different pieces and parts, such as a jacket, top, pants, skirt, jewelry, handbag, shoes, socks, hair, skin tone, etc. In these shoots, you must complete all “takes” (ranging from 1 to 3) without wearing any duplicate items from the previous takes, all while taking into account the client request. Once on set, you’ll see Sonico frolicking around and soon begin to see blue and pink “rings” on your screen. It’s your job to mouse over these rings and click them right as they turn pink. Clicking too soon or too late will lower your score. Clicking at just the right time will allow you to “chain” “perfects” which gives a large boost to your score. Getting perfects will also begin to fill up a gauge on the screen which when full, left clicking will open a number of options such as Communication, where you ask Sonico how she’s doing – she may tell you she’s tired, thirsty, nervous, fired up/excited, or able to still go on. Another option is to give Sonico a break which will help refill her stamina, and if executed correctly will extend the time you have in the photoshoot. If you let Sonico get too exhausted you will fail the photoshoot so you must be careful. The remaining options let you change Sonico’s pose and position from standing, sitting, or lying down. If Sonico is “excited and fired up” and you select Communication, you will activate a special mode with new poses and bigger chances for bonuses. After each take you’ll see your score, and after completing all takes, you’ll receive a letter grade which you need to pass to move on to the next scene.

I deducted a few points because this game is impossible to play without a mouse or game controller. I bought a mouse just to play this game. I think a lot of casual gamers, especially those on laptop devices may not have a mouse? I didn’t because I played in bed anyways so where would I put a mouse? (Hint: I ended up putting it on the wrist/rest area near the touchpad, below the keyboard.) The touchpad on my laptop was totally laggy/nonresponsive – which was something weird caused only when playing this game. I couldn’t even get past the tutorial and it wasn’t from a lack of skill, my pointer on screen would not move where I wanted it, and even when it did, I found I couldn’t “snap” the photo, just nothing would happen when I clicked the “mouse button” (built into my touchpad). This seems like a weird glitch or bug? But now that I’m using a mouse, there’s no problem 🙂 And I’ve used the mouse in some other more actiony games too so it’s all good. Mice are cheap enough anyways *under 10 bucks* but I just can’t help thinking that the touchpad should have worked, or my touch screen on my laptop, but both were very laggy and made it impossible to play. Bad controls = bad gameplay. So you’ll want to make sure you have a mouse or steam controller or similar input device.

However, the gameplay is very engaging, and the hunt for new outfit pieces (all of which carry over into any new games you begin) as well as unlocking the achievements and all 18 different endings keeps you playing over and over. The in depth tutorial at the beginning of the game lets anyone just pick up and play the game, but some of the higher difficulty settings offer a large challenge even for more seasoned rhythm game players. The free play mode is really cute and fun too, especially with the ability to take and share steam screenshots, or collect the images in an in-game photo album.

Story: 5/10 I get the feeling that there’s only “illusion of choice” for very much of this game. Yes, there are 18 different endings, but it seems to me that they are determined more in how you do on photoshoots than how you respond to the story prompts. Although those DO impact the game also. I only suspect this, because on multiple play throughs, when I skip “previously read text” I’m skipping about 75-85% of the story. There is a decision later in the game to take Sonico’s career in different directions, such as being a commercial model or a high fashion model, but even that seemingly important decision does little to change the story – though it does change several of the different photo shoots in the later part of the game.

The story itself is pretty cute, but way too short and simplistic to really rank this score any higher than “mediocre” – but it’s a Gravure Idol Sim, people don’t really play this for story. — The story isn’t bad, actually I was pleasantly surprised that it’s very touching and hits close to the heart at times, but that’s mostly attributed to the strong character interaction which I’m scoring separately below. The story has a lot of comedic moments and some truly wtf moments as well which makes it highly entertaining.  Perhaps my biggest complaint against the story is that it starts strong, but just as it’s taking off, the game comes to an abrupt and unexpected end, and that’s not from getting a “bad end” but instead it just feels like the second half of the game is rushed, and that more could have been done which could have added not only more story, but more photoshoots and more gameplay too.

