Sakura Shrine Girls
Gameplay 6
Graphics 7
Sound 7

In Sakura Shrine Girls you step into the shoes of Toru, a young priest-in-training, who gets more than he bargained for when following in the footsteps of his grandfather. Toru has always been a skeptic, but when he encounters two guardian sprits at the shrines he is supposed to maintain his whole world is turned upside down. Sakura Shrine Girls features decent art, but the story is fairly predictable and the characters not that memorable. It is still an entertaining read and you can pick which one the girls Toru ends up with, but don’t expect to be blown away by anything.

Gameplay: Not bad, but unfortunately quite predictable.

Graphics: The artwork is lovely, but sprites and CGs are limited to only two characters.

Sounds: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is quite good

Summary 6.7 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 Shrine Girls

Developer: Winged Cloud | Publisher: Winged Cloud | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Visual Novel | Website: Patreon | Purchase: Steam

Although Toru, the protagonist of Sakura Shrine Girls, comes from a family with a long lineage of priests, he is more of a skeptic. Despite generations of his family all dedicating themselves to the understanding of the spirit world, Toru simply doesn’t believe in gods or spirits at all. However, Toru does believe in keeping old practices alive, despite how silly they seem to him, which is why he goes and lives with his grandfather to receive training in the family tradition. Initially Toru thinks that his grandfathers ramblings about seeing odd things are just due to age and senility, but soon he discovers that there might just be some truth to all the talk of spirits.

Sakura Shrine Girls is another entry in the Sakura series by Winged Cloud and this time the focus is on the young priest in training, Toru, and his interaction with the mysterious shrine girls he finds at the temples he is tasked with maintaining. The two cat girls, Nayoko and Kayo, couldn’t be more different, so Toru has his hands full not only wrapping his head around what’s going on, but also maintaining the peace. As Toru discovers more about the spirit world and what his duties will be, he also discovers that his feelings towards the two girls are becoming more than just platonic. Sakura Shrine girls isn’t just a kinetic novel either as players get to make the choices that will determine which one of the girls Toru will ultimately end up with. While the story isn’t the most interesting or compelling, it does provide a good excuse for plenty of fan service and hanging out with cute cat girls.

The artwork for Sakura Shrine Girls was done by Inma, whose work fans will remember from previous Sakura titles such as Sakura Santa and Sakura Beach. Overall the visuals are decent and while there aren’t any outright nudity, there is plenty of fan service. This includes a couple of obligatory CGs of Toru accidentally walking in on the girls in various stages of undress. In total there are about twenty CGs, all of which can be viewed from the main menu of the game after you’ve unlocked them. The background art is quite nice as well, although there aren’t a lot of locations. Most of the story takes place at the house where Toru resides with his grandfather or at the shrines. In addition, there are a couple of scenes at the school Toru attends with the two shrine maidens and even a brief trip to a hot-spring. The girls are clearly the focus of the story as they are the only ones who are graced with sprites and CGs. Toru’s grandfather, as funny as he is, is never shown, and neither are any other characters. It is worth noting that unlike other Winged Cloud titles, Sakura Shrine Girls does not have any patches that can be downloaded to accessed any censored content. With this visual novel what you see is what you get.

As far as audio is concerned, Sakura Shrine Girl features a nice relaxing soundtrack with Japanese influences that sets the mood perfectly. Of course, as is typical for these types of visual novels, there are also some quirky tunes that plays during the more risqué scenes. While the game has a gallery section to view unlocked CGs, there is no jukebox where you can listen to the tunes. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t feature any voice acting at all, which is a pity as it could have made the girls more endearing. The interface is pretty straightforward and you can click to advance text, let the text advance automatically at the speed of your choosing or skip text that you’ve already seen. The game can also be saved or loaded at any time. Sakura Shrine Girls doesn’t support Steam achievements, but does feature trading cards that can be crafted into some nice emoticons and profile backgrounds.

Sakura Shrine Girls is one of those visual novels where you know pretty much exactly how it is all going to end as soon as you start playing. There are no major plot twists or turns and the story is one that has been done many times before. While both Nayoko and Kayo are cute there is very little character development in the game. The girls simply adhere to their respective stereotypes and quickly fall for Toru even though there is nothing particularly remarkable about him. This can be a little disappointing for players who actually play these types of games for the story while the lack of hentai scenes will obviously be a drawback for those who don’t really care about the story. There is nothing about the game that can be described as outright bad, but at the same time there is very little to set it apart from other titles in the genre. This is a pity as the setting is quite nice and had a lot of potential, but ultimately this is a title that is fun while it lasts, but quickly forgotten afterwards.

