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About this blog

Review Database http://vndb.review and Reviews of god forgotten VNs

Entries in this blog

kivandopulus
  • 1. Four Flush VNDB
  • 2. Lipstick Adventure 3 VNDB
  • 3. Metal Eye VNDB
  • 4. Quintia Road 2 VNDB
  • 5. Ranma 1/2 - Byakuran Aika VNDB
  • 6. Shinc VNDB

 

  1. Four Flush VNDB

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In the future, the cities of the Earth merge into a single megalopolis. Life has stabilized, and each new day is similar to the preceding one. Human beings have lost connection to the culture of the past. The huge city doesn't even have a name, and is simply called "City". Poor people live in the slums, and have no access to the quarters of the rich. Corruption reigns. The hero of the game belongs to an organization of assassins known as "Card". His last mission is to kill corrupted policemen who have been trafficking drugs. The hero must hide, but his relationships with other "Card" members are anything but clear...

Hard boiled SF setting with good visuals, sound and frequent animation. What's more to desire? Sometimes there's just something missing. Commands vary for each scene, so immersion is greater than in usual interactive adventure. But after great introduction the work lingers without much tension. Drawing is done my popular manga artist, but it won't be to everyone's taste. Story ends in a satisfactory fashion, but lacks excitement. 

 

  2. Lipstick Adventure 3 VNDB

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This entry in the Lipstick Adventure series continues the story of the young private detective Gorou and his sweetheart Otomi. After attending a friend's marriage ceremony, they return to Gorou's office and find a strange package in the flowers. The package contains pictures of Otomi and several other girls, her schoolmates, some of them naked. Gorou heads to Otomi's high school to begin the investigation, without realizing that he will soon become involved in a sinister conspiracy...

Final work of the series. Well, there was 4th game 8 years later made by a new company, but that was an ordinary eroge already. So in 3rd Lipstick Adventure Mami is again a schoolgirl and events take place roughly a year after first game. It's also new for the series to finally have a good sound support. From time to time perspective changes to Mami's eyes. H element was totally eliminated with provocative moments and occasional naked breast being all that's left. The plot got an unexpectedly serious dimension. First you find photos of Mami's classmates naked, then the spouse of former school director was found dead. So story was not too light-hearted. Overall good old Lipstick Adventure was back in its most technologically advanced form. It's still a great game, especially for those who played previous two parts, but compared to audacious newcomer VNs of 1993, it's fabula just got old.


3. Metal Eye VNDB

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In Metal Eye, the player takes the role of a young weapons expert named Findhill. His father was apparently involved in a project that dealt with creating artificial life forms. But recently he has disappeared without a trace. Findhill remained alone, in a small town surrounded by vicious monsters. He wants to become a hunter, just like his father once was, to get rid of the monsters roaming the wilderness, and get to the bottom of his father's disappearance and his mysterious project.

As the next Elf game, it was stormed out of the stalls by the army of Classmates fans. But actually Mr.Hiruda was not in charge of the scenario this time. The battles balance was laughable, the encounter rate high, but need to struggle through to get to the real game, right? Not really - you fight through and see bed scenes with beautiful girls, that's how VN rpgs work. So many players felt betrayed. It was actually a good SF story with animated battles some novelty RPG features. So quite an average RPG, but the problem was that such average games hurt Elf reputation greatly.


4. Quintia Road 2 VNDB

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News Chrome is a young FBI agent who was pursuing an evasive target on a mission. Suddenly, the suspect disappeared into a portal. Following him, News found himself in a desert. Before long he meets a princess named Sarah who asks him to aid the inhabitants of the magical world Quintia against a mysterious sorcerer.

Unlike prequel, there's no English review for this game and information is scarce. In the world News was teleported to magic got out of control. Fairies and dragons became an everyday sight. And evil magician Edwin Rune was preparing to dominate the world. Same five kingdoms persisted, same commands, including feature anxiety command that could do something good or something bad. Game got light RPG elements as heroes got stats, basic inventory items and real tactical battles. But at the same time story got linear, you can't choose where to go anymore, so satisfaction was not high. Playing the prequel is required to understand the gags scattered around the same locations.

 

5. Ranma 1/2 - Byakuran Aika VNDB

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The game features an original story centering on a new character, Arisa Nanjo. After Ranma Saotome's friends go missing, it is up to him to track them down.

There is a sufficient number of English reviews here.

 

6. Shinc VNDB

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The plot of Shinc is as simple as its title: the hero - aptly named Hero Narcissus - is a lone adventurer in search of a job. He arrives at a town which is populated mostly by young sexy women. The hero hasn't even enough money to visit the local brothel. Since the king hasn't asked him to rescue a princess (yet), his first quest, given to him by the pretty weapon shop owner, is to venture into a nearby cave, "Realm of Anguish", to defeat the monsters lurking there and retrieve valuable items. Naturally, this is just the beginning of a long career, which involves saving the kingdom and becoming a true hero.

RPG with quite simplified rules for this genre. The only prominent feature of this work is scrolling CG, so that 1/3 of the screen is seen to up to 1/8th of the screen. Quite mediocre plot, so game may have value only for RPG fans.

kivandopulus
  • 1. Aa! Megami-sama! VNDB
  • 2. Hatsukoi Monogatari VNDB
  • 3. Marine Philt VNDB

 

1. Aa! Megami-sama! VNDB

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Based on the anime series Ah! My Goddess, the game follows the story of a Japanese high-school student named Keiichi, who has accidentally summoned the powerful, yet very lovely Norse goddess Verdandi (mercilessly misspelled Belldandy in the game) and pronounced a wish to stay with her forever. Now the gorgeous goddess has become a part of his life, and the two find themselves involved in constant misunderstandings and comical situations, yet also develop feelings for each other...

There are several nice English reviews here.

 

 

2. Hatsukoi Monogatari VNDB

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An ordinary Japanese student finds a floppy disk on the street; using his computer to load data from it, he miraculously summons Foltjunia, an intergalactic warrior who fights evil in her robotic armor with three companions. However, Foltjunia has lost her powers and as a result stays with the hero, giving him advice as to how to conquer the love of a schoolmate.

Game Technopolis games have always been weird AND bad. It's not an exception, as usual. Biggest flaw lies with the system. SLG elements are overflowing for a sim. Text usually takes half of the screen, images are small. BGM is monotonous. Mouse is not responsive... In this raising sim... you're even raising the protagonist to suit the girl. Maybe it was novelty and all, but production values were not nearly high enough to enjoy it.

 

  3. Marine Philt VNDB

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In the first half of the 21st century, humanity started building space satellites, trying to sustain the working conditions in outer space by using a drug known as Marine Philt. Eventually the project was abandoned. One of the deserted satellites fell onto the Earth, causing a radioactive accident that forced the inhabitants of Neo Tokyo to dwell underground. One day, a young man named Seed heard a news report about a gruesome murder that occurred in a research facility. Together with his friends, Seed ventures into the building, only to discover another horrifying result of the satellite crash, which may put the entire city in immense danger.

Several English reviews here give quite a vivid description of what this game is about.

kivandopulus

1. 3x3 Eyes ~Sanjiyan Henjou~ VNDB

 

There were as many as three titles prepared, but Animahjong V3 turned out to be a strip mahjong game and Bishoujo Audition - Idol o Sagase! - a totally obscure game.

 

1. 3x3 Eyes ~Sanjiyan Henjou~ VNDB

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Sanjiyan Henjō is based on the manga and anime series 3x3 Eyes. Pai, a young girl from the immortal tribe of sanzhiyan, three-eyed demons of Chinese origin, wants to become a human again. She meets a Japanese teenager named Yakumo Fujii, whom she accidentally turns into a "wu", an immortal obedient servant of a three-eyed demon. Together, Pai and Yakumo try to regain their lost humanity.

Somehow there are as many as three English reviews out there. Enjoy!

kivandopulus
  • 1. Beast 3 VNDB
  • 2. Mamono Hunter Youko: Tooki Yobigoe VNDB

 

1. Beast 3 VNDB

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One day Mr. Sato rang saying that she felt foggy. When Soga and Kotone made it to his place, man was missing. First step is to seek at university where he was last seen.

What's only known of this game is that now outdoors! Players only remember first game since the second was so unnoticeable. So now in third game half of the talks are just gags on the first part. So we search information from inhabitants of one area, get the lead to next area and so on. There's almost none H-scenes. So the serious atmosphere of the first parts is totally runed, maybe for the best. Still, beast trilogy stays one of the three pillars of Birdie Soft company on par with Joker and CAL series. 

