I picked up Animal Crossing New Horizons on its launch day, and I’m still playing it today. I don’t care how you play or choose to enjoy Animal Crossing but this is my little Animal Crossing story… It’s a deeply personal story actually…
I have played every Animal Crossing game ever since the first one – at least those that were brought over for American Gamers stateside that is.
I like the relaxing gameplay, and I play many similar games such as Harvest Moon, Atelier, and Rune Factory, just to name a few. Other similar games include the Sims, “Tycoon” type games, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Sim City, Zoo Tycoon, and indie games like Terraria or Stardew Valley, or taking it back old school style with Azure Dreams. Or Zelda Breath of the Wild other open world PC games like Elder Scrolls or Fallout Or Red Dead Or … Basically any type of semi open world game that allows you to craft or farm or build a village or customize things in kinda a never ending kinda almost aimless type of gameplay…read more
I recently started playing Dragon Raja, a full featured MMORPG on smart mobile devices.
Overall Score: 75/90 83% B “Very Good Game For Girls”
Overview: 10/10 Dragon Raja is a beautiful game with amazing character customization and open world environment. Play as one of four starting classes and three “races” (male human, female human, or a kawaii lolita race (all of my characters are loli because they’re sooo cute!!) The character customization is the highlight of this game to me. Story, Gameplay, and Music are all pretty great though really.read more
The sequel to KLab’s smash hit Love Live School Idol Festival, Love Live All Stars takes it to the next level with fully animated Live2D characters that dance around on the screen.
Like its predecessor, Love Live School Idol Festival, Love Live All Stars is a card collecting rhythm game with cute anime girls to collect.
The new installment in Love Live has a few key differences from the original, most notably is the animation. There’s also costumes you can unlock for your girls to wear and a new voltage gameplay system that allows you to score more points.read more
I received this copy of Maitetsu Pure Station in exchange for a review. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Title: Maitetsu Pure Station
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: January 2020
Genre: Visual Novel
Overall Score: 87/100 87% Very Good Game For Girls
Geeky: 5/5 This game is educational and full of both history and sci-fi elements.
Sweetie: 5/5 This game also has adorable cute anime characters and stunning graphics. The story is good with a lot of emotional and cute scenes. The production values are high and the music and voice acting are all well above average. read more
I just started playing Sweet Dance, a pretty cute mobile game with a variety of music hits from around the world. Songs include English hits from the US and Europe as well as Chinese, Korean, and Japanese tracks.
The game has several different dance modes. In the first dance mode, bubble mode, you must simply tap the bubbles on the screen. In Trail mode you must tap left, right, or both sides of your screen depending on the colors of the bubbles. Pink is Right. Blue is left. Yellow is both. The beginning mandatory tutorial only makes you play Bubble mode so I was confused when I played Trail mode but eventually figured it out. There’s also a beat mode which is like DDR for your fingers. In beat mode you must quickly punch in a sequence of arrow movements and then lock in your sequence at the right time with the beat button (The right time is when the red dot is near the white line). read more
I’ve been playing a new mobile Dressup game called CocoPPa Dolls. As its name suggests it is by the creator of CocoPPa Play although this new title plays a lot more like Love Nikki or Romantic Diary than CocoPPa Play.
The gameplay is simple. You play Gacha to get new items for your avatar to wear. Some Gacha are time limited and some have rare items and others are always available with less rare items.
Ok so I know what you’re thinking. That sounds just like CocoPPa Play but that’s about when the similarities end.
From here you have a few different unique features… Let’s look at them briefly. Pictures may not be related to the text here I’m just sharing cute screenshots I took while playing.read more
I had previously played the Japanese version briefly of A3! Act, Actor, Addict, an otome simulation game that puts you in the role of a young woman looking for her father who went missing 8 years ago.