Cameo Appearance: Danny Choo Mirai Culture Japan Smart Doll Smartdoll
Cameo Appearance: Danny Choo Mirai Culture Japan Smart Doll Smartdoll

Characters: 10/10 The biggest and most pleasant surprise to me was how endearing and likable all of the characters were, especially Sonico. I had heard of Sonico, and seen cameo appearances in other games, but I honestly knew very little about her. As I played, I couldn’t help but think, OMG Sonico is JUST LIKE ME!! Since I related to her, it increased my enjoyment of the game and story and made her even cuter to me. She loves cats, I love cats (like REALLY love cats), She loves her grandma – I love my grandma, we’re like best friends. She loves sweets, I love sweets. She loves shopping, I love shopping. She’s really really naive and ditzy… I’m sadly also really naive and ditzy. She’s clumsy and hurts herself often, I’m clumsy too! It was like seeing myself as an anime character. Of course I’m not as cute or sexy as Sonico, but her pure heart and bubbly happy go lucky and laid back personality are very similar to my own personality and attitude.

Sonico wasn’t the only character who I found likable either. I also really liked Cutie Q who mysteriously turns up and gives you advice throughout the game, and Pandagawa, an idol manager who’s also a cute (and perverted) panda. And Sonico’s rival Angie, who is pretty much like Sonico’s exact polar opposite (and who I think should have her own game, right? she’s pretty amazing). All of the characters are really unique and quirky. Even Danny choo and his Smart Doll Mirai makes an appearance in the game which was a huge plus since I’m such a huge Smartdoll / Dollfie Dream / ABJD fan.

Pandagawa - Super Sonico - PC Game Review - Sonicomi Communication with Sonico
Pandagawa – Super Sonico – PC Game Review – Sonicomi Communication with Sonico

Graphics: 8/10 It’s already been said how cute and sexy Sonico is, and already been said that there’s literally tens of thousands of different outfit combinations possible to make Sonico look however you’d like. The environments and poses and background art is all very lovely. In the photoshoots it’s all 3D, and in free mode you can even adjust lighting and other touches to make the environment look as you please. In the visual novel, the backgrounds are done in an a more anime style. Sonico is a full body and fully animated figure. Her expressions and movements are just like a real person, which makes this visual novel stand out from others that just use static sprites or images. However, and where the game loses some points, is that Sonico is the only character who we ever “see” in the game or any of the photoshoots. There’s at least two occasions where you’re “supposedly” photographing another model with Sonico – and it would have been cute, awesome and AMAZING to have both models in the photoshoot at the same time, playing together, dancing, and frolicking around. — But okay, maybe that’s asking too much, but it would’ve been nice to see some better sprites for the other characters. In true visual novel fashion, every other character in this game, is just like every character in every other visual novel, just a chest and face with a few different expressions, and always over some background, like out of a comic book, which I guess is kinda cool in a stylistic way, but it definitely makes them seem less “alive” or “real” than Sonico. Also the clients and Sonico’s manager always have a mask on, which is just weird to me and makes them kinda unlikable honestly to me even though it also does add humor and make them memorable in a way too.

Angie Gravite the Black Ship - Super Sonico - Sonicomi Communication with Sonico PC Game Review
Angie Gravite the Black Ship – Super Sonico – Sonicomi Communication with Sonico PC Game Review

Music: 7/10 – The soundtrack, while being actually pretty good and not at all irritating, even on multiple playthroughs, just frankly, doesn’t have enough tracks or variation in it to score much higher than this. Each photoshoot has the same soundtrack, regardless of location selected for the shoot. Or if they were in fact different, it wasn’t noticeable enough for me to remember. The music is good, but you will hear the same tracks over and over when walking Sonico home, or at different key moments in the game.

Voice Acting: 9/10  I’m actually surprised how close the English voice for Sonico comes to capturing the original Japanese voice actress’ same “personality”. A bubbly, cute, and somewhat ditzy / brainless type of voice. The English voice actress for Sonico really put a lot of emotion into delivering her lines, which you can tell from how she enunciates or emphasizes different words or phrases. Even her laugh and other mannerisms are quite similar. I thought she did such a good job that I’ve played in English every time except for twice now. The Japanese voice actress is of course cute and adorable and does an excellent job, but that’s usually just a “given” when it comes to Japanese voice acting. They’re all pretty much amazing right? But that’s not the case (typically) with English dubs. (sorry to dubbed anime fans out there). While I think everyone should play the game at least once in it’s native language, you really in this case don’t miss much by playing it in English. I’ve gotten used to the English Sonico now, and actually, surprisingly, prefer her voice over the original Japanese one now. Also I’ve heard that this same voice actress does the Sonico in the anime (which I’ve never watched). But the good thing is, that no matter what you prefer, English or Japanese, they left both tracks in the game for you to choose! — It’d be nice if you could switch this option while playing the game but I think you have to save, exit, and select the option when starting back up. Also if I remember correctly, Sonico is the only character who’s voiced in this game, which is a little disappointing (and why I deducted 1 point).

