Sakura Santa
Gameplay 7
Graphics 8
Sound 6

Sakura Santa doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of story or gameplay, but it is a lighthearted and enjoyable title. Like all Sakura titles it is a little short and lacking in depth for our tastes, but the art is great and features no shortage of fanservice. Players looking for something different from Winged Cloud will be disappointed, but everyone who enjoys the Sakura titles will like this festive themed one.

Gameplay: A typical Sakura title, so fans will know exactly what to expect.

Graphics: Only a few girls and handful of locations, but everything looks great.

Sound: No voice acting and the music is rather unremarkable

Summary 7.0 Good
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

Sakura Santa

Developer: Winged Cloud | Publisher: MangaGamer | Release Date: 2015| Genre: Visual Novel | Website: n/a | Purchase: Steam / MangaGamer

Sakura Santa, the latest release from Winged Cloud, introduces us to Koji. He is facing his first Christmas alone after moving away from home to attend the University of his dreams. Koji has no problem attaining good grades, but making new friends proved to be a little harder than he anticipated. Tired of spending time along in his apartment Koji goes for a walk that leads him to a local shrine. With nothing to lose he makes an offering and wishes for someone to spend Christmas with in order to banish his loneliness. Much to his surprise Koji finds that his wish appears to be granted as within no time three beautiful women are all vying for his time. It is then up to players to decide who Koji will spend his time with in the days leading up to Christmas, a task made harder by the fact that all three girls are quite beautiful.

With eight visual novels and a clicker game released on Steam already Winged Cloud has built up a reputation for rapid releases. The Sakura titles always feature plenty of eye candy, but unfortunately the storylines often take a backseat to the fan service. Players looking for something new from Winged Cloud now that they have partnered with MangaGamer will have to wait for the release of Sakura Dungeon though as Sakura Santa is a typical Sakura title.

Each day in the game players are provided with three choices representing the three girls Koji can spend time with. Akina is a feisty fox spirit who guards the shrine where Koji made his wish and she loves nothing more than teasing the protagonist. Then there is Itsumi, a childhood friend of Koji who is now working at a cafe in the same city as him. Koji lost contact with her after she moved away during childhood, but the two were very close and it is clear that she still has feelings for him. Last up is Santa! No, not the big bellied, bearded patriarch of Christmas, but his innocent and adorable daughter. Santa is as clumsy as she is beautiful, but quickly wins over Koji with her cuteness. Each of these girls feature a couple of their own scenes and an ending, but there is also a fourth route where Koji spends time with all of them together.

With its small cast and handful of locations Sakura Santa can be completed rather quickly. It is a pity that the storylines were not fleshed out more as the characters actually had a lot of potential. There is definitely more to each one than meets the eyes, but due to the short scenarios even big issues are resolved very quickly. This gives the game a bit of a rushed feel, which is a pity. It took us about three hours to complete all four routes through the game, which is about par for the course as far as Sakura titles are concerned.

Despite an abundance of fan service Sakura Santa does not contain any actual sexual content. Despite the lack of sex scenes or outright nudity the three girls regularly end up in compromising situations where they bare plenty of flesh. Some of these scenes are quite funny and Koji is a self-confessed pervert with no qualms about ogling girls, so he takes full advantage of these situations. This makes for an interesting change from the typical visual novel lead who develops a nosebleed at any sign of naked skin!

As with most Winged Cloud releases the visuals in Sakura Santa are top notch. The girls all look very cute and get to show off all their curves in the CGs. Unfortunately, the game features no animations, which makes it appear dated compared to titles like the NEKOPARA series. There are also only a handful of backgrounds, but these are all well drawn and detailed. For such a holiday themed title we were expecting the music to be a bit more festive, but all of the tunes sound like standard visual novel fare. None of the audio tracks are bad, but on the other hand there isn’t a single tune that really stands out as catchy or special in any way. Sakura Santa also does not feature any type of voice acting for any of the characters. With such a small cast it would have been nice for the girls to be voiced.

Overall Sakura Santa is a fairly typical Winged Cloud release, so fans should already know exactly what to expect. For a game where you can fall in love with Santa’s daughter the story is surprisingly touching in places, but don’t expect too much from the writing. Anyone looking for adult content can also skip Sakura Santa as the couple of ecchi in the game never crosses over into hentai. However, the Sakura series has always been driven by fanservice, so it would be unfair to criticize it for delivering more of what people expect.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • OS: 10.6+
  • Processor: Any 64 bit processor
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • OS: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Processor: 1 GB RAM
  • Memory: 200 MB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720

Related posts

Rescue Quest Gold

Rescue Quest Gold

Rescue Quest Gold is a Match-3 puzzle game with plenty of levels and gameplay that requires a bit more strategy than what is typically found in the genre. It is a very enjoyable experience and one that manages to keep things interesting. While it was originally a free to play title, it is definitely worth shelling out for this newly remastered premium version thanks to a host of enhancements and improvements. If you are a fan of the Match-3 genre in particular or casual games in general, then don’t miss out on this title. Gameplay: Challenging and very addictive. Graphics: Detailed, colorful and very polished. Sound: A perfect match for the game.

Selenon Rising

Selenon Rising

Selenon Rising is a great visual novel with an interesting story and great setting. The psychic abilities of the main character also makes for an interesting gameplay mechanic as it adds a bit more depth to interrogating suspects. It is an episodic release, so time will tell if it can remain as engaging throughout, but so far so good. Gameplay: Searching crime scenes and interrogating suspects make it a bit more interactive than your typical visual novel. Graphics: Decent visuals, but the cut-scenes could have been better. Sound: No voice acting, but superb music.

Queen’s Quest 2: Stories of Forgotten Past

Queen's Quest 2: Stories of Forgotten Past

Queen’s Quest 2 features a different lead character than part one, but improves on the original game in all areas. There is a large cast of fairytale and folklore characters to interact with, beautiful hand-drawn locations, plenty of puzzles as well as a variety of hidden object scenes. While the game isn’t very taxing, it remains entertaining throughout and we can certainly recommend it to fans or those who are curious about the genre. Gameplay: Neither the puzzles or hidden object scenes are very difficult, but remain fun. Graphics: Beautiful artwork and plenty of variety. Sound: Decent music and the voice acting isn’t too bad either.

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.

Pinball FX2 – Marvel’s Ant-Man

Pinball FX2 - Marvel's Ant-Man

Zen Studios know a thing or two when it comes to designing original and enjoyable pinball tables and Ant-Man is no exception. It features an open playing field, plenty of challenges and some very nice visual elements. Once again this is a table that will appeal to pinball lovers even if they are not necessarily fans of the Ant-Man license. Gameplay: The table is a lot of fun and features plenty of challenges to master. Graphics: Makes very good use of the Ant-Man license. Sound: Good music and very decent voice acting.

Depths of Fear :: Knossos

Depths of Fear :: Knossos

There are plenty of things that I can fault about Depths of Fear, but at the end of the day and I had a lot of fun playing the game and it kept me hooked right to the end which is all that matters. It is an impressive piece of work considering that it was made by only one person and definitely provides a unique and memorable challenge. The excellent atmosphere and addictive gameplay makes it worth the effort. Gameplay: A nice atmospheric blend of stealth and action. Graphics: A little rough, especially the animations, but this doesn't detract too much from the experience. Sound: Great creature sounds and a very nice synthesizer based soundtrack.

Leave a comment

two × four =