 

 

  2. Mamono Hunter Youko: Tooki Yobigoe VNDB

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Tooki Yobigoe is a direct sequel to Mamono Hunter Yōko: Makai kara no Tenkōsei, continuing where the story of the previous game left off. Yohko, Shoma and Setsuna are attacked by demons on the flying ship, and have to use their recently found powers to fend them off. As opposed to the previous game, where Shoma was the protagonist, Yohko is the player character in the sequel.

There is not much of a story here, but there's much action, so it looks even better than the prequel. It's one-way road and it's impossible to die here. It's a one-time game, but light and fun so it should be treated this way.

kivandopulus

Year 1992 was much to my liking with few eroge and a great number of elaborate plots. There were on average four-five games per month that fulfilled my criteria so the winner in each month was quite evident. 

The notable features of year 1992 included:
- Implemented censorship rules resulted in private parts censored and at some cases companies set self-censored to a degree when no private parts were visible or no nudity was shown at all
- Regulations led to bigger emphasis on the story and experiments with the genres
- Horror mysteries with gore pictures started to appear as a genre
- Several sepia color works appeared to underline the warm atmosphere of the past events
- Pure romance works crawled to light, but Nanpa games were still larger in number
- In several games individual endings for each heroine were implemented
- As for system, several games had very weird choices for text window and icon/command window

The number of good high quality games increased significantly. Can Can Bunny Premiere, Count Dracula, De-Ja2, Doukyuusei, Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna, Killing dress 3, KISS, Kurutta Kajitsu, My Eyes!, Shinjuku Monogatari were such games. And there was a good number of works with good atmosphere and story. At first I was pretty sure that Crazy Fruit (Kurutta Kajitsu) must be the game of the year 1992 since the year gave birth so many horror mystery novels. Then I got really intrigued by Shinjuku Monogatary and finished it on emulator with capture2text OCR to get text and this game turned out to be of much lesser scale than it was supposed to. Basically novel takes 2-3 game days total and majority of time pseudo-kidnappers just go sightseeing around the town with the cheerful willingly kidnapped girl. 

But then I got to Doukyuusei (Classmate) and it struck me as a very bright and novelty game. It was supposed to be another nanpa game or dating sim, but turned out to be a collection of stories that you choose yourself. It's a game of events as something keeps happening everywhere and it's up to you whether you stop and try to get to know the people there or keep on exploring. Game has very attractive characters and huge replayability potential. It's not a strategy, not an RPG, but the amount of freedom you're given makes you think it's an entirely new genre. So Doukyuusei is the only genius game that can be the game of the year 1992.

kivandopulus
  • 1. Chikyuu Bouei Shoujo Iko-chan ~UFO Daisakusen~ VNDB
  • 2. Dalk VNDB
  • 3. Doukyuusei VNDB
  • 4. Koroshi no Dress 3 VNDB
  • 5. Mirror VNDB
  • 6. Pastel Lime VNDB
  • 7. Red VNDB
  • 8. Will no Dengon VNDB

 

1. Chikyuu Bouei Shoujo Iko-chan ~UFO Daisakusen~ VNDB

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Defender of the Earth girl Iko-chan defends the planet against alien monsters. This is a part of media franchise that by 1992 counted three OVAs, TV Dorama and manga. 

Battles are done as a card game, but it's hardly possible to lose. It's more like a parody to the series, so no point discussing it without knowing the original.

 

 

  2. Dalk VNDB

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Hero gets involved into conflict between gods Martis and Mira. As a servant of Martis, he needs to unseal this goddess, protector of women. Fourteen girls will fight alongside in his quest deep into the mountains.

The game is an RPG and it was famous for 1,000 faces on the pc-98 box. Game had personal different scenes for each of 14 girls to accompany hero. And after clearing the game there was a 1000-floor dungeon to dwell deeper and deeper. It was indeed a colossus work. There are complaints on the battle map part, clunky moving part, but overall it was a good relaxing time killer with pleasurable gameplay.

 

  3. Doukyuusei VNDB

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Takurou is a high-school student who transfers to a new school and who wants to find his only one partner during last summer break before the graduation.

It was the first epidemic VN. Released on 17 december, it was a perfect Christmas present. 14 girls to combat for attention. Concept of time introduced, so there is always something new showing up with consecutive playthroughs. It's map movement on the global map and point-and-click type inside buildings. But together with the concept of time, multiflag, individual routes for each girl, nampa elements and first class romance scenario, there was a feeling it was a totally new genre. It was this multi-layer system that created the impression of game supremacy. You could enter an any building out of dozens, talk to any character so satisfaction was above a typical ADV novel. Cute loli Himo was supposed to be the main attraction and main heroine, but surprisingly many players like Hisa girl with a tsundere character the most. So it might be the beginning of tsundere stamp as well. There are a lot of working ladies as well. The scenarios were unique and well made and picture does not lag behind. BGM was perfect. Later versions got voicing as well. Console versions had no H images and H scenes and it was still good. Original game did not have much emphasis on romance, but windows remake tried to follow the trend and the charm of the work was gone to a point. So it was a revolutionary game in many aspects and a great popularization of the genre, so many people considered this game to be starting point and never knew about the previous games.


4. Koroshi no Dress 3 VNDB

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Masashi Satoru is a Shibuya policeman set on a series of murders targeting only single males. And suspicion immediately falls on his lover.

First of all I should mention prequels. First part was issued in 1987 and it was a genius work, but with not enough volume at that time. Next part drifted away from suspense into eroticism and generally considered weak. So now we come to part 3 which is spiritual follower of original. Graphics are more anime-style compared to realistic style of previous games. A feature of this game is cuts from the viewpoint of the criminal which rose interest greatly. One by one new murders take place and inter-human connections of the victims get exposed. And the story has an adult feel and look. With those criminal cuts it's watched almost as dorama and all the tension brings to a satisfaction in the end. So it's a masterpiece work of its time.


5. Mirror VNDB

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Young man enters the shop "Mirror" and touched the doll as the puppet-like owner Heine said. The next moment he found himself in a hospital with amnesia facing the woman who looked like a doll. Now it's time to find out the truth, if there is one. 

New Birdie Soft brand so expectations are already high since visuals and sound should be on high level as always. But new studio name and being an 15+ work hurt the sales badly. So it is a romance story in the hospital, but with a quirk of suspense and good atmosphere created by talking with nurse and patients. And it's an ADV which is very rare while interactive adventures were dominant. Overall a high quality comfortable to play game with an intriguing story and good text.

 

6. Pastel Lime VNDB

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Yū is a young apprentice magician who lives in the Fairy World. One day, a magical error occurs, and Yū finds herself on Earth. In order to return to her world, the little fairy must find three stones that must be inserted into her magical brooch. A young girl who finds the first stone becomes Yū's companion (and the game's protagonist), and together they must find and recover the other stones.

There's a good English review on this game here.


7. Red VNDB

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Investigation assistant got a letter mentioning Luna city and the letter was posted a month ago from the location of explosion accident. So investigation started.

This very solid work was buried under overwhelming popularity of Elf's Classmate. Science fiction setting, very likable characters and intriguing plot - it had everything to get popular. On the other side the work was clustered - it used icons for interaction, shooting modes and additional commands and phrases in dialogues. H-scenes weren't obligatory and after clearing they became available in reminiscence menu anyway. Otherwise it's a one-way scenario.


8. Will no Dengon VNDB

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Heroine Lucia lives in a peaceful town of "Will". She hears from boy Rui who she helped in the forest that the neighboring town Wolfe is going to attack. There was a legend that once per 400 years a demon comes down to Will and Wolfe intended to utilize his power. To stop the assault Lucia is preparing to attack the front base of Wolfe on an aircraft.

The setting is rather elaborate and it's very unusual for Cocktail soft to issue a serious all-age science fiction story. The story had big emphasis on mechanisms, but soon forgot about then. This devil part looked totally unsuitable for the setting. Commands are given in words rather than in icons at the top of the screen, but there is little motivation for exploration since command feedback was limited. The relationship between two main hero mechanics was good. But the scenario was lacking and without H part it did not have a success.

kivandopulus
  • 1. Camisole VNDB
  • 2. Dracula Hakushaku VNDB
  • 3. Jan Jaka Jan VNDB
  • 4. Nooch - Abakareta Inbou VNDB

 

1. Camisole VNDB

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Heroine Tenjin Shima is a manager of the lingerie shop, but on the behind this is a private investigation organization. One day a request is received from the National Universtity to find the professor missing for a week already. All that's known is that professor was interested in excavation of an ancient civilization and searched for a hidden treasure.

Synopsis looks exquisite, but story is quite simple. It develops without any mystery solving. Second half is crumpled and ends poorly. Many characters that show up aren't even involved in story in any way, more like random characters to fill the gaps. Game's very short as well, reaching 2 hours length only for slow-readers.

