I spent the weekend with my Chinese Parents… video game for Nintendo Switch that is. There are many aspects of this game that I really enjoyed. It is quite addicting. I probably sunk 20 hours into the game and am on my 5th generation. I’ve sprinkled some random screenshots throughout my review. At the end of the review is our score card and final verdict along with a gallery with all the screenshots I’ve taken so far. (Gallery is having some errors, too many photos, so I will try to add it in later).
So all day I’ve been seeing ads for this game called Lovelink and at first I found it creepy because it’s trying so hard to look like a real dating app. Just so you know: it’s a GAME. There are no real profiles or real people. It’s not Real. You don’t even type real responses just select from one or more prompts on screen. So after seeing the ad for like the fifth time I decided to check it out.
Lovelink tries to make itself seem real. I met my fiancé on a dating app (Bumble) and I have experience with real apps like this so I’ll say it’s an interesting concept. The user interface and overall experience feels like a dating app.
Today I am reviewing DAL Date A Live Spirit Pledge, a mobile game on android and IOS. Date A Live Spirit Pledge combines visual novel choice and consequence style dating simulation aspects with real-time action-rpg combat. It includes a skill-tree to customize your characters combat abilities and offers a little something for all audiences to enjoy.
Title: DAL Date A Live Sprit Pledge Global
Release Date: July 2020
Today I am sharing yet another Horse Simulation game – this time it is a mobile game called My Horse Stories. I am not very far yet into this one. I just started playing it late last night. I haven’t even bred my own horse yet, just still using the first horse I purchased at the market.
I might not have all the right information to give a super accurate review, but I just want to give like an early impression review.
Rival Stars Racing is another similar, yet different, horse breeding, raising, and racing game. I just also learned that it is soon coming to Mac and PC so if you’re the type who doesn’t enjoy mobile games, you might be interested in the PC version with enhanced graphics and additional features.
What makes Rival Stars Racing so great? The first thing that really stands out is the genetic system, allowing for stats and colors/markings to be passed down from parents to foals.
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…
I recently received Starlight Stage A Pop Idol Card Game from RightStuf. RightStuf is one of the oldest and largest distributors of Otaku merchandise in the US. Check out their website at www.RightStuf.com for everything from anime, manga, action figures, Japanese candy, games, and more.
I decided to purchase Starlight Stage because I’m a fan of mobile idol games and idol anime such as Love Live, Utapri, Bang Dream, Ensemble Stars, and yes, Idol M@ster.
I do not know for sure if this board game is based on Idol M@ster but I suspect it is, since one of the early and most popular Idol M@ster mobile games is titled Idol M@ster Starlight Stage. For whatever reason though, if it is in fact at all related, they stripped it of the Idol M@ster title and just dubbed it Starlight Stage. Either way, related or not, if you love the mobile games or anime idol games, you’ll love Starlight Stage Card Game by Japanime Games.
Title: Mr Love Queen’s Choice
Platform: IOS and Android
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.
Overall: 65/80 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
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”
They are running an event for Pre-Registration where they will give out rare girls based on the number of users who pre-register. So get all of your friends to join so we can all benefit from more Waifus.
The game and anime story follows a group of 9 girls all competing for the center stage, the shining star, lead performer role. The girls who were once friends now find themselves as rivals.
Not many details are available on the pre-registration site, but I expect an experience similar to Love Live School Idol, Bang! Dream Girl’s Band Party, or Idol M@ster.
A game where you collect cute girls, level them up, add them to your team, and play a rhythm game in solo or multiplayer game modes while enjoying a simple slice of life story.
Although the gameplay may be simple, the allure of collecting rare and time-limited girls will keep players coming back.
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World is a brand new game by Koei Tecmo Games to celebrate 20 years of the series. Wow has it been that long already? I still remember the first 2 games way back when. And you know what else I remember, a little-known Nintnedo DS offshoot game in the Atelier Series called Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island which came out about 10 years ago.
So why Am I mentioning Atelier Annie? Because, if you’ve ever played it, then you know what to expect from Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists. Both games are unlike any of the rest of the Atelier Games, and instead put you in a role of managing a city and completing missions to advance.