Sonicomi - Free Style Game Mode - Sonicomi Review for PC - Sonicomi Communication with Sonico
Sonicomi – Free Style Game Mode – Sonicomi Review for PC – Sonicomi Communication with Sonico

Replay Value: 10/10 This game is super addictive! As if 18 endings weren’t enough to keep you playing, there’s also achievements, and new outfits to unlock through multiple playthroughs (which carry over into any new games you start), and sonicoins to earn which unlock even more outfits, and a free play mode that lets you enjoy uninterrupted time with Sonico in any location or outfit or pose that you’ve previously unlocked. You can then add the freeplay images into an album in game, or use the steam shortcut (F12 by default) to take pictures and share via steam or social media so you can spam your friends and share Sonico’s charm. There’s also different difficulty modes which let you challenge yourself as you become more familiar with the game. With so much to do and so many different dressup combinations and such a cute and charming idol to control, this is a game that will keep you hooked!

Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Sonicomi Communication with Sonico English PC Game Review was originally published on – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Cat President – a More Purrfect Union – Visual Novel PC Game Review

I received this game for free in exchange for writing an honest review. I played through Frisky’s route and received his Normal Ending.

Frisky Lives Up to His Name
Frisky Lives Up to His Name

Title: Cat President

Genre: Otome Visual Novel

Platform: PC

Developer: Oh a Rock! Studios

Where to Buy


Geeky: 3/5 – On the fence with this score… Production values are fairly low and it shows, also not much “gameplay” as is the nature of visual novels. But it does earn a few points for geeky internet “meme-like” humor.

Sweetie: 5/5 – High marks for being an otome game (a game with a female protagonist) and for having cute cats. Also has pretty good character development and surprisingly good writing.

love confession from a cat?!
love confession from a cat?!

Concept: 8/10 Cat President is an otome game in which you get to help one of 6 different cat candidates (spoiler: one of them is a dog) become the nominee of their political party. You might also fall in love with your chosen candidate by the end of the game. Like most visual novels there is little to do aside from click and read. I like this genre of games a lot, but if you’re not used to this format, it may not be your cup of tea. On the plus side, Cat President takes a fun, whimsical, and light hearted approach to the visual novel genre. Most of the routes are short (around 2 hours each). There are multiple endings including normal, good, and bad endings which adds some more replay time. If you get all of your desired endings in one try, I estimate this game will take 12-15 hours to complete. Because of the light hearted nature, and short length of this game, it may be a purrfect game to give visual novels a try. However, if you’re a visual novel veteran, you might be disappointed by the “fluffy” nature of the plot, or by the somewhat amateur artwork, especially given the lack of poses of each sprite.

Pretty Sure This is The weirdest Line Of Dialogue I've Ever Read in A Game
Pretty Sure This is The Weirdest Line Of Dialogue I’ve Ever Read in A Game

Story: 9/10 You play as a young girl who has been out of work for some time when she decides to attend a debate with her best friend and you are called upon to give a question to the candidates. You mention how you’ve lost your job and want to know how the candidates will help people like you. They all have the purrfect answer, by offering you a spot on their campaign team. These are no ordinary candidates however, as they are all cats (and a dog). This is how the game opens. The backstory explains that politics became so corrupt 20 years ago that humans are no longer allowed to hold any type of political office. It’s also eluded to pretty early on that cats can (and most do) become human (if they can afford it). Although the story does take itself lightly, and has some genuinely WTF moments, it’s not without more serious and delicate moments as well such as relationship drama, political scandals, and very likeable characters who have very human-like flaws. I was very surprised by how relateable the characters felt to me. I could see qualities in them and in myself, in my cats, and surprisingly most of all, in my past relationships with other humans.  I went into this not expecting much other than comedy, so I was really surprised when I felt myself identifying with or nodding in understanding/agreement with many of the characters and situations in this game. Plus, if you like comedy (who doesn’t like comedy right?) and even more-so if you like cats, and are familiar with the internet memes, then you will really appreciate the humor in this game.

