Sweetest Monster

Sweetest Monster

Sweetest Monster is the latest release from ebi-hime, which means interesting characters and memorable situations. It is defintely a much darker title than what you might think, but one that kept us hooked right to the very end. At only about 40,000 words it is slightly shorter than the average visual novel, but the story is good and the price very reasonable. Anyone looking for something with a bit more substance than the typical lighthearted cat-girl visual novels should definitely give this kinetic novel a try.

Gameplay: Beautifully written and definitely very memorable despite the lack of choices or story branches.

Graphics: The game only features a limited amount of character sprites and backgrounds, but they are all great.

Sound: There is no voice acting, but the background music and sound effects are of a very high standard

Take On Emperor Caligula Himself In Gladiator Bastards For Android

Take On Emperor Caligula Himself In Gladiator Bastards For Android

A few years back, the Spartacus television series rekindled interest in gladiators with its brutal depiction of combat in the arena. Unfortunately, the show has long since run its course, but now a Finnish game company, Frak ltd., has stepped up to fill that void. Their debut title, Gladiator Bastards, is available now from the Play Store, so Android owners can spill the blood of their opponents on the warm sands of the Colosseum. Apple fans won’t have to wait too long to join in on the action either, as an iOS version is planned for this year too

Cat Girl Alliance

Cat Girl Alliance

If you like your visual novels with plenty of sex scenes and very little plot, then I guess Cat Girl Alliance will be appealing. The limited amount of characters, futanari elements and lack of anything interesting happening beyond the sex scenes will however limit the audience of this game. While not the worst visual novel that I have played it is nothing special either.

Gameplay: Non-existent and with a bare bones storyline as well.

Graphics: Quite dated and the art style is a bit hit-and-miss.

Sound: A few nice tunes, but overall unremarkable

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

Beat Blades Haruka

Beat Blades Haruka

Nukige titles are not really known for their story or gameplay, but Beat Blades Haruka definitely bucks this trend. As implausible as it is the story is actually quite neat and training the girls to fight in battle is very addictive. Of course, seeing as it is a nukige title there is an enormous amount of H-content as well and fans will be happy to hear that it is all completely uncensored. It is not a game for the easily offended or sensitive, but fans of the genre should definitely add it to their collection.

Gameplay: The stat raising and battles make it a lot more engrossing than a typical nukige title.

Graphics: Excellent character designs and a ton of CGs.

Sound: Good voice acting and lots of music

MangaGamer White Day Sale Until March 17th

MangaGamer White Day Sale Until March 17th

Everyone is familiar with Valentine’s Day, but did you know that Japan also has a “White Day” which takes place exactly one month later? It is the day on which men who received chocolates from women on Valentine’s Day get to return the favor. This is because it is tradition in Japan for the women to give chocolate to men on Valentine’s Day

Kindred Spirits on the Roof

Kindred Spirits on the Roof

Enoki Sachi and Nagatani Megumi are two ghosts who want to consummate their relationship, but to do so they want to observe other female couples to figure out what exactly it entails. Since Toomi Yuna is the only person at the Girl’s Academy who can see the two restless spirits it becomes her task to turn the school into a “yuritopia.” While the story might not sound like it leaves room for a lot of depth the game is surprisingly entertaining and treats the subject matter with more care and respect than most other titles. There’s plenty of funny moments too and a great cast of characters who you end up really caring for.

Gameplay: It is a kinetic novel, so you cannot really influence the story, but there is a lot of content.

Graphics: It’s a pity the resolution is so low, but the art style is quite beautiful.

Sound: Voice acting is restricted to important scenes only, but the quality is good and the soundtrack is great

Gahkthun of the Golden Lightning

Gahkthun of the Golden Lightning

With its Steampunk setting, great characters and intriguing storyline it is easy to get sucked into this visual novel. However, it is not perfect as the pacing slows down considerably in later chapters and too many superfluous characters with little impact on the story keep getting introduced. Stick with it though and you’ll find a great visual novel with characters that are truly memorable.

Gameplay: Some chapters drag their feet, but the overall story is quite captivating.

Graphics: Great visuals, but the relatively low resolution is disappointing.

Sound: Full Japanese voice acting, great sound effects and very nice music, but some tracks repeat too often

Ten Questions With… John Pickett (MangaGamer)

Ten Questions With… John Pickett (MangaGamer)

With titles such as eden*, Princess Evangile, Higurashi When They Cry and A Kiss For The Petals released on Steam along with many others on their own website, 2015 has been a bumper year for MangaGamer. They are showing no signs of slowing down either, so to get some more information about their upcoming releases as well as the visual novel market we had a chat with John Pickett

Divine Slice of Life

Divine Slice of Life

For a short, but interesting visual novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously and features branching paths it is worth checking out Divine Slice of Life. The all ages version isn’t too bad, but the game is best played in its uncensored form. The story isn’t particularly deep or original, but overall the game is enjoyable enough for us to recommend to fans of the genre.

Gameplay: Rather short, but features an interesting story and multiple endings.

Graphics: Better than what we are used to seeing in Western visual novels.

Sound: Decent soundtrack and full English voice acting