Cybrid has now released an English version of the game, which is good, because this one has almost no gameplay, and tons of reading (as most Otome and Visual novels). Which is why I only played the JP version very briefly, because I can’t read Japanese, and with little gameplay, and no story (since I couldn’t understand it) it became boring quickly. But now that it is in English, I’m enjoying it quite a bit.read more
I just recently purchased the Fairy Pink Tamagotchi On from Barnes and Noble. Here’s my thoughts after the first 24 hours. I did a lot of research prior to purchasing Tamagotchi On. Tamagotchi On is also known as Tamagotchi Meets in Japan and Tamagotchi Some in Korea. The Tamagotchi Meets has a lot of bugs which were all fixed for the English Tamagotchi On. The bugs included things such as draining the batteries in just a day or Tamagotchis getting glitched when they evolved.
I also read that a lot of people received used looking Tamagotchi On from amazon who had badly scratched screens despite being brand new. Luckily mine was in perfect condition. I don’t know if the scratched screens were just from Amazon, or maybe a bad batch, afterall it’s been out for about 2 months now so my tama is from a different manufacturing batch.
I chose to purchase from Barnes and Noble because you can get 30% off your first toy order when you join the free kid’s club. Tamagotchi On are pretty pricey around $50-60 so saving 30% is a big deal.
I also prepared for my Tamagotchi’s arrival by buying a “case” which as far as I can tell is just a decorative touch. It might offer some protection but not much. When it comes to Tamagotchi “cases” there’s 3 basic types. Silicone which is what I bought – I picked out a pink Pusheen case which still isn’t here. Crochet cases from places like Etsy – many of which have cat or rabbit ears. And Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer holders which people are using mostly as wrist straps. Unlike the original Tamagotchis of the 90s, the new ones are not keychains. They do have a place you could attach a chain, wrist strap, or lanyard though. Or just pop your tamagotchi into the Bath and Bodyworks hand sanitizer.
The other ways I prepared for my Tama’s arrival include buying a tiny screwdriver and some rechargeable batteries. The battery door is secured with a tiny screw. I bought an eyeglass repair kit. If you live in the united states you can buy these at the dollar tree store. It comes with 2 screw drivers that fit the tiny screw and a cleaning cloth that you can use on the screen. And it only costs a dollar.
I dunno about you, but I am a 90s kid. I grew up with the original Tamagotchi. The new Tamagotchi On is very similar to its 90s counterpart. The basic concept of the game remains the same, you navigate the menus with 3 buttons. The first button toggles through the menus, the 2nd button confirms your selection, and the third button cancels and goes to the previous screen.
The gameplay also has not changed much on the surface. You feed, play with, and clean up after your virtual pet. The big differences between Tamagotchi On and the 90s version are that the Tamagotchi On is in full color and has a backlit screen. The Tamagotchi On also features some new gameplay elements, the biggest of which is the ability to connect to the Tamagotchi On app and play minigames to earn coins, or meet other players from around the world. Once your Tamagotchi is an adult, you can even marry another player’s Tamagotchi and have babies, including twins. The genetics of the parents pass down and there are over 1 million different combinations and ways that your Tamagotchi can look. You can use the coins from the minigames to dressup your tama, decorate your room, buy toys or food for your tama, or put your Tama in a daycare so you can take time away, perfect if you have to leave your tama when you go to work or school.
If you have 2 Tamagotchi they can have playdates or communicate when you connect via infrared. You may want 2 Tama anyways because there are 2 versions *and more in Japan* with exclusive places you can unlock and a few Tamagotchi exclusive to each version. And in some cases (in Japan) there are rare genes in the special versions. The two places you can visit right now are Magic Land in the Purple or Green Magic Tamagotchi On US versions, or Fairy Land in Pink or Blue Fairy versions. The fairy version has more cute type Tamagotchi while the Magic version has more cool type tamagotchi. So which version you get may be influenced by what type of Tamagotchi you like best. If you like cute things like unicorns, or cool things like bats, vampires, witches, etc. But in the end it really doesn’t matter since you can marry and have babies and get the genes from all of the versions, even the Japanese exclusive versions, so you should just go for the shell color you like best. The white Magic one was limited in Japan but it’s now going to be an amazon exclusive in the US and Canada.
There are also many special events that happen. Like right now it is fall time and sometimes a tamagotchi will visit mine and they will go harvest fall food from the trees. Sometimes my tamagotchi will play hide n seek, or play with bubbles, or try to talk to me to get my attention.
