Well, I’ve finished the entire game now (actually, I did the night following my previous comment, but I didn’t have the time to review it before). Or almost finished, I guess – I’m missing the 9th CG on the first page. Must be something bad ending related or whatever – I won’t look for it actively.
As said before, I really liked the game and most of the routes were really cool. The only ones I didn’t particularly like were the girls’ ones, but it’s simply because it’s not my cup of tea – otherwise they were well written and cute and stuff anyway haha! But well, had to do those to access the unlockable one.
The characters are great in this game, and I honestly have a hard time deciding who was my favorite or whose route was the one I liked the most. I guess it’s either Leopold or the secret character, but it’s difficult to tell.
Now, I have one complaint – something that was bothering me a lot during the whole game. Lots of names seem to be French-inspired. It’s fine, but well… two of them were weird. First, Françoise. While the name exists, it’s solely feminine. The male version is François. Then, the surname du Jardine. This is even weirder – I guess it was meant to be the “from the garden” surname, but that would be du Jardin, then. Jardine sure means “garden”, but as in the verb – it translates as “(I) garden” / “(he/she) gardens” and a couple of other forms, not the garden as in the location with trees and plants XD.
I’ll go more in depth about each route, but because of that, a little warning:
---------SPOILERS AHEAD!!! ---------
- Charlotte – clearly the route I like the least. She’s a sweet girl, but not my kind of characters, and between that and the fact I’m not into GL games made it boring to me. On the bright side, I really like the message the route makes, about believing in yourself and not letting others tell you you’re worthless or stupid.
- Sofia – slightly better than Charlotte. She was an interesting character, so my only problem was that I dislike GL. But it also was the cruelest of all the routes in my opinion, because of how the final issue is solved. What can I say, I love the secret character, and I can’t even imagine that from his point of view.
- Guillaume – the first route I did, actually. Sweet and heartwarming. The prince is a fine character, and it’s always nice to see guys like him daring to challenge their parents and start to be masters of their own lives instead of listening to them. I wanted to do his route first since it was Iolanthe’s “mission” when she went to the palace, and well, it was a nice warm-up route.
- Leopold – one of my two favorite routes. He was an intriguing character, the sort you know is scheming something and because of that are not sure if you should trust him or not. The reveal about his goals is cool too, and I love the fact Iolanthe can just say “I’m impressed” XD – she always manages to surprise him. To be honest, Leopold almost made me cry at some points because of how lonely he was, and how he had to keep his secrets to himself and endure the stares of the court. The only thing that bothered me in this route is the ending – I love open endings – and in this game they fit really well the overall mood and writing style. Leopold’s ending was nice too, of course, but because of his and Iolanthe’s quite “extreme” plans for the future, it would have been nice to know how it went – even a short scene from after the facts would be enough and would wrap it perfectly.
- Bastien – this is a special case. I love Bastien, and I love master-servant relationships, so this is basically the route for me. And I like it very much, sure. But unfortunately, the route doesn’t add any new spin to the formula – it’s basically what I was expecting from that kind of scenario (+ added cruelty for the secret character XD). So yeah, it works, and I like it, but it prevents it from being one of my favorite routes.
- Secret (how I’d like to use his name, but oh well, I guess it’s better to keep it down, even with the spoiler warning haha) – the second route I like the most – it maaay be my number one, but I’m not entirely sure since, as with Leopold, one small detail prevents it from being perfect, so they’re quite tied. So, about the route itself! It was so extremely touching and… I don’t know, it’s hard to express actually, but I really felt it? It was like it tore the feelings straight from my guts and heart or something. I can’t help but think this route was “destiny” – like this would be the canon one. Well it’s a nice feeling when, for once, I think that about the unlockable route, since often I don’t like it very much in games and I’m frustrated it’s “more special” than the other routes I like more than it. The play scene in this route was one of my favorite gaming moments from the recent months. It got me hard! Now, I did mention a detail preventing it from being perfect, right… Well, it would benefit from a kiss / almost kiss scene like ALL the other routes. The lack of it actually bothered and slightly upset me even. It would have been so precious and powerful.
Well, I guess that would be it! It had some small issues, but overall a fantastic game – I’m happy I’ve been able to finally play it! Thank you for making that little gem!