Characters with Real Feelings and Emotions Help Drive the Story in Cat President
Characters with Real Feelings and Emotions Help Drive the Story in Cat President

Gameplay: 5/10 – Unfortunately, as is the nature of visual novels, there’s really no “gameplay” per say, however the game does have all of the basic functions one expects in a visual novel such as being able to review different scenes or endings and gallery items. It does feature a lot of different endings and have high replay value. I’m not really so much of a fan of the “choose which route you want at the begining of the game” it seems to me only cheap “mobile games” use this mechanic, while “real” visual novels like Clannad for example, let you dip in and out of different characters’ routes, so you might experience different parts of the game each time you play. Locking into a route right out of the chute, limits then which stories and experiences you can enjoy in each play through. I’ve noticed this mechanic becoming increasingly popular, but I’m just not a fan of it. I like the “challenge” in trying to get with the guy (or cat in this case) that I want to be with, and putting me on his route right away takes away this challenge, and therefore, in my opinion, diminishes the fun a little bit for me.

Make Choices to Help Your Cat Become the next President or Fall in Love
Make Choices to Help Your Cat Become the next President or Fall in Love

Graphics: 5/10 – This is probably my biggest complaint with this novel. The game could have been really “cute” I think if it had “anime” style drawings for the characters and cats in the game, similar to Dandelion Wishes Brought to You, or other Otome games featuring cats and animals. The photographs of the cats are cute, but my biggest complaint is they are COMPLETELY static, they needed to have more photos in different poses, or different expressions. As a cat lover and owner, I find my own cats and those we watch on youtube etc to be extremely expressive. These static sprite images don’t capture much emotion or charm of these cats. They could have used different poses or angles, or tried to get their cats to be more expressive for some of the shoots (but well cats do what they wanna do so I understand maybe it was more difficult lol). I did critique the artwork when I left a brief steam review, and I was told that it was intentional to be more humorous and fit the theme and feeling of the game, and also because the creator wanted to include his friends’ real life cats. I did write back and suggest maybe just adding some more varied photos/poses would help – but I still think anime, ultimately is the way to go – it’s what the target audience wants, and what we expect. I am not a “graphics whore” – and I play all sorts of indie games (sprite based etc) and retro 8 bit and 16 bit games — but with a Visual Novel, the art work becomes highly important, because you don’t have that “gameplay” you need the artwork to help tell the story, hence the name “VISUAL” Novel, right? So the art was disapointing, if for no other reason, than it felt too still / stiff and wasn’t emotive or expressive. Although the writing was full of charm and did a great job defining the characters, the art didn’t help draw out that charm in any way.

Cute Kitties but Very "Stiff" Feeling Artwork due to lack of poses and expressions. Also the "light" being from different angles when the cats are together like this can make the artwork feel disjointed and mashed together.
Cute Kitties but Very “Stiff” Feeling Artwork due to lack of poses and expressions. Also the “light” being from different angles when the cats are together like this can make the artwork feel disjointed and mashed together.

Music: 6/10 – Music “gets the job done”, the main track is Hail to the Chief, the official presidential anthem of the USA. It’s really the only track I remember hearing consistently throughout, but I do remember hearing different tracks, including a vocal track even, but they’re ultimately not very memorable. The good news is, since each route is short, they can get by with a very limited number of music tracks, and the music itself does its job by providing background noise while not distracting or detracting anything from the focus of the story.

Frisky Loves the Ladies
Frisky Loves the Ladies

Replay Value: 10/10 – The replay value is exceptional here due to there being 6 dateable candidates, and each one having multiple endings. The characters are also diverse enough that each route feels like a fun and unique experience. The relatively short nature of each route makes multiple playthroughs easy and enjoyable.

Is there an ending where Frisky becomes human? Must play more to find out!
Is there an ending where Frisky becomes human? Must play more to find out!

Overall: 51/70 73% “C Good Game for Girls” – If you love games like Hatoful Boyfriend, and love cats, furries,  internet humor, memes, youtube, or just want a fun, light hearted visual novel with great characters and a surprisingly warm and touching, though ultimately hilarious story, then you need to check out Cat President – a More Purrfect Union.

Cat President – a More Purrfect Union – Visual Novel PC Game Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Talos Principle Game Review

Title: Talos Principle

Release Date: 2014

Genre: Puzzle Solving

Developer: Croteam

Publisher: Devolver Digital

Platform: PC, Mac, or Linux, also available on PS4 and Android

Where to Buy:  //
Geeky: 5/5 

Sweetie: 4/5 

Concept: 8/10 Many people have compared this game to Myst, but not me. In my opinion, this game is much closer to Portal than it will ever be to Myst. The nature of the puzzles, at least in the first many, many hours of the game bears a striking resemblance to the gameplay in Portal. It’s also these early hours in which I feel the game begins to fall apart, because the puzzles become so much the “same” throughout the first several “worlds” that you explore. However, looking past the often tedious gameplay, this game has a truly amazing story, especially if like myself, you’re fascinated by the philosophical and ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence.