It is a simple cute game with the object being to reach adulthood and breed and aim either for genes you like, or for rare genes that you want to collect.
Is it worth the high price? It faces a tough market, saturated with apps on the phone, some including other virtual pets, or even more complex games, all for free. each day new apps release, and kids have cell phones these days. But maybe Bandai never intended to target kids in the first place; perhaps they’re banking on people like me who collected the first tamagotchi to be willing to pay for the new Tamagotchi On.
What I like about Tamagotchi On is the feeling of nostalgia, the cuteness, both of the graphics, and the outer shell, and the ability to breed and see genes pass down to the babies. I also like that I only need to spend a few minutes a couple times a day checking in on the Tamagotchi. It doesn’t require much time, effort, or thought. It’s just a simple cute game. I like the feel of the egg in my hand, and the buttons are comfortably placed. This Tamagotchi is larger than the 90s version and seems a perfect fit for my hands. The color backlit screen is also a big improvement over the 90s version.
What I don’t like about Tamagotchi On is no built in keychain/wrist strap/lanyard mechanism, and sadly, I think I’ll enjoy the game for a few weeks and then bore/tire of it quickly because it’s just too simplistic. But on the plus side I do think I will revisit the Tamagotchi from time to time, whenever I feel like playing a cute and carefree game.
BTS now has an official visual novel style game that puts you in the role of managing your favorite boy band. Unfortunately, it is a great concept but has poor execution. There are lots of features which sound fun, but somehow still miss the mark. Even if you love BTS, which I do, this game still feels dull and boring. But somehow it’s cute, and I still find myself playing it and hoping it will get better. I’m grateful they made this game and took time to translate the text to English. Even if it is rather mediocre at best.
Check out the full review below.
Name: BTS World
Genre: Visual Novel / Otome Game / Dating Sim / Manager Sim
The game has only been out for about 2 weeks at this point, so hopefully they can keep adding new updates to make the game more exciting. The first chapter is especially dull. It needs a better introduction to the game, because no one is going to stick around to keep playing when the first dozen or more missions are so lackluster. I keep playing to see the cute boys, but you could just watch BTS youtube videos and get the same effect lol.
Geeky: 2/5 – Gameplay is bad, story is boring, but yet, it is definitely geeky, only geeky girls (and guys?) who love BTS will play this game.
Sweetie: 5/5 – The game is cute, with each member being featured in their own chapters and putting you in the middle of their story – even though that story really isn’t good at all. I like being able to pretend to text/chat with BTS, and watch their cute reactions. Who is your favorite BTS member? I like Jimin and Jin. They are so cute.
Gameplay: 4/10 – I want to rate this higher… but I just can’t… It has so many features, collecting cards like in Love Live, visual novel/otome story like idea factory games, dressup minigames like love nikki, chatting/phoning like Mystic Messenger…. yet… somehow… even though it draws inspiration from all of these amazing popular games that I love… it somehow… feels flat to me… The features are there… but they lack heart if that makes any sense?
Also one thing that drives me crazy is we can’t take screenshots, and can’t share our cards / brag about rares, etc on social media; that kills a lot of the fun for me.
Story: 3/10 – The story is bad… really bad… Almost can’t force myself to keep playing the game because the story is so slow, boring, dull, just blah…. You guys know I don’t like giving spoilers when I review a game, I like to let you discover the stories for yourselves… I should add I’m not very far in the game yet? Maybe about half way through? Maybe it will get better?
To give you a “highlight” of the story “concept” BTS World takes place in an alternate universe where BTS has never met. You receive a strange message on your phone telling you that you have won a free ticket to a BTS concert, but when you arrive, it’s only a single member, who is waiting to sign a contract which you somehow mysteriously have been carrying around.
Surprise, you’re BTS’ manager. Only you have any memory of who BTS is in the “Real World”. Here in this alternate universe, you work at Big Hit and have been tasked with recruiting talent for a new boy band who will eventually become what we know as BTS.
You do this by progressing through a visual novel style game, although there are few choices along the way.