 

 

  2. Dracula Hakushaku VNDB

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Count Dracula wakes up after 300 years of slumber only to find his seven vampire brides dead and the world not terrorized by vampires anymore. Time to turn things to their original state! But first need to get rid of hunter Abraham Van Helsing annoying presence.

Abrupt English articles tell us basically nothing about the game. Point and click adventure by Fairytale. Or better say choose icon-point and click game. You actually move with arrow buttons at moving sections from a first person perspective and there are even items to get. Graphics is very impressive and characters are beautiful. By the end of 1992 the regulation of ero scenes in games in Japan was very harsh, that's why there were very few games that relied on ero scenes alone. Drakula Hakushaku has ero scenes, but rather few and unconvincing. Instead of sexual desire hero is more interested in sucking blood. Story is exciting, gory and satisfying. So this indeed is a good action masterpiece with great atmosphere.

 

3. Jan Jaka Jan VNDB

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Hero gets robbed on a street, but since this town is famous for mahjong tournaments, he decides to get money this way.

All mahjong games look alike to me. Here you can buy items to increase your condition. You actually need to win four mahjong dojo girls and in order to do that you earn money to afford entrance fee and one by one make those girls respect your skill in the game. Some games can't be won without special item. 

 

4. Nooch - Abakareta Inbou VNDB

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Umechiyo finally met with his childhood friend Piliru, but she is now pursued as she holds knowledge about her country underground activities. 

It's not really criminal story. Piliru is just 180 IQ girl who knows the secret recipe to drug curing cancer. Game has many alluring points, like charming characters and good tempo. Light and fun work. The flags are a bit difficult to track, but that's ordinary. But the game received many negative reviews just due to the fact, that right before the last scene there's like 16 puzzles timed for 2 minutes. It was impossible for most of players to complete the game because of them. And review was not as easy to get as nowadays.

kivandopulus
  • 1. Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna VNDB
  • 2. Kerakera-sei VNDB
  • 3. Mayumi VNDB
  • 4. Presence VNDB
  • 5. Yawara! VNDB

 

1. Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna VNDB

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Yuna is a 16-year old winner of Galaxy Beauty contest who then became "The Savior of Light", a magical girl in power armor suit that can befriend opponents with an aim to defend the Universe.

The series is quite popular and even this first game has a good number of English reviews here.

 

 

 2. Kerakera-sei VNDB

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Hero attends a marginal boys school, hangs out with his friend Tamaki and likes to peep at top class girls school in the neighborhood. And he gets an invitation to girls school cultural festival from their bitter enemy, glasses girl Kumiko who managed to stop the peeping every time.

Cocktail Soft made something fresh out of school story again. It looks very much like a bakage, but it's actually a youth growth story with not very deep protagonist and some protagonist drama that looks funny. Quite little is known of the game so moving on.

 

  3. Mayumi VNDB

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Generic high-school boy gets a letter from his sweetheart Mayumi that she's transferring to a faraway school. Something in the tone of the letter looks suspicious, so he travels to that school and finds out that Mayumi is kidnapped and this school has something to do with it.

Again Cocktail Soft and again little to say. Mystery investigation adventure. You overhear that grandson of school president kidnapped Mayumi and the most unsatisfactory part is that he could not even explain why. So you investigate, you manage to get inside the needed room and you fight your way out. That's very much it. Screen is too small to enjoy scenery, story is quite serious, without spontaneous ecchi. 


4. Presence VNDB

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A sequel to Nostalgia 1907, Presence tells a totally different story. Hero is a psychoanalytic on board of a hijacked aircraft. Can the terrorist be reasoned with? Is there any hope for survival?

Suspense work and with a tragic fate. Its financial fiasco led the company to a bankruptcy very soon. What two games have in common is dangerous incident on a vehicle. But this work is more about hypnosis, persuasion and mind battle. Colored graphics looked like a step back from atmospheric sepia tones of Nostalgia 1907. Interface looks poor in comparison to prequel. Criminal is not persuasive and he never kills anyone. Game has very advanced animation for pc-98 and sophisticated talks, but Nostalgia 1907 fans could not forgive the game for being this much different from original.


5. Yawara! VNDB

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Manga adoptation. Hero is a journalist who once witnesses how Yawara beats up and offender on the street and decides to write a report about her.

There is actually a good English review from one of the most funny reviewers out there, so I would not interfere.

kivandopulus
  • 1. Dengeki Nurse VNDB
  • 2. Ms. DETECTIVE - File VNDB
  • 3. My Eyes! VNDB
  • 4. Ryuu no Hanazono VNDB

 

1. Dengeki Nurse VNDB

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Tanchi is a doctor at the hospital. His boss reveals him the truth about Tanchi parents and crime syndicate Black Cross. At the same time there is a Black Cross female agent with codename 0074 who stays at the same hospital.

There is a very nice English review here.

 

 2. Ms. DETECTIVE - File VNDB

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Chisato Higari is a detective to receive a request to find client's missing father. You get to know that father is in Omori but when you get there there is a news report about his death and at the same time your client disappears. Is the corpse floating in the sea of Japan truly client's father? Where did the client disappear? 

Point and click adventure with live-action videos, so can be also described as interactive movie. Game had quite a big impact since it was the first game to have videos inserted and to have sound synchronized with the video. Local town locations are also represented truthfully. What hurs the game a lot is small picture/video size and constant repeats of videos on the same actions, like a car moving to some location.

 

  3. My Eyes! VNDB

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Woman researcher Ryoko is nearing a groundbreaking discovery as she learns how to listen to and give information to a whale Gigi. However there are powers that would like to use mammal communication for their own benefit.

Again, there is a very good English review here.


4. Ryuu no Hanazono VNDB

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Hero comes back to his hometown to reunite with his childhood friend. However, the girl only leaves a note "Dragon flower garden" and disappears. Hero comes to her school to learn about her whereabouts.

Mystery novel that features concept of time. Characters and events change depending on time of visit. Just imagine Eastern Express to get the grasp of it. Needless to say, difficulty was very high. Multiple endings depending on hero actions were incorporated. Game was only released for MSX 2, so it was never widely known.

kivandopulus
  • 1. Kiss VNDB
  • 2. Mahou Shoujo Rina VNDB
  • 3. Pleria - The Royal Emblem VNDB
  • 4. Tesera Kimi wa Kegareta Tenshi ka Seinaru Majo ka! VNDB

 

1. Kiss VNDB

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Hero is a student who is invited to take part in the culture festival of an all-girl St Ange school. But to get admission he needs to get permission from five school student council officials.

Oh just another charage. Wait. It might be the first charage apart of sims that got a separate ending for each of five girls. Thus this small game is probably the prototype of every second game that's released nowadays. Well, it might be partly a sim since you have a meter of sympathy that can drop or rise according to your answers. And even during H-scenes you need to choose right options or the love-meter drops. What stands out is very beautiful graphics and really good text. The same artist was responsible for this game who made characters for De-Ja. Also many items drawn on the map had animations upon click. There's also map movement incorporated. So it was a masterpiece game and had a long lasting effect on the whole industry, but was forgotten rather soon due to brilliant charage that spawned after that.

 

  2. Mahou Shoujo Rina VNDB

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Rina wanted to get attention of older Tatsuya boy so she made a wish upon falling start to get older. The star held a small dragon imp who granted her power to get older, return to her normal self and even to take the appearance of other people.

A magical girl story that's actually just a magical girl story. After all the more and more weird and etchi anime of our days that's a rare find. Well, actually, it's not that pure. In order to get into initial form a lesbian scene is required, but at least without any implicit details. The charm of this work is light adorable romantic atmosphere and bright shoujo type graphics, as well as some animations. 

 

  3. Pleria - The Royal Emblem VNDB

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Pleria is a proof of succession to the throne in distant future imaginary kingdom and it was stolen by rebel army. Princess Miria asks her cousin Ariane to search for Pleria. Ariane takes priest apprentice Rena with him and sets on a journey. 

SF mecha imaginary fantasy kingdom distant future... that's what happens when you desire both typical fantasy setting and battles on mecha robots. Battles are made with command selection as well, but are given the rpg look. What this game is good about is the relationship between Ariane and Rena. They are in love with each other from the start and they care for each other and support each other gently. Graphics is good with many animated parts. Sound is good because it's among the few first games to use midi music. But the flow is not particularly thrilling and ending is abrupt upon finding Pleria, so overall impression is average.


4. Tesera Kimi wa Kegareta Tenshi ka Seinaru Majo ka! VNDB

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A mystery thriller where the hero helps mysterious girl Tessera to look for missing classmates.

