Okay! I've completed 2/3 of the romance routes thus far, and can safely say I have enjoyed the game proper.
My first impression of the title screen was good. Danse Macabre was a fitting choice; combined with the violet color choice and skill aesthetic of the game, Catacomb Prince felt themed and atmospheric before I even began playing.
The overall concept remains absolutely solid; find love, find your killer, or die again trying. There's a strength in simplicity, and having a straightforward plot (with no significant plot holes that I can name!!) without unnecessarily complex twists and turns is refreshing for a renpy game.
I was immediately drawn to Ravi at first sight (and first listen, me-ow), and romanced them as soon as possible. I was engaged enough with the character that I didn't really take notes as I played, so I will simply say that appreciated that their relationship to Vitali was built on trust and friendship. <3 I had a lot of fun getting to know them, and believe there were just enough choices to present a unique experience in each playthrough.
On a gameplay note, I was confused by the upper right buttons, and believed they were meant to be interactive. By the end of the first playthrough though, I was able to intuit that the top two are simply GOOD progress meters, and progressing the bottom eyeball is BAD. I have an even better understanding of what the buttons represent now, but "GOOD and BAD" were really all I needed to know to achieve the endings I wanted.
The writing surprised me. I enjoyed it well enough, but certain lines read as very modern, whereas I was expecting the game to sound (due to the prior established theme and atmosphere) more historically-inclined language due to the historical fantasy setting. The dialogue is oddly informal/modern in parts, with Ravi using the term "ghosting" at one point. Some of the text seems clipped as well, as if it were written in a hurry. While I think there's room for improvement, I would like to stress that it was not bad by any stretch of the imagination. There were definitely some flavor text gems (lol) that I wouldn't change for the world, and had me screaming with delight, and obviously I enjoyed playing enough to leave an extensive review.
To best illustrate my point, I drafted some sentence edits for two of the game's early scenes;
I can tell that a lot of love and hard work went into Catacomb Prince, and its potential really shines in so many ways. It's a great project, and I'm so happy it exists.
If you guys could use an editor, feel free to hit me up! Otherwise, best of luck. :) I'm excited to wrap up with Princess Leandra when I have more time.