Wow, there's a mortal combat between such titans as Team Baldrhead, Alice Soft and Studio e.go this month. Well, Men at Work is the first RPG offspring of Studio e.go and it's just too simplistic to compete yet. Baldrhead is also the first part in the series and suffers from some technical problems and short duration. Mamatoto ~a record of war~ on the other hand is quite a polished RPG that even has English patch and it is the VN of the Month July 1999.
1. Gakuen Hyouryuu Senki学園漂流戦記  Alice Soft April 2005. Main character is a high school student on a voyage trip with a lot of his girl classmates. He's been in love with his classmate Suzuki Kaori for a long time and now is a perfect opportunity to finally confess. But after an incident Main character wakes up alone at a beach shore. What will he do now?
Game's a small addition to the main package of Alice CD. There's horrible command selection part and interaction with some items.... well... I did not care to make it through that.
2. Maid no Susumeメイドのススメ  Alice Soft Hero is a nobility heir. He lives in a mansion with three maids. An important exam is approaching. Maids will assist him in preparation for the exam.
Another cheap addition to Alice CD. After a short introduction there's lots and lots of quizzes. Of course I never went through any of them.
You (Nanasu) are the prince of Mamatoto. You go out and conquer other nations in order to conquer the world.
There is stability/stalemate, so none of the nations can actually take over the world because if they start a war with another country, a third one might have an advantage. Mamatoto is different it has zero territory to worry about. The problem is, it doesn't have much of a population either. So you don't really have an army, thus for many years, Mamatoto, the moving fortress, has been hiding in the monster lands.
You, Nanasu, who has studied magic really hard has recently invented magic to create these magical soldiers. These soldiers are made via cards which you can obtain via battles. So the more battles you fight, the more cards you collect, and the more troops you have in reserve. So now, Mamatoto, the fastest moving fortress in the world, started its move to conquer the world. Mamatoto's goal isn't to get territory - it's to take out governments.
Game's localized - there's an English and a Polish review.
4. Inagawa Junji: Kyoufu no Yashiki稲川淳二 恐怖の屋敷  Billiken Soft Inagawa Junji - Kyoufu no Yashiki is a horror adventure game that stars japanese actor Inagawa Junji (contemporary master storyteller of Japanese ghost tales). Game begins when player enters a haunted mansion. As soon as he arrives, he finds a TV where Inagawa Junji appears and introduced different ghosts stories.
Horror sound novels have its fans, but I'm not included.
It's the future where the technology is being over-used and at the same time conflicts between countries and religion occur which causes a loss in theory and technology. The world is now in corrupted towns with ruins of ancient technology everywhere. The story takes place in future Japan,and the hero of the game is an ex-mercenary called Bloody Baldy who earns his living by being an armament banker...
Baldrhead is a linear adventure game with 2D action-shooter elements.
The protagonist thinks that he is the strongest fighter around his school, until he got totally trashed by a new rival. If that wasn't bad enough, his sister got murdered and he was left for dead in his burning house. He got saved and found out that he has the potential to become the strongest person on earth. Will his girlfriend and other friends be able to keep him from the revenge-driven dark side of his power?
Poor Escu:de - it started with a very plain romance work and now fills the shoes of another visual novel fighting. What differs it from Crazy Knuckle 2 is very high production values and engaging and moderately difficult battles. Hero is very colorful and is voiced which creates a very solid atmosphere. Game uses songs very efficiently at crucial moments. Considered the limitations of the genre Escu:de managed to produced a paragon visual novel fighting.
8. Dokidoki Summer Lesson ~Kyoukasho wa Oshiete Kurenai~どきどきサマーレッスン ～教科書は教えてくれないっ～  Megami It's summer break, our guy is bored. He decided to find work as a tutor, his way of meeting girls and get paid for it. His student turned out to be his neighbor's sister. What will he teach her? And will he go after one sister or both, you decide.
There are only two heroines, so it's more serious than an average eroge. Text is surprisingly good. No wonder game got a full voice re-release 4 years later. H scenes are quite dark no the other hand. So game's almost as nice as Off Memories series, but much more tilt towards H.
Hero has not had his hair cut for three years due to fear of having ears cut off. When his sister finally managed to cut his hair, girls in the school started to look at him with interest. What kind of future will he choose?
Game is quite short, but it's fully voiced (apart of protagonist) and quite funny. There are five heroines and they are strong willed and quite nicely outlined. Through several choices you choose a girl/several girls and there's an ending. Graphics is quite unusual. But the most disappointment is in the systems. There aren't options at all and BGM is deafening with all those beats. BGM is like 10 times louder than voices so it's quite difficult to discern phrases while it trumpets.
Hero knew girl Hime when he was a child. She had a soft old-fashioned character. Now he meets her in Tokyo and she's totally different. It turns out that Hime suffers from personality disorder and each day of week she's a different person - seven in total. Hero asks gets a permission to look after Hime for a month to try to heal the distortion. Can he change Hime in just 4 weeks of living together?
All that is left to the hero.
