would def play more~
Recent community posts
I was trying to guess the identity of the character I was playing as. First got the Frame of Mind ending, then Memories of the Fallen, then Approximations of Man, then finally Nightmares of Hearts. Might try reaching the other endings another time.
At first I chalked it up to Spades having psychosis or something with the visuals they saw, but apparently I was playing as Hearts' heart, and they had the visuals bec they were the one who murdered Hearts. Wow. Didn't expect that.
Even Spades' being an alcoholic worked in their favor with the memory issues and feeling unwell. Those two things would've made them suspicious if they weren't an alcoholic, but ironically because they were, Diamonds chalked it up to Spades' being one. That was nice writing!
And that blinking part with Hearts disappearing then reappearing without her eyes? Fukk.
Anyway, this was pretty cool. I was expecting it to be only about finding the murderer, but apparently the identity of the playable character AND the backstory form the mystery as well~
This was a really nice game. Went through a bunch of bad ends until I got to the full ending. Did not expect the plot twist! The noise, smoke, and other animations are also great, really set the mood.
Spoilers, tangent: Did you intentionally make Robert frustrating? XD He wasn't advisor, there was no reason for him to bring up Lydia's gender. Rude. If he's so concerned people will use her unwed status to frame power given to her as unstable , maybe stop transferring power to men just because the woman wed? His accusations toward Asha were unreasonable, too. I'm laughed out loud when Lydia used his own sensibilities against him by saying she didn't invite her to dance nakedin honor of the snake goddess Sif. Though the writing is consistent in tone, there are so many comical moments. It was all enjoyable.
This is a really wonderful demo and did not feel short at all. Thoroughly enjoyed the intricacies of the choices.
Spoiler, fan rambling:
I think my favorite was regarding the ones about the witnesses and the greedy soldier. The COLLATERAL DAMAGE COVER STORY was perfect, but I wanted to honor Alexander's trust in Lydia. I wasn't too convinced that bribery would keep the witnesses silent once they've received payment, but thought it better than appointing positions of power to people motivated only with incentives. Though the bribe may fund people with questionable loyalty, at least the money is gone once they've spent it; unlike with power which Lydia cannot as easily take back once granted. As for the GREEDY SOLDIER decision, it was really tricky. I could see that bribing them again is simply using the same solution that did not work the last time, but I also wanted to avoid killing lest Lydia be known as a tyrant too early on her to-be-reign. So, I initially chose to beat the greedy soldier up. But I guess they were smart to plan an ambush. Since Lydia might need the MASTER OF MURMURS unharmed, I decided to have them assassinated. It's just so intricate a game; I love how it goes beyond value judgement and ideal choices we all want to make and into all these consequence-driven choices.
My favorite character has been Theodore. Initially, it was Alden. He was a good mix of FRANK, PRACTICAL, and COMPETENT. Though Alden brought up LYDIA'S GENDER the most at the beginning, it was mostly because he knew that other people would use it to discredit Lydia's birthright, not because he believed it made her incompetent himself. Writers, it did not escape my attention how, when he talked to her about POLICIES for the first time, he did not bring up her gender at all. So he is simply that: frank and practical. Traits that I see in Theodore as well, even if he is tainted with prejudice and his practicality blurs into cynicism.
Alden is probably my second-favorite now, still a favorite. I don't know why, there is something about always suggesting BLOODY MURDER as the FIRST SOLUTION to everything that turns him into a sort of comic relief. Real murder is not funny, of course, but with all his insistence as an advisor...it makes him a bit 2D in a good, comic "are you for real" way. He has been insisting on brute force for much of the demo, even though it's his responsibility as advisor to see that it could also be bad for Lydia to be seen as a tyrant in the long run. In stats-speak, -10 people.
I've begun to see Alden as a mouthpiece and PERSONIFICATION of any ruler's need for self-preservation. I think it's CLEVER WRITING because considering the plot where the story begins where only Lydia and a few others know of the regicide, there is no other way to convey the threat of being outcast(?) as a ruler and even just staying alive from that POV and limited set of characters. If it were any other story, the threat could be portrayed with interactions with nobles in the Court, specifically in how Lydia has to please them just to protect herself and her plans. But that involves too many side characters and trivial pleasant-sounding conversations and do not convey the gravity of regicide that has happened to the former king and that may someday happen to Lydia.