The main feature of this game is multiple starting points depending on skills and occupation of main hero. So the branching and variety is large. As with many Technopolis games, some redundancy in system is involved. You need more than one click to advance the phrases which is very annoying. Game has a mediocre feeling, but eyes and mouths are animated, so it can be enjoyed if you like one of the girls.

kivandopulus
  • 1. Armist VNDB
  • 2. Can Can Bunny Premiere VNDB
  • 3. Phobos VNDB
  • 4. Shinjuku Monogatari VNDB
  • 5. Yumeji - Asakusa-Kitan VNDB
  • 0. Image VNDB

 

1. Armist VNDB

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You're the head of detective agency Armist and among your assistats are two deminoids or in other words androids with animal features. And a huge deminoid producing company requested to investigate a mass murder on its grounds.

There are several survivors after the incident, so we start  questioning them. One by one enemy demigods show up and eventually their leader as well. So the volume is not really big.But game is obnoxiously beautiful. There is a large number of awesome CG. There is almost no H-scenes, but fancy outfits make up for it. What makes this game awesome is that the communication choices that have been used up disappear so excessive repetition is avoided. So it's a great light fun short game to enjoy.

 

 

 2. Can Can Bunny Premiere VNDB

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Lonely man returns home after work only to find seven Gods of Luck sitting in his room. Goddess Swatty explains that she's going to use the power of seven Gods of Luck to help hero find a girlfriend.

There is an English review, but it's written by a person without knowledge of Japanese. So first three works in the series had nothing common with a VN. And it's the first work to introduce well-known in pc-98 era Swatty goddess. Basically, this is a Nampa game. Compared to earlier strategy Can Can Bunny games the degree of difficulty has fallen considerably. So it's a nice game with good characters and talks and no H material. The only problem that year 1992 is the year of Classmate game made by Elf and that game marked a totally new era for VNs dividing the games on before Classmate and after Classmate.


 3. Phobos VNDB

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Mars colonists broke out a war for independence. Mech and android war came to a truce, but Mars resources were too exhausted to continue course on independence. Half a year later military secrets documents were stolen from Mars and private investigator from the Earth Ryuuichi with his android assistant Leyla are tasked to recover them. 

Himeya Soft games hold special place since they were the first to start translating their games in English. The more intriguing are their untranslated early works.This is a cyberpunk work so the city a major role - high tech devastated by war, Chinese mafia, gambling and giant companies - they all make atmosphere feel serious and cool. On the other hand there is a vivid depiction of protagonist anxieties after surviving the war and loosing his wife there seeking for a substitute in an android. So the first half of the game definitely gives a masterpiece impression, but after that a much more hasty direction is seen. The incident gets settled but the heart wounds of the hero remain and what persists is the feeling of lingering sadness. Both scenarios of Bakuta and Phobos were written by Mr.Abe and they share such features as charismatic hero and grappling atmosphere. But while Bakuta was more of a horizontal axis work with much fun scattered around and many unexpected events, Phobos is rather a vertical axis game with impact on logical unwinding story line. And it was very rare for that time to put so much emphasis on scenario alone. For that Phobos should be given credit as a hidden gem of pc-98 era.


4. Shinjuku Monogatari VNDB

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Hero inherited an antique shop after her father who had disappeared. She has good intentions, but gets into various problems and does not even neglect transportation of white powder as luggage. And eventually she becomes a target of a professional killer.

This work has exactly one suiting word - "experimental". After Saori incident Fairy Tale explored many directions, but this one is probably the boldest. First, graphics is made in sepia color. Second, this is an all-age story. Third, character design is prepared by manga writer and it totally differs from anything presented in VN games before. Fourth, almost all images imitate a cinema and there aren't still images - every CG shows the motion. Fifth, a rare girl perspective. There were several popular youth novels in 1980s and this work definitely has that spirit inside. Running away from the house, meeting new people, travelling around the country - that kind of spirit. And this game has a huge number of charming characters. Game has a very fresh look and great spirit. It is one of the best games of 1992 and is unduly forgotten.


5. Yumeji - Asakusa-Kitan VNDB

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The hero is a painter who got famous for a painting of a girl. But five years later he lost his wife and his paintings lost its colors, yet he remains well known. One day he had a dream that another man was selling his counterfeit paintings, but could not grasp the essence of a woman. And to get to the essence of a woman they went to a strip show.

Again FairyTale and again quite an experimental work. Picture is again in sepia tone. Setting is Taisho democracy era which is rather unusual. Unlike Shinjuku Monogatari there are a lot of still standing CG and models here. It's more like a literature work, but with a rather weak ending. And due to the Saori incident just several months before the game's release, most of the H scenes were self-corrected. So this work remains one of the experimental era weird works that nobody knows about, with a very good Taisho atmosphere, but unsatisfying ending.


0. Image VNDB

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Block Reason: <2 hours (and I'm measuring each of 3 stories separately)

kivandopulus
  • 1. Bishoujo Tsuushin - Chat no Susume VNDB
  • 2. De-Ja 2 VNDB
  • 3. Mahjong Gensoukyoku VNDB
  • 4. Sotsugyou ~Graduation~ VNDB
  • 5. Uchuu Bouken Shoujo Nami Davie Jones ~Umi no Akuma~ VNDB

  1. De-Ja 2 VNDB

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This time you're interested in the legend of crystal skulls. But your only lead to them is the mad archaeologist who is found dead.

I've prepared a full review in the previous post.

 

  2. Mahjong Gensoukyoku VNDB

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The hero was a price of a small country but he became just an adventurer after a witch destroyed his country. He studies to be a mahjong warrior and participates in mahjong competition with the hand of Tanya as the prize.

Mahjong undressing game. I tend to hate Mahjong with all my heart, have not even watched a single Mahjong theme anime - and there are a LOT of them. So moving on.


3. Sotsugyou ~Graduation~ VNDB

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You play as a homeroom teacher of five girls the last year before graduation. You manage their schedules and solve their problems to get them to the best colleges in Japan.

There are several English reviews here. It's just isn't a work that left a noticeable impact on the genre.


4. Uchuu Bouken Shoujo Nami Davie Jones ~Umi no Akuma~ VNDB

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In 2991 in addition to speed of light space navigation humankind acquired the technology of hyper jump system (HJS) from ruins of ancient alien civilization. The government now succeeded in production of minimized versions of such hyper portals and one such device was planted in the suitcase of space delivery company pilot Nami.

Game is based on manga so it's very dense in details and has elaborate in plot. It utilizes command selection bruteforcing. It's quite unexpected to see such an old-school space adventure in 1992. Anyway the game is quite an obscure one with too few reviews around to discuss its qualities and it was only issued for pc-98.


0. Bishoujo Tsuushin - Chat no Susume VNDB

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Block Reason:Fandisk (just interactive chat with girls from previous games of Cocktail Soft)

kivandopulus

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Foreword: I liked De-Ja a lot so sequel was a natural choice.


Title: De-Ja 2


Original Title: デ・ジャ2


Developer: Elf


Release Date: 1992-06-25


Summary: After events of De-Ja you're the winner in life. You have fame, respect, money and the love of pretty Gachako. What else to wish for? New adventures and unveiling new mysteries, of course. You get intrigued by the story of "crystal skulls" and one mad archaeologist knows exactly how to find them...


VNDB Link:https://vndb.org/v2349


Game Type: Command selection with elements of point and click adventure visual novel


Story Length: 12 hours.


Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy!


Comments of Difficulty: You can see story progress in percentage. Difficulty was surprisingly subpar to prequel. The greatest planets puzzle was rather easy since the only information you got was light to the light and dark to the dark and it was repeated over and over. Compared to infodumping of prequel puzzle, it was a paradise. There was also the puzzle for piracy - the puzzle that you were supposed to clear only if had brochure shipped with the game. But unlike prequel, there was no randomization on this part, so in just 3-4 errors you inevitably make it to the finish and you don't even need to load game for that.


Character Design Rating: 6/10.


Story Rating: 8/10.


Protagonist Rating: 7/10


Game Quality: 8/10


Overall Rating: 7/10

 

Rating Comments: Well, that's a harsh one! It's classic Elf adventure that we're talking about! But that's how I feel. I see every element as inferior to De-Ja either for a reason or sometimes because that's not fresh anymore. I felt bad about too many things. Length got almost twice as long. CG got really scarce. Protagonist stopped being that badass hooligan, Gachako got lots of bi@tch traits. And with all this huge length (some people claim to spend over 30 hours on it) very monotonous gameplay, quite an inarticulate story line and lack of really funny moments to cheer up in the mids of the journey. 


Structure: 100% division just as prequel.