Nelke has some really negative reviews – at least on Steam, but I purchased Nelke anyways, on a hunch it’d be like Atelier Annie, and you know what, I’m not disappointed. If you liked Annie, you’ll like Nelke. Conversely, if you hated Annie, you’ll hate Nelke, and if you’ve never played either game, well there’s only one way to find out then, and that’s by giving it a go for yourself.
The reviews on steam are complaining how different Nelke is — and to some — how boring it is… But honestly Atelier Annie was one of my favorites in the series. I loved the humorous story / humorous main character, and yes, I enjoyed the more “Sim Like” gameplay of building a city.
Nelke is not without flaws however; Unlike Annie, it lacks the humor and charm, and feels a bit dry and dull so far in the story. I’m 4 hours in at this point… which brings to another flaw, in that 4 hours in, I’m still in the tutorial… This game is very very very linear in the tutorial… Like almost everything will be on lockdown… for a long while… expect your first 8+ hours to be linear AF….
After that though there really is a TON of stuff to do in this game. It is NOT boring at all. You can craft items, gather materials, build new buildings, talk to your villagers, discover new recipes, sell items in your shops, and invest in new routes and tools to use in your adventures. There are simplistic turn based combats and different characters to recruit to your village.
You have to complete some required, and other optional tasks within a set number of days within the game. This can make it difficult and frustrating, so save often and in multiple save slots to try to minimize time lost if you miss a goal.
The game either runs slow on my laptop, or just is really slow by design, to the point where its a little frustrating. It may just be my laptop though and can probably be improved if I adjust some settings.
The main complaint a lot of people have is that while exploring you do nothing but watch your characters walk by on the screen. They will converse, gather items, and occasionally run into random enemy encounters. The battles are also slow and tedious. I do agree with these basic gameplay flaws. However, they don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the other aspects of city building and mission completing and watching my city grow and evolve based on my decisions and choices made in where to invest and what to build next, etc.
The graphics are insanely adorable as always with the Atelier series.
Unlike a lot of the other games in the Atelier Universe, this one does not have English voice acting. I do like to have the original voice actors, but I also sometimes like to have an English cast too. I was disappointed they didn’t offer both.
I assume replay value is high because each city you build will be pretty unique and you will attract different stores, different npcs, and different quests based on how your city is developing.
All and all I’d rate the score card like this:
Title: Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists – Ateliers Of The New World –
Platform – (for this review The PC version was used.) It’s also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Geeky: 3/5 – Points for bringing back some of the popular characters from this series over the past 20 years.
Sweetie: 5/5 – For the casual gameplay and kawaii art
Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”
Gameplay: 7/10 – I do love the sim aspects, having been a huge fan of Atelier Annie (easily one of my top 3 games in the Atelier universe). But I do agree that the game is slow and the wait for the payoff/reward is pretty steep. The game also doesn’t run great, can’t tell if it’s just my PC though maybe.
Story: 3/10 – I’m not loving the story, or lack there of. I’m 4 hours in and there’s not much of any story to be found; it does keep hinting at solving a mystery about a fruit from a legendary tree. But compared to other Atelier games the story feels less engaging so far.
Characters: 10/10 – I love seeing popular characters from the Atelier games return all in a brand new game. I also love the new characters that were created just for this game.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – The original Japanese voice cast does a great job and sounds super cute, but where’s the dual English voice acting? A bit disappointing especially for a 20th anniversary edition, you’d think they would have put a little more time and effort into the localization on this one. It feels cheap and rushed to not have both to choose from.
Music: 10/10 – Always love the music in the Atelier games, and Nelke doesn’t disappoint here either.
Replay Value: 8/10 – I think replay value will be very high, but I’m not looking forward to dredging through 5+ hours of linear handheld tutorials each time.
Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”
Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who does not mind slower paced casual simulation games, or to anyone who remembers playing Atelier Annie on the DS. I like Atelier Annie a lil bit more because of the humorous story; but Nelke’s story may pick up and become more interesting. I may come in eventually and update my review scores if I find the story to improve as I get further into the game. Gameplay wise though it is almost identical to Atelier Annie, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check Nelke out.