The writers of Imperial Grace dived straight into it, straight into the plot, without luxury of pace, without excess characters or ones prematurely introduced, without trivial details, in just the right heavy atmosphere. I absolutely loved it!
I'm liking this game~ So far, I've tried the routes in this order: Joseph, Landon, Cooper.
I found Joseph's route heavy. It struck a bit close to home so I was ambivalent about playing the game again in case the other routes were also heavy, but he was still my first choice as I absolutely loved his gentleness and the dynamic of him being a neighbor--almost like a home.
Next, I went with Landon. His route made me curious because I wondered if he got stood up in Joseph's route. Landon's route was really refreshing and took away my ambivalence. I wondered how different he was from Millo at first, but I guess Landon is simply a natural romantic, while being innocently friendly and carefree. He's adorable.
Now, I've just started Cooper's route. I just love the banter between him and Dani! My favorite lines are "What are you talking about?" "About this red face of yours." Then they smirk. Oh my God, Dani just doesn't give him a break XD [UPDATE: Oh my God, Cooper liked the MC for so long. Now I feel bad for him in the other AUs/routes.] [UPDATE UPDATE: I can't with the interactions. First the one-on-one teasing, then the hidden meaning teasing in front of the MC, then the MC getting the wrong idea and Cooper's reactions looking exactly like denial. Oh Lord~]
Just came here to say that losing contact with my friends while IG & Messenger is down reminded me of Toasty's route. (I have their emails, I'm just too lazy to find my password. Scary if I didn't, though.)
Hi again. Just dropping by with a fan drawing I made :D Kyra, Cliff (background), and a character from another visual novel.
I made this sketch because I got "mom vibes" from both Delora and Kyra.
I grew fond of Mr. Holden as well, so even though I wanted to focus on the two, I decided to include him in the background, waving innocently. The fan story behind this is that Delora is frustrated that she lost in a card game.
(Drew another one recreating that scene where Jeremy picks on Cove's eyebrows, but it's not as pretty and I can't upload more than one image for some reason. Anyway~)
...Okay, I finished Toasty's. I thought it'd be less climactic compared to Quest's, but I was wrong. I was so wrong. Definitely lives up to the Panic part of the name XD
I hope we get to see Xyx's route sometime next :D
I have so many feelings o_o Just finished Quest's route after Owl's. The way Owl and Toasty were concerned about Quest after the whole Incident was so heartwarming. Two and BigLady, too. And Salo prolly had vastly different background but was definitely part of the group. I love everybody ;_; Even the way xyx trolled a certain somebody. I'm not usually for group chats, but this game and its uncommon gameplay(?) was really interesting.
Okay, I really should stop playing the "antagonist's POV" routes first. XD
Ace's route felt both so substantial and funny to the point that, while I usually like the this-person's-already-important-to-me dynamics with LIs, playing Michael's route second kinda got spoiled for me haha. It was still nice, though. The whole "I trust you, we're together even when we're doing different things" energy to it especially in that scene with the cocoon? Michael's may not have been an "antagonist's POV" route, but it also has nuance.
When I looked at the character profiles, I was deciding between Ace and Keldran
(because I didn't know Michael was already fond of the MC and that he blushes easily). I was drawn to the mercenary-ish trope Ace falls under, and to Keldran's level-headedness. Currently, the latter doesn't have a route yet, but I'll be looking forward to when he does. As someone mono(?) who once considered poly IRL for someone before (turned out they weren't even poly, just friendly), I'm pretty curious to explore that route, and to see more of Az (ahem, I mean Ace).
Lastly, I love the outfit they prepared for Michael. XD
Good work, devs!
Lol for every 3 games like this one there's like 7 "Het Games".
Funny why I hardly see anyone complain about unnecessarily tragic backstories (awkwardly solved with the power of uwus) or exes there for the sake of plot, forced to have terrible personalities again for the sake of plot but suddenly who suddenly become tame after the oh so nice MC befriends them and having no other life or personality other than being the LI's ex... surprise, because of plot.
I've seen comment sections on this site, this one's wow.
Is it so hard to drop it without announcing your departure? We don't need self-important people.
