NEKOPARA Vol. 1
Gameplay 7
Graphics 9
Sound 8

If you are looking for something cute, lighthearted, polished and filled to the brim with catgirls then NEKOPARA Vol. 1 is the obvious choice. Even without the h-scenes, the Steam version is an enjoyable, albeit slightly short, romp. The E-mote system works quite well and the artwork by Sayori is absolutely gorgeous. It is not as long or as involving as some other kinetic novels, but serves as a very polished and enjoyable introduction to the genre.

Gameplay: NEKOPARA Vol. 1 is a kinetic novel, so gameplay is restricted to simply clicking through the story.

Graphics: Beautiful artwork by Sayori and the animation is a lot livelier than what is the norm for the genre thanks to the E-mote system.

Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for the catgirls, plenty of sound effects and some very nice tunes

Summary 8.0 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

NEKOPARA Vol. 1

Developer: NEKO WORKs | Publisher: Sekai Project | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Casual / Indie / Visual Novel | Website: Official Website | Format: Steam / Denpasoft

When Kashou Minaduki moves out of his parents’ house to open his own patisserie the last thing he expects is ending up with two catgirls tagging along. The catgirls actually belong to his younger sister, but plead with Kashou to take them in. Unable to resist this onslaught of cuteness, Kashou relents and take the two in. Neko Para Vol. 1 follows the story of Kashou as he learns how to cope with the two catgirls, Chocola and Vanilla, and run his own business, La Soleil.

NP was originally an adult title, but thanks to Steams strict guidelines has been toned down considerably. It is still a game about genetically modified humanoid cats, complete with ears and tails, so be prepared for some questionable stuff if you are not used to this kind of thing. The h-scenes might have been removed, but the game doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that the lead character ends up with both girls as his “catpanions.” The advantage is that the story doesn’t feel butchered just to make it appropriate for all ages. This is a good thing as the game is a kinetic novel, which means the story is very linear and you never get to make any choices.

The best part about NP is definitely the visuals which are simply gorgeous. From the wonderful art style to the adorable characters the game will have you overdosing on cuteness. The polished visuals are courtesy of Sayori, who is the original creator of Chocola and Vanilla. Apart from the overall visual style the other thing that is immediately eye-catching about NP is the animation system. Traditionally visual novels are pretty static affairs, with the characters only changing their expressions and maybe clothes if you are lucky. NP uses something called the “E-mote” system for animations, which results in characters blinking, moving their lips when talking and plenty of other smaller animations that make them seem livelier. This makes quite a dramatic difference to scenes and is definitely something that I would love to see more of in future visual novels. The character animations for the girls moving closer to the screen is particularly neat and you can even set the bounciness of the girls’ chests via a slider in the options menu! If that’s not attention to detail then I don’t know what is. There is also a couple of very cute chibi scenes of the characters.

The audio in NP is just as good and features full speech for all the girls. The actresses providing the voices for the characters do a great job considering the dialogue that they have been given. If however you find any of the voices to be a bit too grating you can adjust the voice volume for each of the girls independently.

Sound effects are equally good and the game contains a fair amount of these to liven up the scenes even further. I did however find myself laughing out loud at the most hilarious fly “buzzing” sound that I have ever heard! The music fits the mood of the game perfectly with tracks that are either cheerful and upbeat or slow and mellow. My two favorite tracks in the game are “Neko will be…” and “Neko to sanpo” but all of the tunes are quite good. As this is a kinetic novel your interaction with the game is reserved to clicking to advance the text, but you can adjust the display speed and even choose between English, Chinese and Japanese.

The uncensored version of the game has about 3 h-scenes that are not present in the Steam version. Since the Steam version is about half the price of the adult version it does soften the censorship blow somewhat. Personally I don’t think the removed content makes that big a difference to the story, but if you expect to see any type of nudity you would be better off with the adult version.

Due to its short playtime Neko Para Vol. 1 feels more like an introduction to the story and characters instead of a full-blown title. The story is very lighthearted and plays out like a slice of life comedy, so it doesn’t have the same emotional impact as visual novels such as Kana Little Sister or ef: A Tale of The Two. However, given the subject matter this is hardly surprising and anyone buying a game about catgirls should know what to expect. Chocola and Vanilla are definitely the stars of this first volume, but a couple of other cute cat girls also make their appearance, with hints that they will play a bigger role in future installments. NP is an entertaining title for relaxing and unwinding as you can just sit back and immerse yourself in the cuteness of it all. One thing is for sure, I definitely enjoyed the story and setting more than visuals novels with similar themes such as Bazooka Cafe and Come See Me Tonight. If you are still on the fence, Sekai Project has a demo available for Neko Para Vol 1 on Steam, so you can try out the game yourself.