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Story: Because of implemented command selection variant I may have missed some parts of it since you have to click at everything up to five times and while reading same lines over and over tend to skip even important parts. So one mad archaeologist makes us really interested into the crystal skulls story. But you soon find him dead in his own house almost simultaneously with his daughter. As you prove to each other that you're not the killers there's a natural desire to investigate the death together. With the safe deposit key found in his pocket you discover a green crystal skull inside the cash. With that you make your way to Palau temple and thread by thread approach the secrets of this temple and locations of two other crystal skulls. Archaeologist daughter get mysteriously killed in the process and with Gachako you manage to unwind this knot of secrecy only to discover the identity of the enemy and his plot just in the final of the game. I don't think I spoiled much, actually since there are lots of characters and details not even scratched.

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Characters summary: There are quite many characters here, but I found all of them (besides old acquaintances from De-Ja) quite dull. Girls were pretty, but I was shocked by their minor role as one-scene filler in the mids rather than original characters the prequel had. There is exactly one other girl that Hatsushiba Hakase got into relations with, the mad archaeologist's daughter. But she appears kind of late, disappears kind of soon and she plays an important plot role. Without spoilering too much, I'd just say that's she's not really mad archaeologist's daughter...

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Gachako: Whoa! Miss Gachako got even more... how do you say it... mature. But as for me her character went awry. All she's saying all the time is "Say that you love me", such sleazy talk. She demands constant attention, behaves as if she owns Hatsushiba Hakase and bi@tches about everything. But the culmination for me was meeting her with another guy (archaeology institute worker from De-Ja) by chance. Her motivation was "You aren't paying me enough attention so I wanted to have fun and invoke jealousy". That's just boring, really. I just see here how netorare Elf is being born in this very moment. And it's not even close to the really intriguing relationships like in C's Ware "Desire". Just stupid woman stuff. 

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Protagonist: So it's same Ryuusuke, but he's called Hatshushiba Hakase so often that original name rarely shows up. He's still cool and he's kinda totally pro sticking his hands everywhere. Just impression is not as fresh. But Protagonist is really a savior of this game. 

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Sexual Content: Look at the picture and hereby try to believe that there is nothing going on with this girl. She's just a hotel owner. Not a scene... nothing. And now imagine that there are lots of other cute girls that play their minor roles that have nothing but the flirt. And now you know the sexual content of De-Ja 2. Apart of Gachako and that archaeologist daughter there is actually nothing. But there are as many as two H-dreams. So even this part is lacking.

Affection for the Characters: Low overall. Women play too small roles and there aren't charismatic males.  

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CG Score: 7/10. CG aren't bad. They are just way too scarce for this volume. Women are depicted with care, but you better remember this or that stance because you'll hardly be able to see another one. 


Sound Score: Voicing is good in multi-pack version. No protagonist voicing of course. 


Addictiveness: I'm rather spectical about this work.


Technical Aspects: So game is command selection. And quite a determined one. It's not rare that you have to click everything up to 5 times to progress. It has point and click moments only to search the dead body or among the shelves of books or on a desk. It could easily be pure command selection, not much of a change. It's said to be such mix because players weren't ready to such bold jump to point and click on ELLE release. Pretty weak argumentation. There are animated objects like in ELLE, but they are scarce and they aren't fun when you select them upon the look menu and finding them out directly by clicking. So yet another step back from ELLE.


Conclusion: It's not going to be game of the year 1992 of my choice. Most of Japanese reviews I read claim this game to be another masterpiece. It might be, actually true. All I rant about is that I was not thrilled since the beginning, then there was not a definite goal and not even a clear enemy, just some loose events that somehow manage to lead somewhere out of coincidence. Repeating choices mechanics did not let me enjoy the talk puns. I did not like the characters. And I especially did not like the ending where upon real 30 minutes time you're being told what this game was really about, what were the people and circumstances behind the so random events which somehow managed to lead to a final. It's like you played for 15 hours and did not even notice events were made up for it. How could I even notice that behind the randomness and foolishness. I'm sure this game can be enjoyed a lot if you find the story or the character of your liking. I failed to find an appeal point and little irritations piled into this review.

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kivandopulus

1. J no Higeki Las Vegas Renzoku Satsujin Jiken VNDB
2. Kurutta Kajitsu VNDB

 

1. J no Higeki Las Vegas Renzoku Satsujin Jiken VNDB

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You are a detective in Los Angeles and need to investigate a murder case with a more veteran policeman. Man was murdered in hotel room and had baseball chip in his pocket.

Basically it's remake of JACK VN back from 1988, now for pc-98 machines. And it was not officially released, more like published unofficially after company bankruptcy. And since we tackled on JACK story and appeal points previously, moving on.

 

 

 2. Kurutta Kajitsu VNDB

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Satoshi Kanou encountered a cheerful girl at professor party and it turned out that she's been cheerful for the first time in her life towards anyone, so Satoshi was invited as tutor in the house. However Satoshi witnesses an accident with professor's older sister and he soon finds himself into a whirlpool of events.

It's a classic depressing mystery novel - utsuge made by the same Fairytale company as Dead of the Brain and Lan-Mal last month. And it's the first utsuge, before that the genre did not exist. It has a suspense tv drama as the origin, but the theme was changed for the game and much more cruel scenes were incorporated. Year 1992 is known for a big number of depressing games, but Kurutta Kajitsu presides over them. Story might be not too original, but the perfect graphics and scenario left a lasting impact on the generation of players. One by one everyone around main hero starts to die in a most unnatural manner and you probably won't be able to look at some of the home appliances the same way after reading this VN. And as with most utsuge, there is no happy ending ... only jealousy, anger, hate, depression, pain and despair.

kivandopulus

1. Dead of the Brain ~Day of the Living Dead~ VNDB
2. Lam-Mal VNDB
3. The 4th Unit - Wyatt VNDB

 

1. Dead of the Brain ~Day of the Living Dead~ VNDB

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Cole's friend Doctor Cooger invented a tissue that caused zombie infestation. Now Cole and assistant Sheila need to find a way to stop them. 

There are two English reviews on the game. Looks like quite an unusual game for the genre.

 

 

2. Lam-Mal VNDB

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Yagyu Jubei orders secret order ninja Ranmaru to investigate Yoshiwara murder case and you are an assistant of Ranmaru.

The story looks serious with the Edo period Joy resistance as a theme, but actually story is all messed up from youkai to the aliens. What's weird about the system is that upon command selection you need to click on the head part in right lower corner and clicking on bare brains is not too nice... While story moves in ordinary command selection pattern, battles are done in RPG manner and weapons can be bought. Some subtle aspects of the game leave a pretty sour aftertaste. So even if you're ready to listen to an unserious story, there's no guarantee that you'll enjoy it.

 

  3. The 4th Unit - Wyatt VNDB

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Judge Badnack is restoring vicious criminal organization and for doing that he kidnapped Zero and took control of UN assault space satellite Wyatt. Bio-win and Dalzy must use any means necessary to oppose Badnack and rescue Zero.

This is the 7th (!) installment of the series. Its first episode appeared in 1987 and was very short and technically lacking, so I neglected next episodes that were relatively small. But this is the last episode in the story before company went bankrupt so the story is left unfinished. The series revolves around mysterious amnesiac girl  Bio-Win who is found naked on the board of an alien ship shot down by Japanese air forces. Each episode was done in interactive movie manner with a lot of animated sequences and limited time to make a decision. And Bio-Win joined bionic soldier unit till her memory returns. This 7th episode is the most technically advanced with timed choices left only for battle scenes so it finally can be run like a normal VN. BGM and voice sounding were also improved. Difficulty-wise it has become relatively less punishing with only one serious pitch moment to reload a lot.

kivandopulus

1. Fushigi no Umi no Nadia VNDB
2. Mamono Hunter Youko - Makai Kara no Tenkousei VNDB
3. Otogirisou VNDB
4. Tenshin Ranma VNDB
5. Yamamura Misa Suspense: Kinsenka Kyo Ezara Satsujin Jiken VNDB
0. Phantasy Star Adventure VNDB
0. Sotsugyou Shashin / Miki  VNDB

1. Fushigi no Umi no Nadia VNDB

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14-year old French inventor boy Jean travels with runaway circus actress Nadia to reveal the secret of her pendant.

Gainax lost 80 million yen on anime series without rights to gain profit on it. But it had the rights to make games on the franchise... and it made as many as seven (!!!) game releases under this franchise to get balances even. And so finding information in this mess was not easy, but there seems to be quite many English reviews on this exact interactive adventure game of 1992, so let's enjoy them together.

 

  2. Mamono Hunter Youko - Makai Kara no Tenkousei VNDB

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108th Devil Hunter Mamono Youko gets transported to another dimension with her classmates Shoma and Chokako. Somehow this world inhabitants are familiar with the guests.

There is a nice English review here and since it's not original story, but an anime side-story, it looses much of its appeal.

 

 3. Otogirisou VNDB

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A couple gets lost in the wood and decides to spend the night in the abandoned mansion. 