I get that establishing expectations matters, especially in a genre that gets conflated with wish fulfillment (even if the game never advertised itself as a "build a boyfriend" game) but something tells me that demand for a tag isn't a "here's constructive criticism, this isn't media for me but I wish you well" sort of feedback but more of a "you didn't warn me, so you should feel bad you lost My interest, serves you right" comment.
Can relate. The first visual novel I ever played was from 2017 and nothing ever replaced it (several routes, some locked, with changes in dialogues and events and even POV). But I still think Our Life tops it. Most games I'll admit are escapism to me (nothing wrong with escapism though) but Our Life made me appreciate real life and its uncertainties and changes more, if that makes sense. I still miss 2D characters after playing, but I don't feel so alone or dumped back in the real world now. Hahahaha.
Was pretty interested right from the tutorial.
I really appreciated the choices about what to eat and buy. Mundane is fun, and my child self is really happy to be able to make choices they didn't get to.
It's also kinda therapeutic NOT having to make choices just to get a certain ending. I have a bad addiction to collecting endings, making choices I otherwise wouldn't, or thinking there's a "right" answer, so it's nice that there's no bad ending here. Sets the bar, honestly. I've played a lot of otoge and let's just say they kinda have a tendency to prime you for mind-reading and people-pleasing haha.
I guess the only things I have mixed feelings about are (spoiler) somebodyxbeingxfromxaxcertainxcountryx cuz it felt thrown out of nowhere...which, I guess, helped me feel even a fraction of that somebody's shock. I don't think that specific country (I'm from there btw) had to have foreshadowing. It's just something I'm used to.
The other thing is being asked about our character's body type, but I guess it could be more of a discomfort thing than being something bad. Plus, I'll admit I sometimes play for wish fulfillment, so there's that. Haha.
For the characters: Cove is adorable, I hope Derek has a happy life, and Baxter has a charm to him. I'd love a sister like Elizabeth and a neighbor like Mr. Holden.
The family dynamics are great. We may not know much about their lives outside of their interactions with the MCs (which would involve a lot more of writing and coding and art) but they already feel like 3D characters to me through the interactions.
Pretty cool to see familiar faces from your other game (spoiler). Xxxxxx is such a baby and I'm still as confused about him as before, but I do hope he lives a good life...which is another thing that's therapeutic about the game.
Meetings and partings and all sorts of valid ways to show affection and consent and ways to spend time by yourself or with other people. People pretty much have their own lives. It's great~ Finished 1st playthrough in 12 hours
I love the diverse set of characters, the art, and the voice casting. I'm not sure if it's intended, but I found some humorous moments here and there, such as Kitsune's gentle voice contrasting with what she's saying. ("You can't get rid of me that easily." "I like him. Can we keep him?") And it's pretty cool how Sabre's not only flirtatious, but very merchant-like as well. His sales hooks killed me.
(Also, I'm shipping multiple characters lol. Amaris with Kitsune, Kitsune with Sabre, Sabre with the MC, the MC with Lucas. Probably the only ones I don't ship are Amaris with Sabre/Lucas.)
I also noticed that you did a little bit of self-/team evaluation in your Dev Log. I'm not sure how often other devs do that, since the logs I read tend to be about updates, but regardless, that's really commendable of you. Welcome to game dev-ing and hope to hear more from your team~
What did you think of Bee as a narrator?
I recognize her as what literature teachers call an "unreliable narrator" because of her internalized homophobia. It does not make me dislike her, though.
What was your favorite ending?
FanFiction.Net. Probably because I'm a bit of a writer myself and related to the "find someone who understands me through my writing" part.
Any other questions/feedback?
The art caught my attention while I was doing my "scour Itch for the latest VNs" session.
I also liked the glossary bit, since I decided to collect VNs that offer deliberate cultural glimpses. It's nice to find one from my own country.
The writing is also pretty good. It feels more deliberate than other VN scripts.
It was a little hard to get into the anime bits, though. Maybe write less in "complete" sentences in order to convey Bee's emotions? I find her reactions to the anime more important to the story and easily more engaging compared to her narration of the anime.
I appreciate your treatment of Bee's sexuality in the context of a conservative culture. Sensitive but from the perspective of someone who's affected by the culture herself.
I consider this game to have a good replay value. A number of the endings have to do with being "out". While repetitive, they're far from redundant. They emphasize a point and I think players like me could see the point clearly: The concern of getting "outted" without your consent is recurrent. They're everyday situations with high stakes.