System Requirements

  • OS: Vista
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Vista
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space

Related posts

The Last Door – Collector’s Edition

The Last Door - Collector's Edition

Despite the fact that you can play most of the chapters for free online I still recommend this collector's edition of the game. The story is superb and the low resolution visuals are not as big a hindrance as you might think. The audio steals the show however with great sound effects and some outstanding tunes. Hopefully the wait until season two won't be too long as the adventures of Jeremiah Devitt is still far from over. Gameplay: Some nice puzzles, but nothing that is too obscure or frustrating. Graphics: Very low res, but once your eyes adjust you will barely notice. Sound: The audio really carries this game with bags of atmosphere from the great tunes and spooky sound effects.

Streets of Rogue

Streets of Rogue

Streets of Rogue is a deceptively simple looking game, but scratch beneath the surface and you'll find plenty of depth. It has a large selection of character classes, each with their own unique playing styles and a procedurally generated city in which to cause chaos. The amount of mission objectives is rather limited, but the ways in which you can go about accomplishing them is almost limitless. Overall, Streets of Rogue is an extremely addictive game with a ton of replay value. Graphics: Simple, but not without charm. Sound: The soundtrack is excellent and the sound effects really good too. Gameplay: Extremely addictive and packed with things to do.

Plantera

Plantera

Plantera is a very straightforward game with simple, but addictive mechanics. You simply grow your garden, harvest crops and sell them to repeat the cycle. It is a casual clicker title with plenty of things to click, but you can also kick back and leave it to its own devices. If you are not a fan of clicker titles it can become repetitive, but considering its price it is hard to fault. Gameplay: Very straightforward to play and features a bit more variety than typical clicker games. Graphics: Bright, colorful and quite charming. Sound: Nice, but could have benefited from a few more tunes.

Sakura Nova

Sakura Nova

The setting and characters are all good, but nothing ever happens to really make you care about either. The game does feature a free patch to add back all the censored content, so anyone looking for a nukige title will probably enjoy Sakura Nova. Unfortunately, those looking for a memorable story or plan on playing without the patch are likely to be disappointed. Gameplay: There are choices to be made and three different endings, but the story is a bit lacking. Graphics: Like other titles in the Sakura series the visuals are beautiful, but static. Sound: Not much to say about the music, but the voice acting is pretty good.

The Novelist

The Novelist

While The Novelist is rather limited as a game, it does pack a great story that is engaging enough to forgive the repetition involved. Playing as a ghostly presence that becomes embroiled in the lives of the Kaplan family is engrossing stuff and the game knows how to tug at the heartstrings. Although short you will want to go back for more if only to see the consequences of making different choices. Gameplay: The focus is definitely more on the story than on the gameplay. Graphics: The painterly look fits the game well. Sound: Mellow music and decent voice acting.

Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child

Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child

Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child is a new hidden object puzzle adventure where players take control of a young woman with psychic abilities. The game starts out as a quest to find her father who abandoned her at an orphanage when she was a child, but quickly turns into a paranormal mystery. There seems to be much less of a focus on hidden object scenes and mini-games in this title, while your exploration is also confined to gloomy areas such as train stations and factories. However, the Gothic style visuals look great and, while very short, the game remains interesting throughout. Gameplay: The story is interesting, but the puzzles quite easy and the overall game is very short. Graphics: The Victorian setting allows for some moody visuals, but most of the locations are not very imaginative. Sound: Standard voice acting and nice, albeit limited, tunes.

3 Comments

  1. Tomato-King January 11, 2015
    Reply

    I wish Steam would just man up and allow adults to play adult games on their service. They have a stranglehold on the market, allow all kinds of violence, but no nudity. Can you imagine a cinema forcing movies to remove all sex scenes and nudity just so kids can also watch them? That’s exactly what Steam is doing.

  2. MWiH January 12, 2015
    Reply

    Wish this was part of the manga sale on Steam.

  3. Kenshinkensei January 12, 2015
    Reply

    Enjoying the increased VN coverage 😀

Leave a comment

three × 2 =