A classic horror tale that even made its way to PlayStation 1. There are quite a few English reviews on the game here.

 

4. Tenshin Ranma VNDB

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Angels and demons are determined to decide human race fate by evaluating the abilities of a school boy Takami placed inside a dungeon swarmed with monsters. Yet another school student Yuima realized possession of magical powers and she is going to help Takami and destroy the rules once and for all.

Finally a game without an English review! And an Elf game besides. It's a dungeon-crawler and only available for old platforms. Whether you choose boy or girl - they meet early in the game and venture deeper together. The game linear and it makes it very tedious to run over all of the shrines just to advance some talk. Every enemy attack was animated and while usual monsters had just two types of attacks, bosses might have much more. The mechanics were kept as simple as possible - only basic stats, very few armor and weapon types, few spells etc. And you can only equip main character but not your companion. So it was truly a mediocre game, but its mechanics prepared ground for one of the most famous Elf titles - Words worth.


5. Yamamura Misa Suspense: Kinsenka Kyo Ezara Satsujin Jiken VNDB

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While on a trip to Kyoto a restaurant review writer decides to investigate the murder of a woman from a rich family.

As far as I know all the games of TOSE Software are based on real life novels, so reality and unexpected turns is what they excell at. It has all the ordinary stuff like questioning and exploration, but there's also an element of 3rd sight view, zooming and lots of point and click action. This point and click actually brought the most damage since it was not comfortable and it hurt the tempo. A solid plot and enjoyable Kyoto views, but overall it's a modest work.

 

 

0. Phantasy Star Adventure VNDB

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Block reason:<2 hours

 

0. Sotsugyou Shashin / Miki VNDB

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Block reason:<2 hours

kivandopulus

1. Bacta VNDB
2. Joker II VNDB

1. Bacta VNDB

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Jinpachi looks out for demons and fights them. Since demons may hide as female humans, he has to use unorthodox physical techniques sometimes to reveal their true identity.

The protagonist really sticks out as a cool guy always wearing glasses and having affinity for guns. He has two important talents - ability to detect demons and ... he likes women. He's absolutely sure that upon reaching orgasm any demon would flee from possessed body. Demons have "Bacta" engraved on the body, but game's not really telling us what it is or maybe they don't know for sure themselves. And there's hardly any conclusive apart of blowing demons headquarters. It's a light game where hero actually rapes women on suspicion but does not feel bad about it. Game has a serious atmosphere, but actually it's a collection of gags. What makes it special is that it's first game of Himeya Soft, brand very well known in the West due to the fact that they officially released every VN in English since 1996 till breakup in 2003. And although it's not a serious game, the impression is brilliant for a new brand.

 

 2. Joker II VNDB

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The story picks up 6 months after prequel. But the job is not done. Laura keeps coming to him in dreams asking to rescue her and this time he has to get to the bottom of it.

The first part ended in devastation for Wild, so this time there's a more satisfying ending. Systems have not changed since the prequel, maybe with the exception of graphics. The number of girls is still big and vampire Blanca is still gorgeous. Unusual wild west setting in combination with fantastic atmosphere make Joker II very cosy. Prequel really seemed short and lacked impact. You literally came to town, gathered information, involved in relationship with a girl, confronted monsters and night and that's it. So few of the owners of Joker were motivated to try the sequel. This time the story gets darker, much longer and even more serious with an abundance of blood scenes. A masterpiece game, actually, but it was easily forgotten of in Windows era.

kivandopulus

1. Business Wars VNDB
2. Gomenne Angel ~Yokohama Monogatari~ VNDB
3. Himitsu no Hanazono VNDB
0. Green Oasis VNDB

1. Business Wars VNDB

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An airport simulator with text window.

I'm not really going to discuss an economic simulator without a story and characters.

 

  2. Gomenne Angel ~Yokohama Monogatari~ VNDB

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One day the hero picks up a notebook and it turns out to be a possession of a girl student of St. Francis girls academy where his fiance is teaching. All three of them meet in a cafe, but girl looks very anxious. Her sister disappeared. And we'll help to find her.

First part of Angel's afternoon special series. Difficulty is high since you can't just bruteforce it - wrong actions can easily prevent further progress and result in bad end. You feel like on an Eastern Express - you need to be at exact place at exact order. You move from place to place and get information from beautiful girls, sometimes forcing a relationship to get it out. There are some 6 routes, so it looks much like charage. 

 

3. Himitsu no Hanazono VNDB

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One day a beautiful adult woman moves to live next to the main character. She turns out to be a new teacher, but she actually is a private detective investigating the case of school president granddaughter murder right at school. Hero gets to know about her true identity and decides to help the investigation.

Command selection varies from spot to spot. Hero can investigate alone or with one of three girls including main heroine. There is actually one ending but in order to get there you'll need to switch heroines to accompany you a lot. This kind of character design cannot be confused with anything else. Urasuhara-sensei is in charge of graphics and it's supercute. There is also eye and lip animation. Story is actually lacking and full of H-scenes. But later there was pc-engine version that had all characters voiced and had all the H-scenes cut. So it turned out to become a noteworthy charage.


  0. Green Oasis VNDB

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Block reason:Antique (no text info found)

kivandopulus

Year 1991 was the first with monthly issues and for that reason the hardest. Let's first try to determine its prominent features for VNs:

- Number of adult games increased greately to some 100 titles overall

- PC-98 era arrives with mouse support and the older systems finally lose support

- RPG percentage remains high at some 20% while ADV grows significantly to  some 50%

- New sub-genres appear - point-and-click, quiz, board game.

- Some games start to use action icons instead of command selection thanks to mouse use.

- It's the last year without any government regulation. After November 1991 shoplifting incident regulations being created.


CAL2, Cosmic Psycho, ELLE, Nike were the games with great stories and a professional touch. And I'm biased here towards ELLE since it's the only one that got renewed version in 2000s. Otherwise it might be a serious competition.

kivandopulus

1. Beast 2 VNDB
2. Gidyy VNDB
3. Karei Naru Jinsei - Mina-san no Okage desu VNDB
4. Mai - MAI Funifuni Papyuun to Iwasecharu! VNDB
5. Ranma 1/2 - Hiryuu Densetsu VNDB
6. Ranma 1/2 - Toraware no Hanayome VNDB
7. Strush VNDB

1. Beast 2 VNDB

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Events take a year after the prequel end. The relationships between the characters still remain uneasy after what had happened in the mansion. Main hero girlfriend Itoko's mother starts to behave strangely. Once again friends gather together and forward to Itoko  house only to find out that a mysterious organization is involved.

Little is known about the work, actually. And I even know why. Prequel was boring as hell and now it's even worse. Same point-and-object clicking every pixel to move on. Same maze structures with infinite rooms. The number of H-scenes decreased at least. To kick into the story you really need to have played the prequel which I did not, so plot does not make any sense to me.

 

2. Gidyy VNDB

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Main character here is left totally alone in this world with the death of his grandfather. But in grandpa's belongings he finds a time machine and gets back in time to conquer hearts of the most famous girls in world history.

Wow, setting is exciting just because it refers to world-wide known women. It's a point-and-click adventure, but you actually need to choose an action icon before clicking somewhere on a screen. But at least there are more screen exploration options. And here there's also an inventory to keep and utilize various items. Game's cool because of long spiritual conversations with the famous women. We help each of them this or that way too. There are H scenes as well which are good. There are some bad endings along the way. So good impression is achieved mostly thanks to emotional affinity to such characters as Cleopatra and Jeanne d'Arc and the game can be considered a minor masterpiece of its time.

 

 3. Karei Naru Jinsei - Mina-san no Okage desu VNDB

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It's a board game like Monopoly and adult dating sim in one set. Up to five players/AI make turns while encountering life events and girls.

Finally a really relaxing game without frustration and the need to brute force every option/pixel. There are three stages for every game match - high school, university and work and in the end whoever gets the more money wins. Maybe one match is not too long, but there are 55 girls available to get acquainted and even having H scene upon reaching certain stats levels. It's a mediocre game since gameplay does not change with number of matches and quantity definitely prevails over quality. There's only one thing I'd want to say to creators. Brilliant life! Thanks to everyone!


4. Mai - MAI Funifuni Papyuun to Iwasecharu! VNDB

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Mai has cat ears and studies magic. She can be unattentive at times. After she cast a spell on her classmates her life turned to action.

Dungeon crawl with cute pictures, but the system is quite serious. It's not just a gag story. There aren't real stats and battles are described by just text messages. Events are rare and most of the time we look at maze maps and brick walls. Nice retro dungeon crawl, but not exactly usual VN material.


5. Ranma 1/2 - Hiryuu Densetsu VNDB

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Game features an anime side-story focusing on relationships between series characters.

