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Rakios

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A member registered Jun 26, 2018 · View creator page →

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Oh no, I'm so late! >.< I totally forgot to check the Yuri Game Jam. So when I realized, the first thing I did was of course to check for a new Team ANPIM game. <3

I downloaded this one without looking at anything and hopped into it totally blind. Love Goes Toward Love was another great read! You always deliver.
A cheesy game, you say? More like a whole cheese wheel. xD This one is exactly what it says on the lid, I suppose. It was very enjoyable once more. I think you did just fine, making this story about adults. We can always use more stories that aren't about Highschoolers. Not that there's anything wrong with those, it's just that so many "weeby" works are set in Highschool, so variety is always welcome.
I read this game in two sessions and stayed up way too late, considering I had work the next day both times. But just like our characters during their night out, I couldn't stop myself.^^

Some thoughts:
Good job with the inside joke of repaying the "life debt". Little things like this make stories more believable and entertaining at the same time.
"Nevermind always makes me antsy." This! I was like "I know, right?" when Juri thought that. Mh, good! I can't explain why, but I loved this detail. "Nevermind" really is a pain in the butt.
I wondered for a while what the deal was with the unusual first-aid kit that Juri carries. But then, when Romi cut her finger and Juri was all like "It's showtime", I got totally hyped. ^^ Nice idea.

While I loved the whole game, I do also have a tiny bit of criticism or suggestions this time:
I noticed that the text would sometimes break with the present tense that it is written in. It's not a big deal and I realize that checking every line is a lot of work, especially for a game that's offered for free. But I thought I'd still at least mention it for the future. When a sentence is suddenly in past tense, it does break the flow of reading - more so than a simple typo would.
My other point is more important, and it's about the Romi POV part. I usually appreciate multiple points of view in a story, and I love that you used first person perspective for both. It's just the best. However, this time, I would have preferred not getting that second POV. It was good, don't get me wrong. But I don't think it was worth it to stray from the established POV for just this one scene. It didn't include anything major that had to be shown in this way, and you didn't switch perspectives anywhere else. I think, in order to keep the story as immersive as possible, the author should ideally never give the reader any information that the point-of-view character does not have. It's of course normal for that to happen when there are multiple POV characters, and it has its own advantages and lets the writer set up cool traps and stuff. For this particular Kinetic Novel, though, the sudden and short change of POV did more harm than good, imho. The scene itself was great, but considering that a POV change kind of "derails" the reader, it carries a certain risk. Especially in this story, where we get to know all characters solely because of their interactions with Juri, the Romi POV scene stands out a lot. I think having more than one POV makes more sense when it changes regularly throughout the story's progression, when the story is split into chapters or when the POVs focus on (mostly) separate storylines. TL;DR: The decision to switch the POV should be a conscious one. But - that's just my general advice. The most important thing is that you write what you want to write. That's what we're all here for, after all. :)

Finally, I looove the whole afterword! Thank you for sharing those personal thoughts and the details about how the game came to be. The sacrifices we make for the sake of yuri... ;)
Actually, since you mentioned your studies, I got a bit of trivia to share. A few semesters ago, there was this really boring lecture at my university. I ended up bringing my laptop - not because I needed it, but for entertainment. So I picked a lonesome seat in the very back and put on "From Salt to Sugar". It felt so wrong yet so right, haha. Good times.

Thank you once again for your dedication. I'm very much looking forward to the next entry! :D

Rakios

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After downloading this game long ago, I finally played it. And I must say, there were many pleasant surprises to be found! Thank you for this little gem.

The first thing that caught my attention was the exquisite-looking, modern-feeling menu. Most VNs don't bother putting any effort into it. But while playing To Libertad, I sometimes felt the need to right-click, just to be able to see the little animation when the menu fades in. This detail alone made the game feel much closer to the experience I have when playing top-notch games that come with hefty price tags. Similarly, I appreciated the text box. While most game creators in the GameJams don't think past which colour they want it to have, you opted to make it transparent - a sign of quality in a VN, in my opinion.
Our two main characters are endearing and overall well done. I would have loved to get some additional information about them.

What I personally find to be the weakest part of this VN is the writing itself (the text we read). I do not mean to call it "bad", not at all. Compared to the rest of this high-quality game, I simply noticed more things I thought could be improved. The most important issue I found was that you would sometimes break the established narrative perspective. When that happened, I as the reader was confused - I was expecting Ada to narrate everything, and mostly, she did. Without a transition, you sometimes switched to what seemed to be an omniscent narrator. I believe that those same parts could have been told from Ada's perspective without issue. That way, it could be more immersive.

