Sakura Space
Gameplay 6
Graphics 7
Sound 6

The Sakura series heads into space for a yuri adventure with this release by Winged Cloud. Players get to experience what happens when Captain Shika and her crew of mercenaries stumbles across the bounty of a lifetime. Although it might look like you have choices in the game, it plays out more like a kinetic novel, but offers some entertainment nonetheless. We would recommend sticking to the uncensored version though, as it offers a bit more content.

Gameplay: There are some interesting story elements, but the focus is mostly on the ecchi escapades of the girls.

Graphics: The artwork by Inma is gorgeous as always, but the cast is small and the locations limited.

Sound: No voice acting and decent, but unremarkable music

Summary 6.3 Above Average
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Sakura Space

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

After beaches, swim clubs, dungeons and shrines, Winged Cloud finally takes their Sakura series to the depths of space. However, apart from the change in scenery, fans will know exactly what to expect from this visual novel. It is worth noting that, unlike many of their past releases, Sakura Space is actually a yuri title, which means that all of the characters, including the protagonist, are female. Unfortunately, anyone expecting the space setting to have a huge impact on the story might be disappointed as everything that happens are confined to only a few locations on board a huge spaceship.

In terms of story, players watch events unfold from the perspective of Captain Shika, the leader of a small group of mercenaries. While checking out the available bounties in her sector, Shika is startled to discover one for one billion imperial dollars, the single highest one ever placed in the galaxy. To earn this money all Shika and her crew have to do is bring in a wanted fugitive. While this sounds like a daunting task considering how big the galaxy is, Shika soon discovers that their quarry might be a lot closer than expected and the mission more personal than she thought. It isn’t the most original or engrossing stories, but it provides a decent enough excuse for some of the scenarios that play out. Of course, with this being a Winged Cloud title, most of the scenarios consist of characters getting naked and having sex with each other. This is a lot more obvious in the uncensored version of the game, which features nudity and sex scenes, both of which are absent from the Steam version. There is still plenty of fanservice in the Steam version, but if you want to see the beautiful artwork by Inma as it was meant to be you are going to have to opt for the adult version of the game.

As with most Winged Cloud titles the cast is kept rather small and only consists of Shika, her two eccentric crew members, Nami and Kotori, as well as their quarry. The story consists mostly of the mercenaries trying to outwit their target, who continually seems to be one step ahead of time. In between this game of cat and mouse the girls also find plenty of time to wriggle out of their already skimpy outfits and make out with each other. Sakura Space also gives you the illusion of choice at times by presenting you with two different options. You then get to pick which one sounds the most logical. However, selecting the right or wrong option doesn’t branch the storyline and the only thing it affects is your “investigation” score, which is displayed when you complete the game. Winged Cloud has attempted to make elements of the space setting relevant to the story, but there is no exploring of strange new worlds or seeking out of new life and civilizations. Considering that this is a yuri title, there is some “boldly going where no man has gone before” as long as you play the adult version of the game of course.

Visually the game looks as good as other titles in the series featuring artwork by Inma. Fans expecting anything explicit will probably be disappointed to hear that while the girls bare a lot of skin in the uncensored version of the game, it is strictly of the breasts and buttocks variety. It is even worse in the uncensored version as not only are certain scenes completely removed, but in the scenes where they would have gotten nude the girls wear swimsuits instead. As with most titles in the Sakura series the CGs are beautifully illustrated, but sadly the girls all have the same body shapes. The space setting would have been a great opportunity to feature a bit more diversity and be a little more creative instead of keeping everything so vanilla, especially with titles such as The Stargazers already on the market. The audio is also good, but not good enough to really stand out or become memorable. All the tunes are fitting and pleasant enough to listen to while playing, but once you exit the game you’ll be hard pressed to really remember any of them. Voice acting is also noticeably absent, which is a pity as it could really have helped to flesh out the characters a little more.

Sakura Space features a pretty standard interface, which allows you to press a keyboard or mouse button to advance the messages onscreen. The only display options are playing the game in a window or fullscreen, but the audio options extend to toggling the volume of the music, sound and ambience independently. Unlocked CGs can be viewed from a gallery on the main menu, but there is no jukebox option to listen to the music. While Sakura Space has Steam Trading Cards, it does not feature any achievements.

Although it is nice to see a visual novel with a different setting, it is also clear that Sakura Space doesn’t really make the most of the universe that it is set in. Obviously it is primarily an eroge title, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the story is centered mostly on the kinky and compromising situations that the characters can get into. Having said that, it was interesting to read about the different tactics employed by the protagonist and antagonist as they tried to outwit each other. The game is playable without the censored content as the additional scenes doesn’t add too much to the story, but we would still recommend opting for it as it gives you the whole experience. Winged Cloud has been releasing the Sakura titles for a while now, so most players should know by now whether it is something that they will enjoy or not. It might not be the best title in the series, but will appeal to players in search of a yuri adventure.

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System Requirements

  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista/7/8/8.1 (Compatible with 32 bit and 64 bit)
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 300 MB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or higher; SteamOS
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
  • Storage: 300 MB available space

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