Have you looked for Locked Heart? Simpler story and fewer characters, but still gives the same vibes as Cinderella Phenomenon. (Dicesuki was also a creator of it, but it's enlisted on a different creator page in Itch.)
Hey devs! Played Cinderella Phenomenon a few months age (it's awesome) and while looking for more VNs months later I found Locked Heart. I just wanted to know that you've got branding, because even if I only remembered why "Dice" sounded so familiar later on, I realized from the art and the spin on fairy tales that Locked Heart was also from you. And I'm not just deconstructing. Realizing the similarities came later. While playing Locked Heart, I really felt as if I was in the same universe as Cinderella Phenomenon. It's that sort of atmosphere that made me ask myself why it was so familiar. Anyway, you guys rock.
Up-voting just because I appreciate it when people are honest about the stuff they like. While some persons who don't like certain tropes probably have fair reason to (plenty of exposure to the trope), the more controlling of these persons forget that people come from different vantage points, have different and valid tastes, and that the persons who dislike a trope may have been surprised by how the trope was used once upon a time. (I'm not referring to anyone on this page, it's just something I notice elsewhere.)
Just got three endings so far and here are my thoughts...
I enjoyed playing the game. I recognize the art style (the sprites, specifically,) as similar to the one in Pretender's Guild, just without the hatching, and it showed me how you were able to adapt the art style to the genre. (TPG was, for me, a bit rural/oriental, if that makes sense, so I found the hatching and the" traditional art" look go with the music and Ash and Paris' rural background. Mnemonic Devices, on the other hand, looks urban, because of the "digital art" look thanks to relatively thick brushes and fine contour lines, which I don't associate with traditional paintings. So each art style, for me, is fitting for wherever the story is set in, which is pretty cool.)
I also noticed that the character faces in the sprites became rounder, and as usual, the outfits are great~
[Beware of SPOILER ALERTS from now on:]
My favorite character has to be Alto. I really found Ceasar sweet, and even got the ending where he goes with Quinn. But when I went through Alto's route, I just found his bond with Quinn as deeper. I'm not usually one for tsundere-ish characters (which is why I liked Ceasar first) but... damn, THAT BLUSH KILLED ME! Game changer. Alto is very very fine~ (I'm half-kidding. More on why I love Alto later.)
For what could be improved.... I'm not sure if it HAS to be clarified, but I was a little confused at first because I thought Alto was ALSO an android. Not sure if it's because I played the game weeks after I read the character descriptions here on Itch, but yeah. I ended up thinking that Alto was a cold-hearted android, and that the thing he said about Quinn being more human than most was Alto not wanting Quinn to live like a human. (Of course, I'm mistaken. I love Alto now.)
My favorite part is the scene/s where Alto said that he liked Quinn regardless of the body Quinn was put in. It was a MAJOR whoa moment for me, because I've never been one to understand how a human could love an AI. I don't know, Quinn just felt very human for me. It made me think that even if an AI's personality is programmed, originally, the AI's decisions henceforth are still the AI's own. (I mean, same goes for humans. A person can decide to do something they wouldn't usually do. And even if some people would say that that decision is a part of character development and therefore inevitable, I beg to differ because the person could just decide to not do anything and let things happen instead of choosing between character-defining options.) I don't know, I think this whole AI love thing is a mix of a love story that transcends body types, time, memory.
(And that is why Alto is even more amazing for me because in the Ceasar route I got, Alto still helped them escape even if, theoretically, he could just get Syn to forever place Quinn in Alto's comband, maybe even erase Quinn's memories and feelings for Ceasar. Alto was treating Quinn like a person, rather than a "pocket girlfriend" (or pocket boyfriend or partner).... But yeah, I still don't know who the mole Quinn talked about is, and I could only gather so little information from the available memories. But I'm crossing my fingers and hope that Alto won't break my heart in the other endings/timelines.)
Great game! Definitely one I can see myself playing for a month or so. My only problem was this bug (see image). At first, pressing F5 solved the problem, and I was able to play for about an hour, then the same bug came up again. It was okay for a few minutes then after that, it kept reuccuring no matter what I do: be it challenge my students, leave the dojo, or clean up rocks. If you're still working on this I hope you can resolve this bug. This was a pretty good game and I look forward to more of it. My character and my students all made it to level 4 by Day 25.