Title: Princess Maker 5
Release Date: May 2018
Genre: Raising Sim/ Life Sim / Dating Sim
Overall: 61/80 76% C “Good Game for Girls”
Gameplay: 8/10 This is the last Princess Maker game in the series, aside from some online and mobile spin offs that were released later. As such, you can expect that the gameplay is much more advanced than previous Princess Maker games. Princess Maker 5 brings back the adventure system, previously seen in Princess Maker 2, allowing you to fight in simplistic rpg battles and search for treasure. It does not unlock until later in the game.
It is also the first time that you can select a female character to be the parent – Although if you play as a female, you cannot get the ending where the princess marries you (the parent).
Perhaps more importantly, there are many new activities that your daughter can participate in, compared to previous Princess Maker games. I felt that the gameplay more closely resembled Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side (which I reviewed here.)
You select a week’s worth of activities for your daughter. She will attend public school and have club activities but she will also have free time for you to schedule part time jobs or extra lessons to enhance her stats. On the weekends you will take your daughter out to try to reduce her stress or experience special seasonal events.
Like Tokimeki Memorial, you can see which events are happening by reading a paper that lists new events. You can have cube set a reminder on the day of the events so you don’t forget important dates. But the game will not automatically prompt/navigate you to the event so you still have to pay attention and remember when and where to go for the event.
Gameplay feels slow. Especially the first year. It feels repetitive and slow building your stats, and very few random encounters or events. But as I entered my 2nd year, that began to change. Suddenly, classmates/love interests began to invite my daughter out on dates, or suddenly teachers and employers invited my daughter to special events. Now it felt more interesting and exciting.
But still, ultimately, this game is long, and slow, and while this type of gameplay is best enjoyed in small bursts, because of the repetition and monotonous gameplay, it also is a game that doesn’t get interesting until several hours in. I spent over 6 hours in the first year… If like most princess maker games this one goes until the daughter’s 18th birthday, then this game has over 70 hours of gameplay, per playthrough, times 50 endings…. staggering… definitely a highlight of the game — but the gameplay is so monotonous that many people may never reach all 50 endings.
How could I give an 8/10 to a monotonous boring “dull” game? Well because of the added features the game presents, this game is the most realistic child rearing sim, and gives unprecedented freedom and control to the player. Your daughter grows in new ways never present in the previous princess maker games, and she grows more independent with her own hobbies and interests and desires and things become more complicated, it brings back the adventure system, and the new dating/events system seemingly borrowed from Tokimeki Memorial. All of these are an improvement over most of the gameplay features in previous princess maker games.
The game gives you unprecedented freedom to raise any kind of daughter you want, even if you want her to be a cosplaying anime fan who loves going to idol concerts. Seriously, she can become interested in just about anything you can imagine. lol.
Story: 5/10 I think part of the reason the game is so slow is that it has almost no story. You just literally keep clicking and waiting/hoping something changes/happens. Which doesn’t happen for several hours until you’ve been pumping up your stats. The opening movie is not translated or subtitled for the english release on steam. It seems that maybe it may have had at least an interesting introduction. I think from what I can tell, the daughter is a demon maybe. It says it began from bloody events that happened long ago. Seems to hint at a curse, and then from there I haven’t a clue as to what is going on, but you see cube fly away with the girl. The girl also has a special hair clip that lets her communicate with you and allows you to watch the girl while she’s away. Every once in awhile the girl talks about seeing spirits or fairies and other supernatural things. But I’m now about 10 hours into the game and there’s really no overall story, or direction, or plot, it’s basically an open ended sandbox game. Plot isn’t necessary in games like this, but since I play games for their stories, I think that’s why I feel bored while playing this game since it lacks an overarching plot of any kind.
Characters: 10/10 I really do like the characters. They are not strong from a story standpoint, but they feel very real, and their interactions and dialogues with each other are very cute. The independence of your daughter and new complex ways in which she can develop and grow make this the best daughter of all.