The game assumes alot about you as the player. It assumes you already know who BTS is, and that you have in depth intimate knowledge about each of the members of BTS. The game doesn’t really provide you any of this information, because why would you be playing this game unless you love BTS right? (that’s their thinking not mine, I personally “like” BTS, but I’m not really knowledgeable about every single member).
I think the story could be improved by assuming less. Giving the characters more… character? I want to learn/know more about each member of BTS while I’m playing… but I feel like it doesn’t really tell me much… which leaves me feeling uninterested…
The games first several missions are literally like “OMG it’s xyz Member, what’s he doing here? Oh he signed my contract, and teased me because I’m freaking out again. I’m a really bad manager. I will do my best to help BTS”
I rather it assume that the player only has minimal knowledge – or better yet even, no knowledge, of BTS. I rather see the members introduced doing things they enjoy/love, like what’s their favorite food, what other hobbies do they have aside from kpop, like maybe playing video games, playing basketball, reading, volunteering with animals, I dunno, whatever BTS does in their spare time.
I feel like that would add some… heart… or humanity… or something to this game…. Give me a reason to care about the characters….
The target audience of this game, the millions of ARMYs are probably perfectly happy with this game, as evidenced by the 4.8 rating on Google…. I don’t consider myself an ARMY… but I do consider myself a fan of BTS – as evidenced here the last month or two that I’ve been sharing my listening habits with you readers, you can see I constantly list BTS (among also other KPop artists).
But even though I’m a fan, I couldn’t tell you too much; hell I can’t even name every member honestly – sorry, I’m not like die-hard… I’m just kinda a casual fan… but I would like to play this game too… but it just… frustrates me that I feel detached from the story and characters because the game does nothing to introduce them, tell me about them, let me “get to know them”.
Which leads us to…
Characters: 7/10 – I’m rating this highly – I am taking points away for the lack of character “development” – but the characters are actual BTS members and they have made videos and pictures etc just for this game, which is really cute, where they speak right to you as a manager. And you can see cute clips and introductions and it’s very cute. I love the cute boys. That’s the only thing saving this game. lol.
Graphics: 8/10 – Sometimes… the graphics look very cheesy in the novel (main gameplay parts), because they are so stiff. I’m used to Live2D where the characters move fluidly… But… in other sections, even some high level cards, there is real video clips, and BTS is so cute, who couldn’t love the Graphics, really?
Voice: 10/10 – BTS provides voice clips for the game too. You can hear BTS talking to you :).
Music: 10/10 – What BTS game wouldn’t have good music? duh lol.
Replay Value: 2/10 – I’m not sure… it’s only been out for 2 weeks – will they have time-limited cards, special events, etc? I hope so, otherwise once you complete the story (which isn’t even that good in the first place) I see no reason to keep playing the game.
My Score: 51/80 64% D “Average Game For Girls” – Yeah, I’d say this game is really just Average. Much better games out there… but if you love BTS – and know a lot about BTS – like I know Millions of ARMYs do – then you will probably super love this game. For me, it’s just kinda cute/amusing but ultimately not a very good game at all, despite that I like BTS quite a bit, but my lack of intimate knowledge of the band and its members ultimately hurts my enjoyment of this game. Your mileage may vary, especially if you’re a BTS super fan. lol.
Storm8 Studios also has a lot of other kawaii games including Bakery Story and Dragon Story. Check em out.
Home Design Makeover is a Match 3 game, similar to Homescapes, Gardenscapes, etc. Yes, you do have some options in how to design the home, but not nearly as much flexibility as Design Home.
Design Home is by Crowdstar Inc. They have only one other game, a popular dressup game called Covet Fashion. I have played Covet Fashion for a long time. Design Home plays almost the same as Covet Fashion but the concept is to decorate your room instead of dressup your model.
The concept is similar, you enter timed events and can borrow from your friends’ inventories, or use currently owned items, or purchase furnishing for gems or dollars in game currency. You can also vote on various events to earn more event tickets (called keys in Design home). And like Covet Fashion, the items are from real-world brands and have links to purchase or view the real-world equivalent of the item outside of the app as well.
The thing I love about Design Home is how much flexibility it has. You don’t just pick from 1 of 3 couches or 1 of 3 wallpapers, but hundreds of different items and there are many many items in each room, tables, chairs, accessories, wall decor, etc. This makes your design truly unique and much more exciting and creative than the match 3 system in games like Home Design Makeover or Homescapes.