I absolutely loved the artwork! Especially the backgrounds, wow. At first sight, I thought they were merely low in detail for budget reasons. But then I looked again, and boy was I wrong. Those artworks are deliberately done so that the level of detail is as low as possible. We are only meant to get an idea of what the surroundings look like, the rest is for our imagination to fill. A genius choice for the backgrounds!
Also, that portrait-like image of the slave trader in the beginning actually blew me away. That was on par with the quality of really expensive games. Beautiful art, great job!

Overall, I would have liked just a bit more of the plot to be centered on exploring the main characters and their feelings. There weren't many opportunities for them to really shine and show their colours. The fight with the ogre felt quite forced to me and didn't do much for me in terms of suspense. It could possibly be shortened or removed, giving the characters more time to show personality. Just a suggestion though, I don't mean to say that you did anything wrong.
Finally, seeing the concept art was an awesome cherry on top of this already above-average experience. More VNs should do this, thank you for sharing.

Rakios

Finally played this game! Ever since discovering "Secret Satiation" back in the day, I've come back every year, hoping for a new TeamANPIM VN. Once more, I simply loved it! You did a great job, especially considering you work pretty much completely alone.
The title already gave me some wild expectations for the craziness level in this VN. Within the first few minutes of the playthrough, I thought to myself: "Yup, they're really all out of F's to give this time. This is gonna be awesome." And it was quite a ride, indeed. Loved the 'message from the team' at the end, by the way. Made me appreciate the whole game even more.

All in all, another heartwarming cheesy story. My favorite scene has to be the scary thunderstorm. Hinata comforting Hana and being all protective... my heart could barely contain the joy. <3 They are really cute together.
Also, I'd like to point out a few details I especially liked about your writing. Firstly, there was this short conversation where Hana said that being in the closet was tiring and Hinata thought "I know exactly how that feels." I got the feeling that I really believe you know what you're talking about here. They were only a few simple sentences, but delivered with such confidence (from the author) that I was fully convinced.
Next, the scene where Hana has food stuck on her cheek. I was sure we were headed straight into the ol' reliable trope of "pick it off her face and eat it". However, that's not what happened (even though it would have been cheesy^^) and I appreciated the little surprise there.
And lastly, the final 'arc' of the story where the harassment comes in. I had been pretty much convinced that nothing bad was going to happen in the rest of the story, but then it did. Again, overall quite simple but written with expertise and knowledge. I noticed you wrote that Hinata clenched her fists out of frustration - not out of hate, anger or whatever other word one might have used. I happen to be neither a girl nor gay, so I have never been discriminated against in this exact way, but I have experienced similar things. And therefore I know that frustration is exactly the feeling that comes up in such a situation. You should be able to do something about all the hostility (it's focused on you, after all), but you can't. No matter what you do, you cannot completely fix it. Frustration.

Okay, to end on a lighter note: I love your VNs and enjoy them down to the detail. Please continue bringing us your ambitious projects and keep experimenting. Thank you for your hard work! :)

Rakios

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Hi! I pretty much made this account just to thank you for this game! In a way, it changed my life a bit.

Not only are the story and the romance absolutely solid and among the best I've seen during Yuri Game Jam 2017 - I found myself especially impressed by the time travel part. My age is very close to Amanda's and therefore I have some similar memories about that time. Reading how Amanda arrived in the past made me think about how it would feel to go back in time to my hometown in 2005. I actually got so nostalgic, I had to take a break from the game right then and there as I was starting to tear up.
After finishing the game's routes, I still found myself thinking about it. Your story made me appreciate my childhood and my past in general much more. I visited some of the places I used to be at a lot as a child. One of those actually did feel like a trip to 2005. It was great. I'm now able to face my future with newfound confidence.

I don't know exactly why Love Paradox had this much influence on me, but I'm sure glad it did! It probably has to do with my being able to relate very much to Amanda - I even wanted to study Game Design a while ago.

Of course, I would also like to say that I enjoyed following the characters through this story. You did a good job showing some of the troubles of going to the past, as well. The art is fitting and cute. I also like that the endings differ so greatly.

So, thank you again! I'm definitely keeping an eye on you, Luxa! :D