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(+1)

Rating the games using the Judge categories

Gameplay

VN's tend to be super light on gameplay, and while this one does not have a lot more than the rest, what is here is actually really interesting if you play through to the end. The potential consequences of training or not, the type of training you do or whether you rank high or not during a given week are pretty intriguing with the ending in mind. Although the contest build didn't actually present a result in that regard, I can see where it can go. 

Also I liked that you could unlock different routines if you chose to do so.

I think some sort of gameplay interaction in the dancing sections could be better, to give that part of the game both a skill and strategy factor. Speaking of strategy, some indication of the audience's preference towards singing or dancing would be nice too, so the player could attempt to see which routine would be best to pick

[14/20]

Presentation

Art is gorgeous and polished where it matters, and even the art that is not so polished is pretty nice as well. Music is also fun and fitting

Now the story: It was a bit of a rollercoaster for me, even before it ramped up near the end. I started with the expectation that this was just going to be a relatively simple story about a dance contest and your rivals. Then the first hint that there was something more came. I became intrigued. Then the whole ghost gimmick started gaining importance and I became worried this was going to go a little too supernatural, and then the ending. It changed how I viewed the entire game. I immediately thought of Danganronpa: Dancing edition XD. But beyond that, it also changed how I wanted to approach the game. Now the decision between training and slacking off was more important, and the stakes became higher. Sadly, the story ended right there

It was great.

[18/20] -> Doubled to 36

Engagement

The story is very engaging, although I wouldn't say I was glued to the game... until the last few parts of it. I think a little bit more of gameplay interaction/choices during the story segments is needed. Still, this game keeps itself interesting decently enough

[14/20]

Potential

VN's tend to have the least potential for commercial success, since there are many and the genre is relatively niche. This one is pretty unique, even within the male idol category, and the promise of the story development given near the end certainly makes me feel that this one can really shine bright

[14/20]

Total: 78/100 (4 Stars)

Thank you for the very in-depth review! A lot of the negatives mentioned are things that we have on the drawing block for a longer game. (especially when it comes to HOW the audience votes; there was no time to work out the math needed for that along with everything else however. and how many branching narratives had to be cut for time as well.) Still there's some good stuff to take away from here :>

I can't wait to introduce the game at full potential, because as you said, a lot of the mechanics become more interesting after the twist is introduced.

Thank you again for playing!