NEKO-NIN exHeart
Gameplay 6
Graphics 9
Sound 8

Join Haruki, the protagonist of NEKO-NIN exHeart, as he suddenly finds himself with two catgirls on his doorstep claiming that he is their new master. Haruki is understandably dubious about the whole situation and not entirely keen to accept responsibility for the two ninjas, but eventually warm up to their cuteness. This visual novel is a lighthearted affair with beautiful artwork, but the story isn’t’ exactly memorable and it is all over without much really happening along the way. Fans of cat girls will definitely enjoy it, but everyone else should probably try the free demo first.

Gameplay: Only two choices in the entire game and not much in the way of character development, but still enjoyable.

Graphics: The artwork is beautiful and the moving cat ears are as adorable as advertised.

Sound: Nice Japanese voice acting for all the girls, but the music isn’t exactly memorable

Summary 7.7 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

NEKO-NIN exHeart

Developer: Whirlpool | Publisher: Sekai Project | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Casual / Indie / Visual Novel | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Fans of adorable cat girls have been spoiled for choice lately with the likes of the NekoPara series Neko Works and Sakura Shrine Girls by Winged Cloud. As if this wasn’t enough fans can now add the tongue twisting NEKO-NIN exHeart from developer Whirlpool to this ever growing list. The game is available as a squeaky clean all-ages version on Steam or players can opt for the 18+ version that features some additional h-content.

NEKO-NIN exHeart opens with our protagonist, an ordinary high-school student named Haruki, finding himself accosted by two demi cat sisters. The pair claims to have come from a placed called the Fuuma Village with the purpose of fulfilling an ancient contract. Haruki is surprised to learn that he is the new master of Yura and Tama, the two ninja catgirls. As he has no idea why he would need the services of two ninja Haruki is rather reluctant to accept this new responsibility. In addition, he is still living at home with his father and permanently absent mother, so the thought of having to provide two girls with food and shelter is not an appealing one. Unfortunately for Haruki, it doesn’t take long for the girls to completely charm him and he soon finds himself going out of his way to take care of them. The story never really goes anywhere deep or meaningful and instead focuses on the upheaval caused by the catgirls barging into Haruki’s life. This also means that it is a rather short title, but at least there is plenty of comedy and there is an interesting twist or two in the tale.

The best thing about NEKO-NIN exHeart is definitely the visuals and this is no surprise as the art was done by Takano Yuki, who is also known for her work on the Da Capo series. All the characters look great and in addition to Yua and Tama there are also a few other adorable demi-humans who show up towards the end of the story. The game doesn’t have much in the way of animation, but fans of catgirls will be delighted to hear that the girls have ears that move. This is obviously a step back from the beautifully animated characters in the NekoPara series, which is probably the best catgirl focused visual novel series currently on the market. We know that most visual novels stick to static sprites for characters, but we’ve definitely been spoiled by the NekoPara titles in this regard. The game has got quite a few CGs, which is surprising given its short runtime. Although we played through the Steam version, which doesn’t have any h-scenes, we do know that the 18+ version has no mosaics. Players can either purchase the full 18+ version from Denpasoft at a slightly higher price than the Steam version or purchase the 18+ patch for a small fee. In terms of visual settings, the game can be played in windowed or full screen mode, but we recommend the former as the native resolution appears to be 1280×720. This means the graphics can look a little fuzzy on high resolution displays in fullscreen mode. NEKO-NIN exHeart also allows you to choose between 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio.

The audio is another highlight as all of the characters, apart from Haruki, are fully voiced in Japanese. The voice acting sounds good and the actresses definitely embraced their roles. The two cat girls can be quite hyper at times and the actresses does an admirable job of conveying this in a believable manner. The music is a little less memorable, but still good, while sound effects consist of the standard range of stuff. Thankfully the game does allow you to adjust the volume of the music, sound effects and even individual voices separately. As far as the controls are concerned the game plays like a standard visual novel, so you can either left-click or press “Enter” to advance the text. Strangely enough, the Steam overlay isn’t compatible with the engine used by this game and we also encountered some issues with the framerate mysteriously dropping after playing for a few hours. In total, it should take most players between two and four hours to complete the game. It’s not quite a kinetic novel as there are two choices to make, but these only lead to a couple of different scenes and not any additional endings.