In the end, I prefer Design Home, it’s more creative and enjoyable. But Home Design Makeover is fun especially if you are a fan of similar Match 3 games. Check them both out and leave a comment below for which game you prefer.
I had downloaded this game, Mr. Love Queen’s Choice, months ago, and forgot all about it, until I saw someone on instagram sharing a video stream of the game, and I was like wow that game looks fun. Then I saw it was by Elex, makers of Love Nikki Dressup Queen, and I was like, I need to play this game. Since then, I’ve sunk probably 20 hours into the game and am really enjoying it so far.
Release Date: I think I must have used Qoo App, because I am already playing the game, and it says Pre-register on the play store. Or maybe I got into beta? I am not sure, anyways, yes I am playing the game currently. You can check Qoo App, which is probably how I got it. And yes I’m playing it in English.
Overall: 65/80 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
Geeky: 3/5 – Basically just a card collecting game, but with a twist, you manage a TV studio and produce various korean tv shows and commercials. The cards have different skills such as if they’re good at drama or news or gourmet cooking shows, as well as stats for things such as affinity, decision, creativity, and other skills that you would expect an idol to need to have to be successful. Some cards are more rare than others. You can also level the cards up. But nothing too complex here, definitely a casual game.
Sweetie: 5/5 – there are otome aspects, sometimes the guys will call you, and it is partially voiced in English. The artwork is beautiful, the voice acting is pretty good, and the whole Kdrama Producer thing really speaks to anyone who loves simulation games.
Overview: 10/10 Mr Love Queen’s Choice lets you run a TV studio and recruit idols, as mentioned, with various specialties and stats. The main draw of the game is collecting idols, progressing through the story, and dating the idols. I think it is a unique concept, there’s a lot of idol producer games, but not too many that take a TV Studio theme.
Gameplay: 10/10 Gameplay is pretty simple, and if you’ve played Love Nikki you will be instantly familiar with the user interface as it seems to just be reskinned and given a new theme. No, this one is not a dressup game, but the way you progress through various levels, and the achievement system and basic interface are very similar. I give full marks to Gameplay because I’m really enjoying the simulation aspects of this game, casting idols based on their strengths as to who will perform best at various assignments. You also can experience otome game elements by choosing how to respond to various parts of the story. I am not sure how much consequence your choices carry – if any at all. But it is a nice touch.
Story: 10/10 – Actually for a mobile game, I’m really enjoying the story. First of all, yes I love korean dramas, and the thought of a game that lets you simulate your own Kdrama production studio, is a huge draw, but that’s not the only thing the story offers. You are daughter of a famous Producer who has passed away and left the studio to you, but it is struggling to stay afloat. As you struggle to step out of your Father’s shadow, and take the company to new heights, you also have recurring dreams about an accident that happened when you were a child. You narrowly escaped death and now your thoughts turn to trying to remember the face of the man who saved you all those years ago. As you’re occupied in your thoughts one day, you find yourself again in a similar situation and rescued by a mysterious man. Could it be the same man from your past? And why do these men keep appearing around you? One such man tells you that you are an Evolver, and that you do not know it yet, but you will soon awaken to your true powers. Leaving you (both as the character and the person playing the game) completely confused as to what he meant. Strange things also begin happening around town – could this be related to your supposed powers? The story offers a lot of mystery, intrigue, romance, and suspense. I have not fast forwarded or skipped a single screen.
Characters: 5/10 – I’m giving 5 out of 10 here. I do like the characters, and I appreciate they have a strong tie to the story, but there just aren’t enough characters to collect for an idol simulation game. I hope they continue to add new characters in the future!
Music: 5/10 – Kinda average, I don’t have strong feelings either way. I usually play mobile games on silent while other people are watching movies or something else anyways.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – I do like that they have voice acting in the game. It is in English, and some of the actors are really good… But some of them are not as good… I’d say overall though the acting is better than expected for a mobile game.
Graphics: 10/10 – I love the artwork of this game.
