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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).
What is Chinese Parents? Chinese Parents is a game for the Nintendo Switch in which you raise a baby and guide them through preschool through Gaokao which I’m guessing is like highschool graduation. After graduation, if you’re lucky then your child will get a good job, have a happy marriage, and have a child of their own, and the game continues… I’m not sure if there ever is an end to the game or if it just continues for infinity. It does get a bit easier on future generations as they can inherit some traits of their parents.
There are a few things I haven’t figured out yet. Dating as a man is hard. Much harder than dating as a girl. When I have a female child, I almost always can get the men to accept my proposal. On the other hand, I have yet to in 5 generations, ever once get a girl to accept a proposal when playing as a male.
I also don’t know why, but I think that sometimes the background images look different. I do know there are different schools, public schools, private schools, etc. and you can live at home or in a dorm. But there’s different baby nursery backgrounds too. I don’t know if that’s maybe determined by your parents stats, parents careers, which spouse you choose, or if it’s completely random maybe lol.
The mother and father character portraits change based on who you choose to marry and are much more attractive than the “stranger” and “starting” parents lol. But I don’t think your child’s appearance ever changes, which is a bit disappointing when in other simulation games like princess maker the child’s appearance changes based on stats. And there is a store to buy various items, but no dressup items.
The store is still useful though as you can buy items to unlock new skills which you can fill your schedule with. The basic gameplay is deciding your schedule for the week. You can follow the game’s recommendations or do your own thing. There are goals that give you bonuses which you can chase, or you can ignore those goals and live your own life your own way, but it’s usually beneficial to try to accomplish the goals.
This game plays like a mobile game and when I search for Chinese Parents on my iphone, I do see a game, that looks quite similar, but also different in some aspects, and that game appears to be in Chinese, so I haven’t tried it yet.
Playing like a mobile game isn’t a bad thing, really. I enjoy casual games. The object of the game is to balance your stress with your parents satisfaction, and be careful to not become too stressed or you will get a game over. Yikes. I think the game saves automatically. I haven’t figured out how else to save the game yet, so reaching a bad end would be very bad. But I think its quite easy to avoid this bad end, because in the store you can purchase things to lower your stress.
The game offers a good – perhaps stereotypical – look at the life of a Chinese family with a unique look into their culture and society. There are things like Chinese new years, but it’d be nice to see additional Chinese holidays and customs added to the game. There’s also the concept of saving face, and face battles where you choose your childs talents to brag about, and if you win, you earn face, and if you lose you lose face lol. There’s also a Chinese talent show like American idol. It’s very hard to win that portion even with epic or legendary traits.
The game is difficult in some ways, easy in other ways. The basics are easy, but I think to master the game is very difficult. There is a goal to master gaokao, but it says no one can really master it. I wonder if there is an end game at some point where you’ve maxed all stats and traits and done everything right and lived the perfect life, but I don’t think I’ll play enough to ever see that, because eventually, yeah it gets a little boring. There’s just not enough new content on new generations. There are numerous stats, skills, and traits, way more than can be experienced in 1, 2, or even 10 generations… and numerous endings and jobs, probably 50+ maybe even 100+. Similar in ways to Princess Maker.
This game is very fun. There are a few typos, grammar errors and some words that need a space between them, some random punctuation symbols appearing especially at gaokao. But I think these errors do not detract from my enjoyment or understanding of the game.
I’m definitely recommending this one to my readers. I’ve enjoyed it but after 5 generations and just starting my 6th generation, I’m ready for a break and to play other games for a while, but I think I will go back to this one from time to time. I really like life simulation games like this and we don’t get many in English – so thank you to whoever published this game.
Overall Score: 64/90 71% C- “Good Game For Girls
Geeky: 2/5 – no action but still challenging gameplay elements. There is a puzzle like element and some other things to mix it up so its not just all reading.
Sweetie: 5/5 – I love life simulation/school simulation games, we definitely don’t have enough of them in English, so 5/5 from me here. It’s no Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side, but I’ll take it, and pray that eventually other similar games make their way stateside.
Overview: 8/10 – I think overall, this game is unique, fun, and addictive. It is not without flaws though such as grammar and typo issues. Also there is some missed potential like lacking the ability to change your character appearances/dressup, lacking more late game content, like new features/random events etc on future generations, and just more story content overall.
Gameplay: 7/10: Gameplay consists of choosing what to study or how to spend your free time. I like these types of games, and we don’t get many of them in North America. But as mentioned above there were some things that could have made gameplay more enjoyable that are missing such as seeing your characters appearance change based on stats and traits, or dressup options which could have added another bonus also to stats and traits. And most importantly, the game is missing enough random events/random encounters, or late game content, which after 5+ generations it becomes too repetitive. This could have been avoided by having things like holidays, and teaching us more about Chinese culture, or things like school trips, or other things, having us join a club, or get a part time job, that would influence story elements, and our traits and stats, etc. So many missed opportunities. It’s still a fun game, but it could have been great. It falls just short of that greatness.
Story: 2/10 – There’s really almost no story… there are glimpses of a story, but no really, it’s not a story driven game which is a shame. The closest it comes to telling a story is through dating sim elements. And that part of the game is too small to really count as a story.
Characters: 8/10 – Despite not having much story, there are classmates, romantic prospects, your parents, your teachers, your children, etc. The characters in this game are cute, and they do evolve… for example, one of the characters is a bit Tsundere. He seems very cold, but after enough dates, he begins to really care for the player character, he loves her so much that he helps her study hoping they can go to the same university. There’s also both a male and female geek type character, the male is into video games and programming and the girl is into idol concerts and cosplay. There are male and female jock types, and I assume artist types – I met the male artist but not the female one yet. I like all the characters 🙂 And their stats do influence your next generation which is a nice touch.
Graphics: 7/10 – Most of the graphics have a very cute anime look. The teacher, starter parents, strangers to marry, etc all have a much more rough look. The romantic partners all have very nice artwork. The background art is also really pretty. The children are cute and there is a bit of animation here or there. I take points away again for lacking any change in characters appearances based on their stats and lacking any dressup abilities which was also a missed gameplay opportunity as the dressup items could have also offered a stat or trait bonus too. Boo.
Music: 5/10 – It has cute but very basic chidlike music. It is ok. there is no voice acting.
Replay Value: 10/10 the game has hundreds of skills, traits, and things to unlock, that’s the best part of the game. Despite lacking, more story/encounters/random events or things that would make future generations a little more unique, I still gotta give full marks just for the sheer amount of traits and school and career paths and multiple dating partners, etc. That’s part of the charm and fun of this game for sure.
Uniqueness: 10/10 – We do not get many school simulation games in North America. I can really only think of Princess Maker and some indie kinda Princess Maker Clones, and Graduation back in 1995. There was Lucky Rabbit Reflex, but it just made me want an official release of Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side even more. I’ve played the fan translations of all of them, and they are my favorite games. I want to see more games like this. I’m really praying Konami will release Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 4 finally in North America or at least with an English option on the Switch…. But I don’t want to hold my breath, I might die. Lol. So I am awarding Chinese Parents 10/10 for being brave enough to publish their game in North America. I hope to see a sequel maybe some day with the missed opportunities I mentioned here.
Overall Score: 64/90 71% C- “Good Game For Girls