Ultimately, your enjoyment of NEKO-NIN exHeart will depend on how much you like cat girls and comedy as the game doesn’t have much beyond that, at least for the all ages version. It is a lighthearted game with an interesting but forgettable story and while the characters are cute there isn’t really anything beyond their twitching ears to make them more memorable. We recommend downloading the free demo from Steam and trying out the game yourself to see if it appeals to you or not.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 or above
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 2 GB available space

Related posts

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter offers the perfect blend of immersive storytelling, atmospheric music and jaw dropping visuals. The gameworld is not just beautiful, but also compelling to explore. I would have loved it if the world was a bit more interactive and the whole experience slightly longer, but overall the game delivers on all its promises. It is also best experienced without knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into, so don’t be tempted into ruining any surprise for yourself before playing. Gameplay: The supernatural talents of the protagonist allows for some interesting, but not too taxing, puzzle solving. Graphics: The use of photogrammetry technology means that the game looks phenomenally detailed. Sound: The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful although the voice acting has a few rough patches.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

As a first person shooter this game is great but as a follow up to the excellent F.E.A.R its hard not to be slightly disappointed. The emphasis is on all out action with only a few spooky bits thrown in here and there. As long as you don't expect the same experience as the original game you will have fun, but there are definitely less thrills and chills. Gameplay: The scares have been replaced by action which is somewhat disappointing. Graphics: Nice but maybe a bit too cartoony for its own good at times. Sound: Very good but could have benefited from a bit more oomph from the weapons.

Wasteland Angel

Wasteland Angel

Top down shooters such as Wasteland Angel offers a nice quick burst of arcade action but tend to suffer from being repetitive. The idea behind this game is nice enough but the small arenas that force you to stick close to the towns that you have to protect all feel too similar The lack of enemy variety doesn't do this game any favours either. Gameplay: Mindless fun but soon becomes repetitive. Graphics: The overhead visuals are not too bad but it doesn't hold up so well in first person. Sound: The voice acting is decent enough but the rest is nothing special.

FOTONICA

FOTONICA

Static screenshots can’t really convey the look and feel of FOTONICA as it is a game that is built around the concept of speed. The game boils down to a test of your reflexes as you have to make split second decisions about when and where to jump in order to keep running and building up speed. It is not a game for people seeking a storyline or in-depth gameplay, but for quick arcade thrills you can’t go wrong with FOTONICA. Gameplay: Run, jump, repeat. Graphics: The vector style visuals certainly makes for a unique look. Sound: Atmospheric and provides a perfect match for the minimalistic visuals.

Little Inferno

Little Inferno

While Little Inferno is not a game in the strictest sense of the word, it does provide a very interesting experience. There isn't much of a challenge beyond finding the correct combination of things to burn, but the eerie story and polished visuals might just suck you in. Perfect for those cold winter evenings. Gameplay: Simple but strangely relaxing. Graphics: Stylish and polished. Sound: Very eerie.

Tokyo Dark

Tokyo Dark

Explore the sinister side of Toyko in this compelling point & click adventure / visual novel hybrid. When detective Ayami Itō is confronted by a seemingly supernatural opponent she must put her job and her sanity on the line to figure out what is going. Tokyo Dark features an engrossing storyline and a unique system where every choice and action has an influence on your sanity, professionalism, investigation and investigation. You also have the option to be as professional or reckless as you would like to be, which can alter the story and lead to more than ten different endings. While the game has some minor flaws, these do not detract from the overall experience and Tokyo Dark definitely lives up to expectations. Gameplay: The storyline is compelling and the game has buckets of replay value. Graphics: Interesting characters and locations. Sound: Full voice acting would have been great, but the music and sound effects are great.

Leave a comment

3 × 5 =