I'm ashamed to admit that I had to drop the anime series around the 20th episode since the jokes, transmutations and situations started to repeat themselves. Apart of Mobygames page there is a nice English review on the game so let's read that instead.


6. Ranma 1/2 - Toraware no Hanayome VNDB

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Each chapter focuses on separate theme in Ranma 1/2 universe.

Outrageous! Second Ranma game in one month. Actually, it's not a coincidence of course since on November 1991 Ranma 1/2 anime film was issued. Surprisingly, there are a lot of English reviews on the game and I had fun reading them.


7. Strush VNDB

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Hero is ninja detective on a request to investigate disappearances in a famous private school.

Mostly an average school mystery story. Characters are cute and moe enough with good animation of eyes and lips. Graphics is definitely above average. The feature of the game is that you have a partner following you and you can change that partner to another girl at will. There are H scenes, but they aren't abundant. But the story is rather weak.

kivandopulus

1. Shinsengumi - Bakumatsu Genshikou VNDB
2. XIX! VNDB
0. Majokko Kumi VNDB

  1. Shinsengumi - Bakumatsu Genshikou VNDB

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An ordinary school girl experienced time slip to the Edo period while on a school trip. And since she resembled captain of Shinsengumi unit Okita Souji, she just pretended to be him.

Who likes Shinsengumi? Or should I better ask who does not like Shinsengumi? Those brutal men establishing justice in the Edo are a safe pick for a story, but a woman as their captain does not look much better than those dozens of woman Oda Nobunaga countless parodies, to be honest. Game was issued after another shinsengumi tv show the same year. Graphics and especially depiction of emotions is great. Action is good. So it's a fairly enjoyable show if you can adapt to this fiction setting. And it was also quite disturbing to see how noone really figured out their captain was a female... not in bath, not in hot springs...

 

  2. XIX! VNDB

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Young treasure hunter Zion found an orb in the ancient ruins and a girl came out of it. She needed to confirm something in the labyrinth beneath the ruins and Zion could not leave her alone there.

First of all, Fairy Tail has given birth to several very solid RPGs by the end of 1991. So the field part of the game is very short and underground one is where the main game starts. So there are a lot of maze floor with enemies. Along the way, your companion Physis meets here acquaintances from perished 500 years ago civilization. It's an ok RPG. Slow, monotonous, but with a good old feel. But as a VN... plot is not exquisite, events aren't often and they are mostly about meeting sexy monsters or Physis getting tortured, wounded or just in need of attention. But if you've done with all Dragon Knight series and willing for more, XIX will fill its shoes allright.


0. Majokko Kumi VNDB

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Block reason: Eroge (Mobygames synopsis makes no two opinions about it) 

kivandopulus

1. Cobra Mission: Panic in Cobra City VNDB
2. Rose VNDB
3. Satsujin Roman Kikou - Koi no Nagano Bojou VNDB
0. Sore Yuke Nanpa-kun  VNDB

1. Cobra Mission: Panic in Cobra City VNDB

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Main hero Jr. is spying on the nude beach on an island outside of Florida when he's attacked by some rednecks. His high school sweetheart Faythe shows up telling that local gang kidnaps island girls and Jr. is determined to deal with the boss.

Game was localized to English on MS-DOS so there are a lot of favorable and not so favorable reviews on it. It is a mediocre RPG and as with any RPG you either get to like mechanics or drop it.

 

  2. Rose VNDB

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Hiroyuki Hideo is a detective. A girl requested to find her father and none of them expected of this case to develop into a drug story.

Debut work of Ange. Overall a normal mystery case. One feature is that we'll be able to look from the eyesight of the guardian spirit as well. The atmosphere is good, but graphics are lacking and heroines aren't pretty. Story oriented work.

 

3. Satsujin Roman Kikou - Koi no Nagano Bojou VNDB

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Heroine works for top brand fashion company. One day the president of the company disappears. As the business starts to crumble hero with three friends go Nagano ski resort to cheer up. By coincidence this place is close to president's hometown and they get caught up in a series of murder cases involving the disappearance of the president.

Game is point-and-click adventure! After encountering such mechanics in Elle and De-ja 2 I really prefer them to usual command selection. All of four friends are women and H element gets strong. Very few games had females featured as protagonist, so it's a fresh view presented here. As story goes the perspective changes from one heroine to another. The bad part is in the system. Heart Soft has done couple not bad SLG previously and now it intervened in pure adventure story with the strange solutions. RPG style map, direct movement can only irritate in pure VN. Writing is vertical - unusual, but tolerable. But screen is also divided in five parts with four for main heroines and 5th for random speaker. We get to watch at heroines portraits almost all the time and you never know where new text line going to appear. So a very very unusual work that has mediocre story and a lot of hindrances on the way to get to know this story.


0. Sore Yuke Nanpa-kun  VNDB

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Block reason: Eroge (Nanpa in its pure ugly form)

kivandopulus

1. Cosmic Psycho VNDB
2. Joker VNDB

1. Cosmic Psycho (VNDB)

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High-school student Kazuki sees a dream where a girl asks for help. The next day after he receives a phone call he finds himself on board of space ship and the girl turns out to be special anti-alien squad member Marin. The phone call was for a different receiver, but it's of no help to Kazuki since he's not stuck on this ship.

There is a good review of the game here but it's written from viewpoint of a modern user. Game indeed had morally old 200-lines graphics even for the time of issue, but this game was actually a masterpiece of 1991 and should be given its dues. Lower graphics level allowed to game to be issued for as many as four gaming platforms of the time. First of all it's Cocktail Soft. The same Cocktail Soft that issued astonishing 400-lines Nike two months before. Psycho in title refers to the psycho portal through which the teleportation to another dimension occurred and to alien monster race Ex. The story is not too good, but thriller part is. Game's been called roller coaster adventure for a good reason. While being shorter than usual there is constant sense of urgency in any speech. Events happen one after another and tension keeps stacking. Story develops slowly due to these constant interruptions. This can be called a new method in telling a story. Music was so good that it was probably the first VN that had a separate VN music CD issued. But unlike even in quality Nike, Cosmic Psycho has enough weak sides. And it should be treated as an ambiguous game that was a masterpiece of its time.

 

  2. Joker (VNDB)

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Wild is the nickname of protagonist. The setting is american Wild West. Years ago "The Great Disaster" happened to the village and Wild's father sacrificed his life to deal with it. On the anniversary of the event talented witch Laura was to see the future of the village, but for some reason she saw nothing. You are sent to a neighboring town to find out about the upcoming danger for the village and probably for the whole world as well. 

There is already a good English review out there so there is not much to add to it. Story stops midway so there is sequel pending. Game atmosphere is so good that you get drunk with it. And Blanca heroine is so well written that the game can be easily considered a charage.

kivandopulus

1. Kimi Dake ni Ai o... VNDB
2. Metal Slader Glory VNDB
3. Shangrlia VNDB

1. Kimi Dake ni Ai o... VNDB

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We play as Akio-kun who attends the wedding of his older brother Satoshi and his unrequited love Misa. But the newweds start to quarrel often and then Misa gets into a traffic incident and looses memory.

This is a drama and every actor in the love triangle has his circumstances. So the will to sympathize to main characters and dive into complex relations is to determine whether you like the game or not. Fortunately, Misa is very cute and - FINALLY - Technopolis shifted to 400-line graphics. Pure love dramas were still fresh at that time for VNs and setting of living with older brother and loving the same girl was really good. There were also multiple endings. There were other girls as well and many of them were older than protagonist, so can be also called an oneesan-ge. Story looks simplistic compared to nowadays nakige, but it was one of the first nakige and should be given credit for that.

 

2. Metal Slader Glory VNDB

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8 years after the great space war orphan Tadashi Himukai buys a mecha robot to set construction business together with his girlfriend. Robot turns out to be a war unit and he keeps saying that the Earth is in danger and to save it they need to find Creator as soon as possible. And so the space adventure begins.

Game has achieved a legendary status, mainly due to 4 year development period and tragic fate. Game was issued at the same year as FF4 and surpassed it at graphics and animation. But it was released for NES and at the same year SNES machines started to sell so as few as 5,000 copies only were sold and company went bankrupt. Game was reinvigorated by SNES release 9 years later and Wii release even further. Plot is quality SF matter, but after Jesus, Jesus II and Snatcher it was not something special. But in addition to good plot game has great number of female characters drawn with love. It can be considered a first full-scale Moe game for NES platform auditory who had access almost ultimately to action games. 

 

3. Shangrlia VNDB

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Ordinary high school student Tooru was shocked to know that the soul of parallel universe Erion prince Nyuckel possessed his body and in 25 days will gain full control of it. There's no time to loose! Give orders to your ten female officers armies and try to stop the invasion.