I am really into Idol M@ster Shiny Colors. Unlike other Idol M@ster Mobile Games or Love Live or Bang Dream, Idol M@ster Shiny Colors is not a rhythm game. Idol M@ster Shiny Colors is a simulation game. You are a producer and “hire” idols to work in your studio. You draw the idols from gacha.
Please note – I did not realize this when I played, but on your first 10 play gacha, you get UNLIMITED REROLLS by pushing the YELLOW BUTTON on the left. Once you are happy with your cards press the PINK button on the right. I didn’t know, I pushed the pink button and I only had one SSR. I have been thinking about starting over (and still might) but I think I had some pre-registration bonuses and other things I don’t want to lose by restarting the game. So definitely do not push the Pink button until you have the cards you want.
Collecting and dressing girls is the main appeal of the game. But what do you do once you have a team of idol girls? You can plan their schedule – like a true sim game. You can have them practice, give interviews, or other activities to promote their stats.
The stats also can be increased in a final-fantasy-style skill tree system where you spend skill points to unlock stat-bonuses like +20 vocals, +30 dance, +20 vitality, etc. Depending what “path” you take in the skill tree your girls will develop in different ways.
You have one main girl, and several other backup idols. The main girl is the one to gain from this skill tree system.
Performing a live show is quite different from other mobile idol games. It’s more almost like an RPG battle. You tap a girl’s face below the stage and then tap a “skill” along the left such as vocal, dance, etc. Then a colored bar will appear on the screen, try to time it right and tap the screen when the needle on the bar is in the white color. White will give you the highest bonus. Purple the least, and yellow a medium boost. You can also “link” your girls’ actions to perform together in one attack. On the right hand side of the screen are some other bubbles. i think, but could be wrong since I do not read Japanese, but think that you are competing against other idols, and as you perform these skills you can defeat the idols to the right hand side. But if you miss, you will notice your own idols on the left dropping off the screen. Once all the idols either on left or right are gone, the performance ends.
The artwork in the game is very kawaii, and SSR and higher cards have movie animations, both when retrieving from the Gacha and also when performing a live show. All of the idols are animated with Live 2D which brings the characters to life on your screen. Many of the cards have “multiple characters” on one card, and when performing a live show, or meeting the idols out in town, you may see special scenes featuring the characters all together.
The voice acting and music is also top notch as you would expect from an idol game.
Replay value is high due to limited time events that offer rewards such as gacha tickets and gems.
My only complaint is a lot of the gacha are for paid gems only. However, the gems are fairly cheap, you can get a few hundred gems for under $10 – I haven’t bought any yet.
Will we see Idol M@ster Shiny Colors get an English release? Probably not. They tried years ago to release some Idol M@ster games in English and it flopped – however, they wanted $65 for a mobile game – And worst of all, after it flopped, they pulled it down and even if you had paid for it you could no longer play it!!! I wish they would try again but with some of their “FREE” mobile games, either Shiny Colors, Theater Days, or Cinderella Girls. — But my hope is slim… However there are 2 things that give me a little bit of hope. 1.) They seem to understand that there may be English speaking players playing Shiny Colors, when the visual novel aspects come up and the choices appear, they show in English an emoji and English words that say “Perfect” “Good” “Normal” so even if you can’t read the choices you can pick the best response still. And when purchasing diamonds, the currency is shown in US Dollars, not in Yen, which is odd. I’ve literally never seen that ever before in any Japanese games. Which is a nice touch so I don’t have to try to convert it, if I ever decide to buy diamonds. And 2.) I have hope because we are getting more and more and more English idol games, with the upcoming Revue Starlight Re LIVE, or last year’s Bang Dream Girl’s Band Party and Utapri, or the ever popular Love Live School Idol Festival, we continue to receive more and more games in this genre, but we have yet to receive any of the free Idol M@ster games… Shiny Colors is only a few weeks old in Japan, maybe in a year or two we could hope to see an English release? But it is still fairly easy to play even in Japanese. But it would be nice to be able to enjoy the story! I’d be more likely to buy paid gems if the game was in English.
Overall Score 70/80 88% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”
Geeky: 5/5 – collect virtual waifus. very geeky. And simulation aspects set this game apart from other idol games.
