Such a fascinating premise. The demo kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. Looking forward to future updates, and good luck with the kickstarter campaign!
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I don't usually go for fantasy visual novels, but this is amazing! I was immediately drawn into this strange world of tense politics and complicated individuals. You did an incredible job of developing the storyline and the setting, and balancing it all with charming character interactions.
The characters are so engaging. I'm fascinated by all of the characters' histories and relationships--Pious's relationship with Egon and her girl? Lana's past? I want to find out more about all of them!
It's refreshing to play as an MC who has such an awesome personality + that we still have control over Lana's dialogue. I like how you pointed out which one of the options leads to romance with Egon (I went for romance right away!!) and that each choice elicits a different response. The banter between Lana and Egon is hilarious, as is Karel and Kitt (that frying pan?? YES).
The backgrounds, character design, and special art scenes are stunning. (Egon, Kieran, and Karel? mmmm :P)
My only complaint would be the fade-in-fade-out transition of the text boxes; kinda made my head spin after a while, especially because there are so many lines of text. I found myself clicking through the other characters' dialogue as quickly as possible, in order to get back to Lana and Egon. I also wish there was a rewind option on the dialogue; I know there is a pop-up box where you can read through all the text, but it'd be nice to go back to reverse our choices (especially because some of the response choices are a bit vague; at one I made Egon annoyed when I thought it was a witty remark!).
Overall, what an outstanding, polished demo with a fascinating plot and line of characters! I'm hooked and can't wait to play more.
EDIT: Mini-games are such a fun idea. Love it!
No worries! You can read their explanation here (it's very long!): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/audilis/love-...
I didn't see them explicitly state that the game was ending, but they did say "We will be refunding our backers and dissolving the company." They also mentioned "We have been working at a slow pace and are willing to post what we have finished to show that we did take our game seriously," which I take to mean that they will not be continuing the game.
I've only played four routes so far: Jared, Shane, Paul, and PBG (listed in the order of how much I enjoyed them). But wow. This is by far one of the best otome/visual novel games that I have ever played.
The artwork and mechanics are lovely. The storyline is fully fleshed out, with wonderful dialogue, flawed but realistic and adorable characters, and an engaging series of events.
There are many choices in the game, and I felt that they all rightfully had significance on the ending. The pacing of the storyline is wonderful as well; the big competition day is the overhanging conflict of the game, and it remains so up all the way through the end. This team did an exceptional job of balancing romance, character development, and side stories with the central issue.
I loved playing as Hana, and was so pleasantly surprised by the development of her character. Her relationship with her father and her openness about her shy demeanor/experience being bullied was incredibly touching--bullying is a topic that I feel games/anime too often water down and take advantage of, but you guys did an amazing job bringing it home. I teared up while reading the letters between her and her amazing father, and was so proud to see her finally be so happy.
I also liked how Hana grows and evolves as a character depending on which route we take. I enjoyed Jared, Shane, and Paul's route so much because of how much Hana broke out of her shell and began to gain confidence in her instincts and self-worth--and how it varied for each boy. She didn't take Shane's hot-cold bullshit, called out Jared for being selfish, and walked out on Paul when he was being unreasonable. That was probably why I didn't enjoy PBG's route so much; I felt neither really grew as individuals while in a relationship with each other, that Hana stayed inside that shell.
Another route-specific complaint I have would be Paul's character development. I liked the story outline, but felt that his romantic feelings for Hana was too rushed. The redemption for all of his denial/insecurity over the class election didn't tie up all the ends--especially when I consider all of the tears Hana shed over him to Mai. A little more angst, a little more pining/jealousy, some more scenes and conversations...that would've hit the spot!
Also, Mai is possibly the best friend I've ever met--I could not agree more with her dialogue about why it was important to hold Jared accountable for his shitty actions. And the fact that she was willing to let Hana be happy with the boy she was crazy for? What an incredible, incredible friend. I was really happy to see in Jared's route that Mai and PBG get together; personally, I think they are a better couple than Hana and PBG, and their energies match each other so well. ^.^
Great, great, great, great (gosh I use that word too much to describe this game but it is so true) game. I've recommended this to so many people, and I will continue to do so! Will definitely come back to tip this amazing team when I get the funds haha.
Things I loved:
I was dazzled by the beautiful artwork, sleek mechanics, and well-written characters and conversations. Authenticity to the racial tensions and culture of 1920s. Inclusion of POC, a trans matriarch, and a lovable, diverse cast of characters. Wonderful game mechanics, though there was lag in the skip option, including the definitions of 1920s slang and intro tutorial. It was so enjoyable to click through the scenes and look at the design.