Graphics: 7/10 The artwork put me off at first, for years even before this official US release, I would see pictures of this game, compare it to 4 which was my favorite Princess Maker game, and just think YUCK!… But oddly… in the 10 hours I played the game, I now find it cute and charming. I’d played 4 years ago on my nintendo DS, even though I couldn’t read any of it. I loved that art style, and at first found this new art style for 5 to be a huge turn off. But after playing the game, I’ve changed my tune. I suggest if you like me, hate the way Princess Maker 5 looks, just give it a go, it’s a great game, and the artwork is strangely cute once you get used to it!
There’s this little fat boy, which normally would be like a blech, but I dunno there’s something sooo cute about him. He reminds me of the fat lil asian boy from Disney’s “Up” and there’s another little boy that looks like he could be straight outta card captor or some other sugary sweet shojo anime.
The daughter was what I found most unattractive, but watching her study, work, and play, I’ve realized she is the most “real” and endearing of any of the daughters in previous games. I love my little princess.
Music: 3/10 – I really dislike the opening song – it’s awful. blech. But the rest of the music is “OK” I guess. just kinda average to me really.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – the voice acting is very cute 🙂 I’m glad they kept the original Japanese voices in the game.
Replay Value: 10/10 – over 50 different endings and the variety of things to do within this game give it excellent replay value.
Food Fantasy is a brand-new cooking RPG and card collecting game from the creators of Love Nikki Dressup Queen. It combines many different styles of gameplay such as allowing you to research new recipes, gather ingreedients, explore the story, battle monsters, and collect cards known as “food souls” to add to your party or put to work in your shop. I’ve been playing since the game launched a few days ago and thought I’d share with you my initial thoughts of this cute little free mobile game.
Title: Food Fantasy
Genre: Cooking Simulation, Restaurant Management Card Collecting / Battling, RPG
Release Date: July 2018
Where to Get:
Geeky: 1/5 – There’s not much “geeky” about this game. If you like cooking mama and can imagine a mash up of cooking mama with love live, then you can imagine something like Food Fantasy. Mostly I can’t give high marks because the combat is very basic and mostly automated and not very engaging or challenging. I don’t see this having wide appeal unless you like cute things or love games like cooking mama.
Sweetie: 4/5 – I think girls will like the simulation aspects the best. When the game starts you can select a cuisine style to specialize in, you can research new recipes, decorate your restaurant, and you can collect cute “food souls” that can work as staff in your restaurant, or be added to your battle party. I can’t give it a 5 for appealing to girls because the story is quite weak.
Overall: 49/60 82% B- “Very Good Game for Girls”
Gameplay: 4/5 – I’m on the fence about the gameplay aspects. It is a unique and fun game for sure. But I think the combat system leaves much to be desired. But combat is not really the main focus of this game. This game tries to be a jack of all trades, but is really a master of none. There are better RPGs, better card collecting games, and better cooking games out there – but none of them combine all 3 of these things…
When the game starts you select a small thumbnail image to represent you. – Other cooking games often let you customize an avatar character and add dress up options – since this game is by the creators of dressup nikki I was surprised, and a little disappointed not to see such features in Food Fantasy as well. – But there are some female “avatars” (thumbnails), and some “fantasy” type ones – for example my avatar is a black cat with little chef hat lol. It’s pretty cute.
After naming yourself and choosing your little thumbnail picture, you’re shown a tutorial and introduced to a few characters and shown some background story. Through the tutorial you will experience many things. First you will select one of three cooking styles which will determine your first recipe – and I’m not sure if they will have an effect on other recipes you can obtain or give you a boost to certain recipes.
Next you get to fight some monsters and progress through various missions. Sometimes some monsters will drop ingredients that you need for cooking. – they don’t seem to drop often enough though.
Back in the restaurant you can assign staff to cook food or wait on customers. Different characters give different bonus effects to your restaurant. Customers will come and go to your restaurant even while not playing, or while adventuring and exploring other parts of the game. You will need to periodically check in to cook new dishes and collect your tips and other aspects of restaurant management.
You can decorate your restaurant with cute items which in some cases grant bonus effects when placed in your restaurant.
You can also improve your dishes by leveling them up by making them over and over again, or by adding spices and other items to each recipe. In addition to improving existing dishes, you can also research and develop new dishes if you have enough ingredients.
