Monday, July 28, 2014

Days of the Divine


Long ago, two gods fought each other. A village watched in awe. One god was imprisoned - the other vanished. Many years passed and now a strange mist lingers around that village. A mist that robs people of their memories. This is the story of a young shrine maiden and her struggle to discover why the mist lingers on.

I really wasn't that sure about this game. I really didn't know what to make of it just by looking at the page over at lemmasoft for it. But, as it was free, I willingly downloaded it. Let me tell you, this game is simply amazing.

First of all, I loved and adored the way the paths wove together. It was also really interesting to see the way the stories changed slightly depending on which path you were on. That being said, I think there was something of an internal consistency to this game that would have benefited on a recommended playing order. (At least my feelings about that.)

I really liked the story a lot. It was interesting and quite unusual. The art style was also great.

However, the really amazing thing about this game was the way I came to care about each character in the story - surprisingly enough. Each of the three romance-able guys are very, very different than the other two and really have different ideas and thoughts. And they are even kind of enemies. I will say that while I did have a favorite of the guys (Liufan) all this combined to make me really enjoy the game and adore the characters.

Interesting note: this was actually a nanoreno game (which means the entire game - from start to finish - was finished in one month (march, I think)) but the only indication of this is that there is a lack of cgs in the game. Otherwise, it is an amazingly deep and polished product.

On lemmasoft forums

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cafe Rouge

(Free - Online Only)

Isis is just your normal, average, everyday teen (or so she thinks) until she takes a job at Cafe Rouge. While it appears nice and normal on the surface, Isis soon discovers that everything is not as pleasant as it first appears. With romance, past lives and a non-human waitstaff to contend with, what's a girl to do?

Okay, first, I will keep the spoiler of what the waitstaff really consists of out of here. I'd love to talk about that, but lets just say that I was less than enamored with that particular twist. It did make things interesting... But it wasn't for me.


I honestly hate to say it now, but I was originally put off of this game because of the artwork. Yeah, I don't know what's wrong with me - especially now because I'd say the art is gorgeous.

Those three are the love interests in the game. Left to right: Ron, Valen and Antoine.
(I will admit that, even though I had a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to him, Antoine became my favorite of the romance-able guys, followed very closely by Ron.)

Seriously, the thing that kept me coming back to this game as I finished each chapter was the art. And a healthy dose of boredom. Because it certainly wasn't the story which was...odd. It was inventive once you got going down the paths for the guys, while still drawing heavily on pop-culture but at first, it really felt a bit like the same old same old.

This game is told in chapter format - with each chapter currently out. To proceed, you will need a key number that you unlocked from the previous chapter, based on you decisions. Also, this game has a cooking minigame (that is kind of challenging) and a maze (that nearly killed me).

You can play this game at deviantart - and my link is to the main folder for this game.

Play Online

Monday, July 14, 2014

Planet Stronghold

($24.99 - Free Demo - From Winter Wolves)

Play as a new recruit assigned to the most well-known human outpost in the galaxy: Planet Stronghold. In this game you can play as either Lisa or Joshua Nelson. Will you fight the aliens? Will you befriend them? Will you romance a comrade? It's all up to you in this sci-fi RPG style game.

Okay, while this isn't a straight-up otome game, there are enough romances (as subplots) that I am adding it here anyway.

I liked the basis for the game - stereotypical as it is. You play as a newly arrived Nelson (either Lisa or Joshua - choosing between a male and a female having no bearing on the game except who you can romance) and soon find yourself leading a team of cadets in an effort to either help the king or help overthrow the king. For me, the choice of whose side to join was one of the best things about this game. Though the artwork wasn't shabby either.

The RPG system was a lot of fun and you could customize the characters quite a bit, actually. While I didn't like the battle system as much as Loren's (from the same creator) it wasn't distracting. I will admit, I loved the artwork for this game. It has kind of a mid-nineties feel to it.

For me, the weak point in this game is usually what is the most important for me: the writing. Now, considering the fact that this game was close to a one man production and the writer is not a native English speaker, it wasn't bad. Even not taking all that into consideration, it wasn't bad writing - just rather uninspired.

The romances were rather brief and I never felt a real emotional connection to most of the people - and the writing failed to connect with me.

Now, I must say that, even though I totally recommend this game to anyone that is intrigued (or at least the demo) I will say that you shouldn't expect a lot out of the writing. (I also must quantify that I would recommend pretty much everything by Winter Wolves.)

Official Website