LOVE BAKUDAN
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Love Bakudan is an 18+ yuri visual novel with a unique premise and plenty of hot women to romance. When Haruka Mishimi inherits her grandmother’s erotic bookstore, she moves back to her childhood home of Akiyama where she finds a bevy of beautiful customers waiting to frequent her shop. With six unique romance routes, a fun bookselling mini-game, and plenty of optional erotic stories to unlock, Love Bakudan belongs in the library of every yuri fan.

Gameplay: Six romance routes that are completely unique from each other.

Graphics: Plenty of backgrounds and some nice character designs.

Sound: The music is good and there’s plenty of great sound effects

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LOVE BAKUDAN

Developer: Noodletub Games | Publisher: Noodletub Games | Release Date: 2021 | Genre: Indie / Visual Novel | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

When her grandmother passes away Haruka Mishima finds herself inheriting a small bookshop in the coastal town of Akiyama. However, this is no ordinary bookshop as it is located in the redlight district and specializes in erotic literature. Haruka grew up living above the bookstore with her two mothers, but the family ended up relocating to Tokyo after the shop’s transformation. Her parents didn’t want their teen daughter to grow up in such sketchy circumstances, but it meant that Haruka had to say goodbye to her two childhood friends, Yuki and Sei. As Haruka is now in her twenties she is eager to return to Akiyama and reconnect with her old friends while running the shop. Of course, the fact that her grandmother mentioned how gorgeous her clientele was is also a big motivating factor!

Love Bakudan had a successful Kickstarter campaign a while back and now that we’ve gotten an opportunity to play the game it definitely lives up to all of its promises. Not only does it have six unique romance routes, but it also features a special seventh, non-romanceable route. After a lengthy prologue that sets up the story and characters players get to complete a magazine quiz, which then determines which route they will embark on in the game. There are no choices to be made outside of the quiz, which means that Love Bakudan is a kinetic novel. However, each route is unique, so players won’t run into any recycled content. We prefer this to visual novels with arbitrary choices that only impact a line or two of text in the game. It also means that Love Bakudan has plenty of replay value.

Since Love Bakudan is a yuri visual novel it is filled with adorable women who only have eyes for other women. There is not a single male character in sight in the entire game, which does feel a little odd at first but doesn’t detract from the stories in any way. Haruka is quite a charming protagonist and kudos to Noodletub Games for making each route so unique. We played through a few of them and none of them feel like they were added as afterthoughts. All of the stories were filled with humor as well as plenty of drama and some heartwarming moments. Given the setting and 18+ nature of the game, there are also more than enough uncensored adult content for fans to enjoy.

Another neat aspect of Love Bakudan is how girls who might be a love interest in one route could end up being an antagonist in other routes. Some of the girls also end up dating each other if you don’t pick their routes, which just shows how much care Noodletub Games have put into the story. Your romance options are quite unique and range from your childhood friends, Sei and Yuki, to the hot fire chief, Akane, the shy manga fan, Himeko, the mysterious idol, Angel, and even a mobster named Teru. Some of the story elements are a little predictable, but we found each route to be very enjoyable.

While there are no real choices to make in the game it does feature a bookselling mini-game. Since Haruka is the owner of an erotic bookstore she has to sell books when she’s not busy flirting with all the gorgeous girls in sight or going off on all kinds of romantic adventures. These sections consist of customers asking for a specific type of book, which players then have to select from a pool of three possible options. The correct answer is usually very obvious, but it adds some variety to the game, and getting all the choices right rewards Haruka with an erotic book that can be read outside the main game. There are a ton of these stories ranging from hot and steamy to humorous and goofy. To be honest, most of these stories show more imagination and effort than what we’ve seen in full length cash-grab visual novels from other developers.

Love Bakudan was made using Ren’Py, so anyone who has played a visual novel in the past few years will feel right at home with the interface. Players can opt to play in fullscreen or windowed mode and there are plenty of options to tweak things like the text speed and sound volume. Noodletub Games also added the handy option to censor the NSFW CGs, which is something that streamers will appreciate. The game itself is also very polished, although we did encounter a few error messages and grammar issues along the way. None of these ruined the experience in any way and will be fixed by the developers.

Visually, Love Bakudan makes use of photo backgrounds that have been given a filter to make them look hand-painted. This style can look horrible in the wrong hands but fits in nicely with the setting and characters of Love Bakudan. The character designs are also really good and each one of the girls looks unique. We have no qualms with the music and sound effects either as the game feature plenty of both. Unfortunately, there’s no speech in Love Bakudan, but given the sheer amount of dialogue in the game, this is hardly surprising seeing as it’s still an indie title.

Overall, Love Bakudan has delivered on all the promises made by Noodletub Games during the Kickstarter and then some. It’s certainly one of the better yuri titles that we’ve played recently and can give a lot of big-budget releases a run for their money when it comes to characters and content. Each route completed by players adds a little pixel art version of the girl to the title screen and players can skip straight to the quiz when starting a new game. It’s also worth mentioning that each route is as long, if not longer, than entire other visual novels on Steam being sold for the same price. This means that yuri fans will certainly be getting value for their money with Love Bakudan. There are obviously some things that could have been improved with more time and money, but all things considered, Noodletub Games did a great job with Love Bakudan and it is a must-have title for yuri fans.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Memory: 300 MB RAM
  • Storage: 1500 MB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 8 and above
  • Memory: 500 MB RAM
  • Storage: 1500 MB available space

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2 Comments

  1. Rootion February 8, 2021
    Reply

    Read the review and went to buy the game on Steam because it sounds grate but there i see no steam achievements. Sorry devs but i dont buy the games without the steam achievements (it is good for track progress especially with many routes through game like yours sounds.)

  2. Bleeping Shooty February 8, 2021
    Reply

    I would also like to see steam achievements added to the game but otherwise it looks lovely.

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