The final aspect of the game is the “card collecting” in the form of summoning new “food souls” which as mentioned can be assigned as staff or assist you in the battle field. The cards range from common to ultra rare. Drop rates seem generous, I summoned an ultra rare food soul, Peking Duck, early in the game without spending real money. There are also numerous special events, such as the launch party that will award ultra rare food souls for completing specific tasks and missions.
You can then take these food souls into battle – but the battles are really rather dull and not a very fun aspect of the game. You can tap to remove status ailments from your party members or tap to interrupt the boss from using powerful special moves, but largely, it’s more automated and you sit there watching your food souls fight, and the difficulty level is quite low. I have not lost a single match yet.
Story: 3/5 The story is very weak and poor, and there are some awkward phrasings and some questionable translation issues. I feel the story has potential to be interesting, but it’s not yet. Basically, you summon a food soul who has no powers and they tell you she is an empty shell and that usually such food souls are discarded, but you feel bad for her and take her in, because you feel responsible because you were the one who summoned her. She vows to help and often tries to protect you even though doing so without any powers would mean sacrificing herself. She is frustrated and wants to grow stronger, but you’re told it is impossible. – If I have to guess, she probably does have some special power or something, that’s how these stories usually go. Right now, the story is slow and dull, but perhaps things will get more interesting – I’ve only been playing for 2 days, maybe an hour each day, so I’m still in the beginning stages of the game. But thus far, not really impressed with the story.
Characters: 5/5 – The characters are super cute, and there is a mix of male and female characters which is rare for these summoning types of games. Also every food soul has an English Voice Actor (or Actress), and if you don’t like the English voices, you do have the ability to select the Japanese ones as well. This is a really nice plus, I haven’t seen many of these summoning games that bother to add English voice acting. The artwork is adorable, and of course it’s all inspired by various food and beverages which gives it a nice theme.
Graphics: 5/5 – Graphically this game is quite nice with a unique storybook like style. The anime style food souls and npc characters are all very cute. The backgrounds are really detailed and lovely. I can’t find anything to complain about here.
Music 3/5: Some of the music and sound effects sound recycled from love nikki? Or at least very similar in style. It’s average at best. Nothing really stands out, but thankfully nothing is annoying, although like most mobile games it can be repetitive at times.
Voice Acting: 5/5 – I love that there’s English Voice acting – and some of them are quite good. I also equally love that they’ve left the option to switch to the original Japanese voice actors at any time as well. Great touch. I know they spent a lot of money licensing the original cast, as well as hiring all new voice actors for the English release. This shows me they care about the fans, and about the game, and it was just a really nice surprise and does set the game apart a bit from other summoning games out there.
Crafting: 5/5 – I love that you can research new recipes. This game reminds me of several other much larger cooking/crafting games such as the Atelier series of games, or Mana Khemia, or Kamidori Alchemist Meister. The crafting aspects are probably the highlight of the game. In that regard though there are probably a dozen other mobile games which do a better job – If you’re looking for similar games check out anything by Kairosoft, Nippon Cafeteria, Sushi Spinnery, or Ramen Master being 3 that focus specifically on food – while other Kairosoft titles apply the same game mechanics to other jobs/roles. Or check out other cooking and restaurant management games such as I love Pasta and I love Coffee – which I reviewed here. Or of course, I’m sure you’re familiar with the famous Cooking Mama games. Even though these other games may have more in depth crafting/management aspects, I still give food souls a 5 in this area. Out of all the different aspects of this strange little game, I think the cooking and simulation aspects are the strongest and most fun elements.
Customization: 4/5 – You can decorate your restaurant, assign staff, and choose your food specialty. But most other mobile restaurant simulation games have a dressup aspect and I miss that here.
Cuteness: 5/5 – The food souls are super cute and the graphics and voice acting take that cuteness to the next level.
Replay Value: 5/5 – With the special events and wide variety of things to do, from battling, to cooking, to decorating your restaurant, to collecting food souls, to inventing new recipes to serve in your restaurant, or progressing through story missions, this game has a lot to offer and will keep you busy.
Overall: 49/60 82% B- “Very Good Game for Girls”
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.
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.