Gameplay: 6/10 The gameplay in Talos Principle consists of solving more than 100 puzzles. The problem is that probably more than half of those puzzles are so similar that once you’ve solved one, you can easily solve the others. It doesn’t really challenge or require much thinking, which sort of defeats the appeal of a “puzzle solving game”. For example, the first 3 or 4 worlds you will enter consist of puzzles which require you to pick up “jammers” and activate these devices in order to shut down orbs (which travel a predictable patch), or turrets which are firing at you, or use the jammers to open and close gates. Sometimes you’ll only have one or two jammers and 5 or 6 obstacles that need cleared, but it’s still not too challenging once you figure out the patterns and what to expect. Later levels tend to add a few more elements into the puzzles such as letting you climb ontop of boxes, or fling yourself across different areas. However, overall, for there being 120 puzzles, these puzzles lack variety. It wouldn’t matter if there were 50 puzzles or 500 puzzles, if they’re all similar, where’s the fun in that?

However, the game is not without merit, it does feature an extensive open world and for the most part allows you to travel freely (aside from some areas which require key items from other areas first) and solve or return to different puzzles at your own pace. This game does not hold your hand. In fact, that’s part of the charm and it works for creating immersion in this case. You awake into the world with the same knowledge as the main character (which is knowing nothing at all). You begin to piece together what is happening in the world at the same rate as the character himself. In this aspect, it almost becomes a psychological experience, and that I feel, is really the point in playing this game, and not the rather dull puzzles themselves.

Exploration is also another highlight of the gameplay as you travel through multiple worlds you will find clues left behind by other people before you and also clues about your own existence. But it’s up to you to read and explore and interact with every object, every nook and cranny, and complete every world and puzzle.

Story: 10/10 – Story is where the game shines, but it’s up to you to seek this story out. Often times, it’s not what the narrator says, but instead told through files in a corrupt computer system or found by scanning “QR codes” on walls or hidden locations throughout the world. The story itself is about the difference (or sometimes lack there-of) of man vs machine. At what point (if any) does artificial intelligence become “human” – what does it mean to be “human”? The story is told in cryptic bits and pieces and leaves you wanting to explore more and play more to figure things out. Often these are clues left behind by the creators of the AI system, and at other times, they are legends and mythos from ancient times about gods who were made of stone or metal but none the less had characteristics of man. The story also focuses on creation and how man can become a god, by creating AI and AI worlds. And then, what would happen if that AI also went on to create its own worlds and own creations. It’s a very deep and thought provoking story. I’ve always been fascinated by artificial intelligence and these questions that it brings. I would recommend playing this game, despite the slow and tedious gameplay, simply because of this story, but only if you are the type who likes exploration and uncovering these clues yourself. This game handfeeds you nothing. But for those willing to put in the effort, the game is full of rich history, lore, and an emotionally deep story.

Characters: 7/10 – Largely, you are the only character present, though other characters are hinted at from an early point and on throughout the game, including your creators, and even a “god” like figure. You can find emails and recorded messages from these characters and look up project information which details their role in the creation of the AI system. Despite there being a lot of details about these people – largely, this is a solo experience, and therefore character interaction or development is not a highlight here.

Graphics: 5/10 – I don’t see anything that special here. And as with a lot of the puzzles being similar, a lot of assets get re-used multiple times. It’s not very visually appealing or interesting in my opinion. Though there are many worlds, they all largely look the same. This game tries to be large and exciting, but just kinda falls flat in a lot of areas due to repetition.

Music: 6/10 – The soundtrack has a lot of ambient sounds and some key music pieces, but none of them are that impressive or memorable.

Voice Acting: 10/10 – The voice acting is actually really solid in this game which is a big plus. There are not many scenes which are voiced, but it is a nice touch.

Replay Value: 9/10 – There are actually three different endings in Talos Principle, but once you’ve solved most of the psychological questions and encountered most of the story elements, it makes it less enjoyable to replay this game on multiple attempts.

Overall: 70/100 70% C- “Good Game for Girls”


Talos Principle Game Review was originally published on – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News