Sweetie: 5/5 – the girls are adorable
Gameplay: 10/10 – finally a true simulation game, similar to Princess Maker or Tokimeki Memorial, you schedule your idol’s activities and watch their stats grow. I enjoy this much more than just a tappy tap rhythm game. Your girls develop in different ways based on your choices and I love that.
Story: 0/10 – I can’t read Japanese so this may not be a “fair score” but until an English version exists I can’t judge the storyline.
Characters: 10/10 – cute, gorgeous artwork, huge diversity of girls.
Artwork: 10/10 – cute, live 2D, SSR and higher cards have full movie animation sequences.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – all of the girls sound so cute.
Music: 10/10 – of course a game about idols is going to have catchy and cute music.
Replay Value: 10/10 – Lots of events, they give a lot of SR tickets and free Gems and the fact that this is a simulation game also adds replay value because the girls change based on decisions you make.
Overall Score 70/80 88% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World is a brand new game by Koei Tecmo Games to celebrate 20 years of the series. Wow has it been that long already? I still remember the first 2 games way back when. And you know what else I remember, a little-known Nintnedo DS offshoot game in the Atelier Series called Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island which came out about 10 years ago.
So why Am I mentioning Atelier Annie? Because, if you’ve ever played it, then you know what to expect from Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists. Both games are unlike any of the rest of the Atelier Games, and instead put you in a role of managing a city and completing missions to advance.
Nelke has some really negative reviews – at least on Steam, but I purchased Nelke anyways, on a hunch it’d be like Atelier Annie, and you know what, I’m not disappointed. If you liked Annie, you’ll like Nelke. Conversely, if you hated Annie, you’ll hate Nelke, and if you’ve never played either game, well there’s only one way to find out then, and that’s by giving it a go for yourself.
The reviews on steam are complaining how different Nelke is — and to some — how boring it is… But honestly Atelier Annie was one of my favorites in the series. I loved the humorous story / humorous main character, and yes, I enjoyed the more “Sim Like” gameplay of building a city.
Nelke is not without flaws however; Unlike Annie, it lacks the humor and charm, and feels a bit dry and dull so far in the story. I’m 4 hours in at this point… which brings to another flaw, in that 4 hours in, I’m still in the tutorial… This game is very very very linear in the tutorial… Like almost everything will be on lockdown… for a long while… expect your first 8+ hours to be linear AF….
After that though there really is a TON of stuff to do in this game. It is NOT boring at all. You can craft items, gather materials, build new buildings, talk to your villagers, discover new recipes, sell items in your shops, and invest in new routes and tools to use in your adventures. There are simplistic turn based combats and different characters to recruit to your village.
You have to complete some required, and other optional tasks within a set number of days within the game. This can make it difficult and frustrating, so save often and in multiple save slots to try to minimize time lost if you miss a goal.
The game either runs slow on my laptop, or just is really slow by design, to the point where its a little frustrating. It may just be my laptop though and can probably be improved if I adjust some settings.
The main complaint a lot of people have is that while exploring you do nothing but watch your characters walk by on the screen. They will converse, gather items, and occasionally run into random enemy encounters. The battles are also slow and tedious. I do agree with these basic gameplay flaws. However, they don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the other aspects of city building and mission completing and watching my city grow and evolve based on my decisions and choices made in where to invest and what to build next, etc.
The graphics are insanely adorable as always with the Atelier series.
Unlike a lot of the other games in the Atelier Universe, this one does not have English voice acting. I do like to have the original voice actors, but I also sometimes like to have an English cast too. I was disappointed they didn’t offer both.
I assume replay value is high because each city you build will be pretty unique and you will attract different stores, different npcs, and different quests based on how your city is developing.
All and all I’d rate the score card like this:
Title: Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists – Ateliers Of The New World –
Platform – (for this review The PC version was used.) It’s also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Geeky: 3/5 – Points for bringing back some of the popular characters from this series over the past 20 years.