Elf's new game. Basically it's reincarnation of Foxy franchise in fantasy setting. Same TBS, as many as 10 types of units with advantages, disadvantages and a whole pack of characteristics. Complex rules and harsh penalties for withdrawal and defeat make this game quite difficult even for native speakers. And 10 campaigns are best to be played in particular order due to difficulty spikes. After each victory female general takes off one garment. After capture there are 20 more special maps that you can play with old units. Well, TBS is my favorite genre, but without even an interface patch it would be pretty harsh.

kivandopulus

1. Artemis VNDB
2. Branmarker VNDB
3. Cybernetic Hi-School Part 4 ~Ape Hunter J~ VNDB
4. Dragon Knight III VNDB
5. Manami no Doko made Iku no? VNDB
6. Nike VNDB
7. Pocky 2 ~Kaijin Aka Mantle no Chousen~ VNDB
8. Quintia Road VNDB
9. Sweet Emotion VNDB
10. Tenshi-tachi no Gogo IV -Yuuko- VNDB

Finally a month with as many as 10 candidates. And all of them are solid games with ok graphics and complex story. Still there is just one that provides a solid adventure VN experience - it is Nike - The Consecutive Crises in Seven Days of The Galaxy Grand Prix. Interplanetary space adventure with two main heroines and great love triangle interactions. Finding out such gems is what makes exploration worth it.

1. Artemis (VNDB)

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Notos and Ing were separated by an ambush of a giant woman-snake. Ing fled for his life and found shelter in a village. But soon all the village girls disappeared. Ing now has to find them and carry out plans for revenge on snake-woman.

Birdie Soft in its blossom. Beautiful CG, different color lines, mouth and eyes animation. Although drawing is uneven, some faces and bodies look non-proportional and ugly. Game is based on a conflict of two heroines and the hero sandwiched in between. And since there is just one ending the hero is being torn apart between commoner Luna girl and mysterious adventurer Elutia girl. Another prominent feature is that the hero has a face and often is seen from the side, so player does not have to sympathize with him. But since game focuses on human relationships a lot, the plot gets lacking behind. And since the setting is as if taken from a fantasy RPG game, the overall impression suffers a lot.

2. Branmarker (VNDB)

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Island got infested with monsters kidnapping inhabitants. All kinds of warriors set to end monster infestation but noone returned back. Now it's time for your group of warriors to try luck.

Quite an ordinary JRPG with turn-based fights, recovery at inn, armor gathering and of course grind. It's the third strategy game of D.O. already and they finally play it safe with just a fantasy setting, not entertainment park invasion or school fight for principal daughter. Shammy girl is main hero, she is both proficient in magic and light weapons. Vega boy joins later and he's full-scale warrior without any mp. The H-element is presented by finding princes and her multiple maids in peculiar situations. But the fact is that main hero is the girl cuts any H-scenes to the level of just nudity. But balance and graphics are good. And the atmosphere is somewhat relaxing compared to usual epic rpgs, so appearing of a sequel was not much of a surprise.

3. Cybernetic Hi-School Part 4 ~Ape Hunter J~ (VNDB)

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In 2006 the people had just one anxiety - "Monkey". Elimination of ozone layer by ultraviolet rays after 1980s caused ape mutation evolution. Mutants were intelligent and since they started to look like humans they secretly infiltrated human society. Thus appeared ape hunters - specialists in identification and "processing" of monkeys.

You are such ape hunter and you've just received a request from school director to reveal monkeys in the school. The only way to check it is undress the subject and find evidence of his red ass and tail.

Oh my, that's the whole point of Gainax. Take a laughingly crazy setting and make it even crazier, totally surreal. Oh and don't forget fanservice. Few Gainax works had none of it since creators were otaku themselves. First three parts were very short and simple quiz+adv+strip games. So is the 4th part as well, it's just longer and has more fancy setting. It's not Adv with quiz elements, not vice versa. Quizes were hard for that time and nowadays they seem even harder even though there are just three variants. Game was sold with a booklet describing the fake history since the end of 80s till 2006 and many questions based on that fake history, naturally. Game is full of stupid characters and yet it's crazy fun, or should I say funny craze. Such is this work in the zenith of Gainax power that it can be considered a masterpiece.

4. Dragon Knight III (VNDB)

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Takeru had just finished the events of DKII when robbers took all of his possessions and clothes. The epic quest this time is to get some money. And while on it the mayor has an assignment for which he's willing to pay in gold.

The plot hardly matters. What matters is that we're again fresh and ready for new chapter of amazing adventures. This page has a number of reviews of the game.

5. Manami no Doko made Iku no? (VNDB)

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In the beginning of summer school girl Manami received a letter saying that she was chosen to stop a criminal syndicate in her town. After that she meets a masked man Black Pack who guides her to the underground activities.

This feeling when can't find much on the game in japanese, but there are actually good English reviews here.

6. Nike (VNDB)

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In 2526 pilot Nike (22) with co-pilot girl Miho (17) are participating in interstellar space race after winning the race the previous year. However the princess of the host planet Athena got kidnapped and Nike is going to search for Athena while participating in the race.

Cocktail Soft new title! And again a great one. Fully story oriented work in SF setting. And my recollection of "Redline" anime with similar setting is still fresh so I got hooked right off the bat.  The set of selection commands is not predefined bat varies according to the situation. Choice needs to be done within time limit and many choices lead to game over. All kind of adventures await - both planetary and space ones. Kindapping, evil cult, space monsters, ship arrest, planet destruction. Game has all of it and much more. Events change each other with a high pace and in-between we get to communicate with our two cute heroines. Athena is regarded as a pure princess while Miho is an attractive pal-racer and Nike gets sandwitched between the two of them. And this time it's played out in a more fun way than in Artemis. Sadly, there is a single ending for this game and there is no place for Miho in it. This game is a top class story and it's a real shame it never got released on newer machines.

7. Pocky 2 ~Kaijin Aka Mantle no Chousen~ (VNDB)

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School newspaper club led by Miki investigates various cases of item disappearance and girls harassment and pranks that got frequent at school. 

Longer, cuter, simpler version of prequel. But while graphics were considered advanced in 1989, in 1991 8 colors with 200 horizontal lines was already archaic, so the impact is gone. Kumiko-chan is the main heroine but from time to time viewpoint changes to Miki-chan and Tomoko-chan. The mysterious Red cape had many opportunities to set pranks to school girls and to three main heroines of course. It's not a big work and only takes 6 days in game time.

8. Quintia Road (VNDB)

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In 1944 German pilot got into air vortex and appeared in parallel magical world of Quintia. He was greeted as god and was requested to use his aircraft to defeat monsters.

Plot is not the strongest side of this work. But Quintia Road does not get boring. There are all kind of monsters to take care of and there are also 5 princess in this kingdom to harass. So it's really fun and fresh work that does not stop to thrill. Commands are simple, there are almost no puzzles, graphics are great. Battles seem difficult since they afford an abundance of commands, but actually battles are scripted and so whatever you do they will proceed in its own way. The feature of this game is full-mouse control. And this control is so full, that no keyboard control allowed. Naturally, it's not too convenient.

9. Sweet Emotion (VNDB)

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There are five scenarios presented from different viewpoints and connected with each other. Together they let us approach the truth about Slan murder.

Debut work of Discovery which is actually a new division of Birdie Soft so graphics is the best of the best. Partial animation makes it shine even more. I tend to block short multi-story VNs, but in this case every episode is connected and they all lead to a logical end. We also have to change protagonists all the time - we get to be a victim, a witness and a detective. So in Part 1 we play as a victim to be killed. In Part 2 we are students who found Slan corpse in Part 1. Part 3 is when we step up as a detective. Part 4 is journey to the land of the dead to get to know circumstances of death from Slan himself. Part 5 is resolution of the case by the detective. The work loses its charm when we get to know murder circumstances by the middle of the story. So story is not particularly good and H scenes are kind of too frequent. So quite a typical Birdy Soft work.

10. Tenshi-tachi no Gogo IV -Yuuko- (VNDB)

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Strange events have started to happen at all-girl Sophia High School - strange sounds, strange smells and strange pupils appearance. The principal requested the new teacher to investigate. Yuko-chan from literature club will assist him in that.

It's 4th part of the series. And it is not by coincidence that previous parts were blocked. They used to be ero-centered. Let's see if the pattern has changed. Well, now most of H scenes mean bad end. So plot line is relatively serious. We establish platonic relations by the end of the game with Yuuko which is totally new for the series. Yuuko admires the new teacher and their conversations is the major bright spot in the game. The atmosphere is actually different from previous three games. It's a valid mystery detective case and protagonist is a valid teacher (ok, using sex for interrogation was not really what teacher does). The resolution of the case was an aggressive and abrupt one, so satisfaction level remained low.