System Requirements

  • OS: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (32 bit or 64 bit)
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Any audio output
  • OS: OS X 10.6
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or higher; SteamOS
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
  • Storage: 200 MB available space

Related posts

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is a great update of the free visual novel released by ebi-hime in 2014. In addition to some stunning new artwork and a great soundtrack the story is still as unique as it is captivating. Don’t let the visuals fool you, this novel is not as lighthearted as it first appears and thanks to some great writing the story is a lot more memorable than expected. The game is short enough to complete in a single sitting, but still manages to have a bigger emotional impact than stories that are ten times longer. Gameplay: Pretty much a kinetic novel with only a single choice, but the story is so good that it is hard to stop playing. Graphics: The updated artwork looks really nice, but the option to play with the older visuals is a nice touch. Sound: The hauntingly beautiful soundtrack is definitely a highlight.

Shmups Skill Test

Shmups Skill Test

Shmups Skill Test is a collection of mini-games that are designed to test how good you are at playing arcade and bullet hell shooters. While this means it doesn’t have as much depth as other titles in the genre, it still provides a nice diversion and a way to hone your skills. Since it is based on a rather old arcade game the visuals are far from cutting edge, but the gameplay and low price tag make up for this. If you think you have mastered the genre, then try out this game to see for sure. Gameplay: Lots of fun in short bursts, but obviously doesn’t have as much depth as full-fledged shooters. Graphics: The visuals are definitely showing their age. Sound: Not your typical shooter soundtrack.

The Secret Order 5: The Buried Kingdom

The Secret Order 5: The Buried Kingdom

Although The Secret Order 5: The Buried Kingdom ditches the time traveling elements of the previous titles, it still offers some solid puzzles, mini games and hidden object scenes. This time the adventures of Sarah Pennington take her to a legendary buried kingdom on a quest to save her friend from the sinister Dragon Clan. The setting for The Buried Kingdom is more fantasy themed than the fourth installment, but features the same imagination and attention to detail that has made this series such a hit with fans. The Buried Kingdom doesn’t really advance the overall plot of the series much, but since it is such a self-contained adventure, it is also more accessible to newcomers who are unfamiliar with previous installments. Gameplay: Plenty of puzzles, mini games and hidden object scenes for players to sink their teeth into. Graphics: Lots of detailed hand-drawn locations that feature plenty of imaginative touches. Sound: The music is good and the voice acting is decent too.

Planet Diver

Planet Diver

Planet Diver is fast paced and very addictive when played in short bursts, but lack of mission variety does mean it can become repetitive. Still, you get a lot of content for a very low price which definitely makes it worth the investment in time and money. Just keep in mind that quick reflexes are required when braving the deep, obstacle filled chasms through which your wing suit diver loves to plunge. Gameplay: Fast paced, challenging and quite addictive although it can become repetitive. Graphics: It takes a while to get used to the retro style scanlines, but the overall effect is quite nice. Sound: The music is a little unusual, but very fitting.

Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey

Macrotis: A Mother's Journey

Help Mother Bilby to navigate some treacherous underground passages in an attempt to find her lost children. Macrotis is a non-violent puzzle platformer with a couple of tricky platform sections, but overall the emphasis is firmly on the puzzles. Some might find the lack of hand holding from the game a little frustrating, but figuring out the puzzles, even if it takes a bit of trial and error, is very rewarding. Anthropomorphic animal platform heroes is not a new concept, but Macrotis does a good job with making Mother Bilby's quest a memorable one. Gameplay: A puzzle platformer that isn't afraid to let you mess things up badly enough that you have to restart the puzzles. Graphics: The 2.5D visuals are vibrant and detailed. Sound: Full voices for the characters and some nice background tunes.

3D Realms Anthology – Steam Edition

3D Realms Anthology - Steam Edition

3D Realms created some of the best PC titles in the 90s bar none and the opportunity to add the whole bunch of them to your Steam library shouldn’t be missed. Whether you fondly remember playing these games as a kid or simply want to check out why these games revolutionist the Shareware industry don’t hesitate to splash out on this anthology. Just bear in mind that a lot of the titles included in the anthology can also be picked up for free from the 3D Realms website. Gameplay: The anthology features 32 classic games spread across a multitude of genres. Graphics: Since the majority of these games are pushing three decades in age the visuals are a little dated, but certainly not bad. Sound: Many of the games feature great audio and the inclusion of the Re-Rockestrated Soundtrack is also a big plus.

Leave a comment

18 − 13 =