Sweetie: 5/5 – For the casual gameplay and kawaii art
Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”
Gameplay: 7/10 – I do love the sim aspects, having been a huge fan of Atelier Annie (easily one of my top 3 games in the Atelier universe). But I do agree that the game is slow and the wait for the payoff/reward is pretty steep. The game also doesn’t run great, can’t tell if it’s just my PC though maybe.
Story: 3/10 – I’m not loving the story, or lack there of. I’m 4 hours in and there’s not much of any story to be found; it does keep hinting at solving a mystery about a fruit from a legendary tree. But compared to other Atelier games the story feels less engaging so far.
Characters: 10/10 – I love seeing popular characters from the Atelier games return all in a brand new game. I also love the new characters that were created just for this game.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – The original Japanese voice cast does a great job and sounds super cute, but where’s the dual English voice acting? A bit disappointing especially for a 20th anniversary edition, you’d think they would have put a little more time and effort into the localization on this one. It feels cheap and rushed to not have both to choose from.
Music: 10/10 – Always love the music in the Atelier games, and Nelke doesn’t disappoint here either.
Replay Value: 8/10 – I think replay value will be very high, but I’m not looking forward to dredging through 5+ hours of linear handheld tutorials each time.
Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”
Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who does not mind slower paced casual simulation games, or to anyone who remembers playing Atelier Annie on the DS. I like Atelier Annie a lil bit more because of the humorous story; but Nelke’s story may pick up and become more interesting. I may come in eventually and update my review scores if I find the story to improve as I get further into the game. Gameplay wise though it is almost identical to Atelier Annie, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check Nelke out.
Overview: Sonic Mania is one of the newest Sonic Games, however, it pays homage to 90s oldschool Sonic and is very well received by 30+ year old Sonic fans, as well as a whole new generation of gamers.
Gameplay: 10/10 – Sonic is back in a new game, with levels re-designed from the original Sonic games as well as all new levels created for Sonic Mania. You can play as Sonic, Tails, or several “new” characters first appearing in Knuckles Chaotix or Arcade exclusive sonic games. To play the game as other characters you will have to select the characters at the starting screen – you cannot switch characters within the game.
The levels are fun and fast and action packed. You run, jump, spin, and dash through the levels. There are many different paths in each level and many hidden objects, including entrances to bonus stages to capture chaos diamonds. Overall the gameplay is fun and full of nostalgia
Story: 1/10 Sonic isn’t a story-centric game, and it doesn’t really need a story. Timeline wise, it is said to take place after the events in Sonic and Knuckles. Lack of story does not hurt this game, but if you’re looking for a game with a great story, this is not it.
Characters: 5/10 – I enjoyed seeing Sonic and his friends return in an all new game, and it definitely brought back nostalgia and my childhood, but without a story, there’s no real personality or character development here. Once again though, games like this do not really need character development to be central to the player’s enjoyment of the game.
Graphics: 7/10 – The graphics are done in a bright colorful oldschool pixel style. This is not for everyone. Clearly this game is wanting to appeal to old school gamers who grew up with the original Sonic. Me? I liked it. But your opinion may be different. I did see some anti-aliasing and rough edges as to be expected in pixel style games, mostly especially when playing in fullscreen mode. There are different filters and options you can enable in settings to try to minimize this jagged-edginess.
Music: 10/10 – The music is definitely old school too and a great homage to the Sega Genesis Sonic games, which always had some pretty fun music.
Replay Value: 10/10 – The replay value is high because there are different characters that you can play as, each with their own unique abilities that make taking different paths through the same levels very unique experiences. No two characters play exactly alike. There are also different gameplay modes such as time attack and multiplayer competitions.
Nostalgia: 10/10 – This game set out to be a tribute game to the 90’s Sonic games, and it succeeds at this in an unprecedented way, welcoming back into the fold Sega fans who felt disappointed with the past several Sonic games.
Geeky: 5/5 – Nostalgia and pixel graphics and great soundtrack that 90s kids will love, make Sonic Mania chock full of nostalgia.
Sweetie: 2/5 – Lack of story and lack of character dialogue make this a game that is definitely outside the norm of what I normally enjoy or normally review here. However I think the nostalgia and cute/colorful graphics and anthropomorphic animal characters will appeal to most of my readers, who are already probably familiar with the Sonic franchise.