The MC is Chinese American (like me! woohoo) and kickass. She's strong-willed and offers insightful analysis of gender norms and racial stereotypes, and owns up to the many mistakes that she makes. I enjoyed the inclusion of each character's native language and how natural it felt. The initial interactions between MC and the coven are so adorable, especially Vivi and Emilio's bickering and Alexei and Giovanni's hilarious bond. The nude scene cracked me up. Blessings upon blessings to Marie and Vivi for setting MC up. >:)
Giovanni was by far my favorite character :). I was pleasantly surprised by Alexei's kindness, and though Emilio pissed me off quite a bit, the last romance scene was the best out of the three LIs. I liked how the story challenged my initial perceptions of the LIs and other characters, much like how the MC grows as a person.
1) Pacing is awesome until after the confrontation with the LI. From there, it gets faster and faster. The true love/neutral endings feel rushed and underdeveloped, and the climax of the story, which is MC's test, is barely touched on. The ending romance scenes feel a bit awkward and out of place, which is disappointing because of all the great build up in the first half.
2) Lack of choice. We only get 3-4 choices per LI, that I didn't feel held enough weight to have so many influence on the ending. I liked the MC's personality and responses, but I wished we had more control over that. It would also be nice to have more say over the development of romance. It was sort of evident with Emilio's route (hold hands vs. put hand on shoulder), but not so much with Alexei and Giovanni. I didn't think calling him a flower = let's move to Paris and sleep together ahaha, no matter how in love with him I am.
That being said, I could never understand the insane amount of work that goes into creating a game, especially one this well-executed and created within the span of a month! Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of playing this visual novel. I look forward to seeing your future projects. :)
Hi there! I read the recent "Love is a Game" update on Kickstarter. While I am very sorry to hear the game will no longer be finished, I understand that there are so many things that go on behind the scenes in creating a fully-functioning, well-written game. Sometimes, it just doesn't work out. As someone who was looking forward to the final game, I understand your team's position and and greatly appreciate your transparency.
Additionally, I believe that that all your supporters would be happy to play what you guys have created, even if it's not finished or polished. I think this would be pretty solid consolation for donators + people who have been following the project. I would be happy to enjoy the hard work that you guys put in and play as much more as possible. :)
I applaud you all for taking action to refund your backers, and hope that you will all continue to create awesome games. Based on the how much this short demo electrified visual novel lovers (myself included!), I know that your future creative endeavors can and will do well, whether you do so as a team or individually. I look forward to supporting you, and wish you the best of luck. ^.^
Just finished the demo! There's something very peaceful/cozy about the mechanics and storyline and characters, but I get the feeling that there's more to the concept that I think...right???
The MC is adorable (thinking about what she was gonna cook :) very relatable), as are the three LIs. Wanted to slap Kennith, but I have hope yet for him. ^.^ I also liked the phone feature a lot; it was so simply, but having the character profiles available and clicking through photos and emails was incredibly satisfying. And as a graphic designer myself I enjoyed reading the commentary on the website hahaha.
Of course, the art style was so pleasant and..cuddly? Is that a proper descriptive term? Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed playing the demo, and I'm looking forward to future updates! Great job guys. <3
Finished part 1, and I have to say that I ADORE the game.
Things I loved: The art is so retro and pastel and vivid, and the music is also fitting. The option to choose gender and sexual orientation was awesome too. I really like the MC; I found that I could really relate to her artistic struggles and identity crisis. There were so many pleasant things about the game mechanics and the way you guys executed a simple concept. I loved interacted with different customers at the store, how sweet our boss is, and grabbing food with Phoenix, of course. One of my favorite parts was when Joyce directly addressed our escapism/solitude and though it made me pretty sad, he decided to leave.
Something I wasn't crazy about: There was a lot of clicking through the text, to the point where I became pretty restless. Granted, heavy text is a given with a visual novel, but it often felt like most of the lines didn't contribute anything. For instance, in the last argument we have with Joyce, it seemed like we were just talking in circles for a few minutes. The same applied when everyday MC would ponder over what to do--I felt that the lines could have been condensed! Just a personal opinion.
Overall, I find the MC refreshing and relatable, and the game beautifully designed. There's something very peaceful and relaxing about the game. I'm currently in the midst of applications and AP testing, and finding this gem was really made my morning. I cannot wait for Part 2, and I wish you guys the best of luck!
(Also I'm now in love with Phoenix and his fashion and his beautiful character design oooops)
I really, really enjoyed the demo. Love how original the plot is! Although I've never had to experience being fired from an Otome game before, I fully identify with Bobka's pain. Favorite lines have to be about her best friend "showing up when it's relevant to the plot," Roy "beating up all the dudes just because," and the poor faceless mother.
Meta humor and sarcasm are on point, and I'm excited to learn more about Roy hehe. You're able to balance the parody/comical elements with a very engaging story and heroine, and I'm looking forward to playing the final version! Cheers, and good luck. <3