Monday, September 1, 2014
($20 - Free Demo - from Winter Wolves)
Nicole is just starting her first year at her first choice college. She's got wonderful plans for her future. But, almost as soon as she arrives she starts hearing about girls going missing only to turn up three days later - with no memory of what happened to them. Nicole, a big fan of mystery novels, takes it upon herself to investigate. It isn't long, however, before she catches the kidnapper's eye.
'Discover the true identity of the culprit. Careful, you could be dating him!' - WW website
Okay, first let me say that this game was just amazing. I was definitely looking forward to this game, but I didn't expect it to be as awesome as it was. I've played enough of Winter Wolves' games to be able to notice the increase in quality and there were several things that took a step up in this game.
For one thing, having a mystery plot was great. It lessened the focus on the romance and made the relationship seem much more organic. I won't say that the culprit was exactly a surprise to me because…well… It wasn't. But I will say that, without a doubt, it added a little something to the story. And, it was a wonderful decision on the creator's part to make the culprit one of the guys you can actually date. That ending had me enthralled - even more so than the rest - and I must give kudos to the writer. Some pretty powerful stuff there and I will say it was handled remarkably. They had to be extremely gutsy to try something like that and I hope it pays off. The romance was also handled really well. What I found so great about it was the gradual increase of the character's affection for each other. They was certainly enough scenes for it, and none of them went to waste.
Now, let's talk about the other thing that makes this game stand out: characters. Nicole herself is up first. She certainly has the same basic personality type as most leading lady's in these games (outgoing, cheerful, ect.) but with a strong streak of independence that you don't always see. I do think she'd be a great friend to have and it was a lot of fun putting myself in her shoes for awhile as she is quite different from me.
I usually am a pretty good judge of characters, being able to usually point at the guy that'll be my favorite after just a few moments of gameplay. Knowing the type I usually (at least in theory) like, I thought I knew which of the guys it was going to be even before I started playing. Let's just say…I was wrong. Through no fault of my own. Usually, when I first play a game like this, I go through a meeting or two with each of the guys (if they're not introduced in the main storyline, which in this game, they were) and then decide which one I want to pursue first. With this game however, first meeting of a certain guy and I could have pointed at the computer screen and said 'him, he's going to be my favorite' with almost complete certainty and I wouldn't have been entirely wrong. However, he did get quite a bit of competition in my heart from a very unexpected source. Know what I said earlier about being a good judge of characters? This is one time it failed me beautifully. I mean, seriously, what do you do when you have a knee-jerk first impression of a guy that leaves you almost hating him? Seriously, I kind of did hate one of the guys when I first met him. And then, the way the story is constructed, I had to run into him several more times before the romances fully diverged - and, wouldn't you know it, each and every time I wound up liking him more and more and being extremely curious about him. I already had a strange feeling that I'd probably actually like him - doubtlessly more than I should considering my opinion of him at first. And, what do you know, I did. So much so that he became a very close second favorite. (For those curious, the guys I'm talking about are Ted and Jeff.)
I will say, at times there was some serious mood whiplash between the romance and the mystery, but the characters carried the day.
There is also currently a yuri (GxG) version of this game in production. It's going slowly, but it is going.