So much to comment on! First, I'm extremely pleased that I am not the only indie game dev to feature the Oakland Athletics in a video game. This "review" will be long and personal, but I wanted to share it a bit since this game made me think a lot more about my upbringing and past than I expected to, going in.
Spoilers for the game below this point! Look out, folks!
Similar to many of the protagonists in this game, I grew up in a bit of a strict setting where I was expected to always do well in school and expected to not date during high school. This is pretty much akin to Noelle's experience: the entire sequence where she gets an A and her parents berate her reminded me of the time I got a 100% on a test and was scorned for not doing better (there was no extra credit for me to do better even if I wanted to).
The political backdrop of the game is pretty interesting as well, and served more to make the characters feel real than it did to distract from the plot. Obama's 2008 win and the Prop 8 debate play tangential roles, and I like how it was handled. The only thing to break realism for me was that some of the character dialogue felt more 2010's than mid-late 2000's, but it wasn't enough to distract me from the game.
Let's talk baseball, now. I already mentioned how excited I was to see the A's in a game. When I went in I didn't expect a game that would actually involve baseball, more of what I expected was baseball as a background setting. I grew up with a love of the game (my most stereotypical American trait) and, unfortunately, a love for my local Orioles team. I wish my high school did have a baseball team when I attended, but alas, I wound up in tennis.
Finally, and this is probably the most depressing point to end on: seeing this group of fictional girls be friends among one another and having a common experience with regards to their ethnic background left me deep in contemplation. From my name on here I'm sure you can guess that I'm of Arab descent, but funnily enough, I never grew up with anybody of a similar background. The game talks about how the characters, living in the California Bay Area, didn't realize that outside their bubble not many Asians existed. I guess it was something I never had, and it did get me wondering just what my childhood and high school life would have been like if there were others like me. At the very least, this game let me live vicariously to catch a glimpse of what that might have felt like.
Definitely recommending this to people. Thanks for making such an original work!