Well, the personality that gets the most favorability wins. The conditions for the True End are very strict. Game systems is bad in the way that the speed is very slow. A well balanced work with a fresh concept.
There is a coffee shop "Gerbera" on the bank of a beautiful lake in Tokyo. Cute girls are serving as waitresses and establishment is famous for its homemade cakes. Hero is a university student who works here part-time as a waiter. This summer will be most entertaining!
The biggest difference of this game from other cafe games is that the number of characters is very small - just four heroines. At least it allows to build up a lot of unique events and advancements for each heroine. Branching starts right after welcome party and even dialogues change with increased favorability. Yayoi is the main heroine and she has the longest route of all. There is a good and a bad ending for each heroine as well as a lonely ending.
12. Kurumi-chan A-so-boくるみちゃん あ・そ・ぼ  Studio Neko Punch Main character has just entered a university. He finally fled from his parents house and started to live on his own in a boarding house. There he met another inhabitant Kurumi-chan. They started to spend a lot of time together on a daily basis and soon became good friends... but is being just friends enough?
Game's some kind of SIM and I feel week in my tummy when I see such a huge number of all kinds of windows.
13. Labrum ~Yasashii Kizu~Labrum ～優しい傷～  Tetratech Hero is attacked by unknown person and is put into a hospital with a mortal wound. His childhood friend Mina saves his life by turning him into a vampire.He has to drink women's blood to live.
At day time he is a student and advances relations with his classmates. At night time he insults heroines and sucks their blood. He needs to keep the balance for 30 days and develop a sincere links with some girl. Well, that's weird. Pure love and very nasty H with the same girls daily just does not make much sense to me. I only see that game's just for those weird H scenes. We need to move to some spot and if there's the heroine - make some choice, so gameplay is not really good as well.
The era when magic declines gradually and is about to be replaced by science and technology. But there are still "demon" race monsters living on the outskirts of the empire and organizing skirmishes at border guards.
Hero is a battle magician responsible for three failure students. They have personal conditions that prevent them from learning normally. You have a year to train them into excellent witches.
There's a good dozen of parameters to track. As girls grow, they can summon a powerful monster that can participate in battles. Difficulty is easy and it's ok to train all three girls simultaneously. Despite the emphasized personal drama of each girl, the training method is almost identical, the difference is only in ADV sequences. It's a very good attempt to revitalize boring raising SIMs.
15. Towa no Yakata永遠の館  For 19th century. Main character studies at a university abroad, but now for the first returns home for spring vacation. There he stumbles at his mother's diary saying among other things about a mysterious man "There is no way I can keep doing this ..."
Scenario is single road and once it's finished, a new one opens up and so on. H events are mostly of dark nature. Basically all the mysteries are known for the start, so it's not really good as a suspense story.
Takahiro is a novice teacher. A demon suddenly appears before him saying that she's half angel and half demon and she does not qualify to enter either faction because of that. The strange cohabitation and rigorous training begins. Will she grow into an angel or a demon?
A raising SIM. Both angle and demon ways are possible. Game's strange that it does not have time limit. Otherwise a normal training SIM with parameters and play time around 3 hours.
Our guy is 1/8 vampire. His grandfather asked him to take care of a dead friend's family, which include four sisters and one brother. So now, in the first two months, he can chase after those four sisters, his maid, childhood girl, rival's sister or another vampire. The chasing is easy since he can check a location to see who is there before going, one advantage of a vampire I guess. In the later two months, he has to find a way to tell the girl he loves that he is a vampire and has to go through some obstacles to win her.
Game play is not good as it follows the same pattern: Good morning → Map move → Event → Date management screen → repeat from the next day . The whole game period of four months is divided into the first half (until harvest festival dance) and the second half which is actually division into general route and choosing a heroine and heroine routes. There are also mini-games. Clear is difficult since there is a random element in events generation and in order to capture a girl the whole chain of events must be triggered. The work is centered around love obstacles - hero has an evident race difference and girls have their own themed obstacles. There are six main heroines and two sub-heroines.
18. Lilienthalリリエンタール  Dollhouse The city of the Valley of Dragons... Lilienthal. The stories of three protagonists start here.
Brad is a boy who lives with his pet animal Lulu in a secluded castle.
Chris is a male student of a medieval university who is sexually harassed by the girls around him.
Claris is a daughter of the king and is in search of medicine to cure the king.
You can start with either protagonist story, but it soon turns into moving North/South/Eash/West and exploring the town in every story. There are several commands of interaction with the world and there seem to be items as well. Should I even say that I had no patience to go any further?
For five years since the events of the prequel Erica has been living peacefully with Satoru. Satoru left the laboratory shortly after creating Erica. Following his notes the laboratory was able to create Erica Version 2, but the result was poor and director proceeded to illegal means. Meteor shower was launched to mount Fuji and at the same time Erica started to suffer from brain disorder. What caused the illness? Will Satoru be able to find the cure?
Well, there are zero reviews for this game, but it's basically the third game in the franchise with totally the same heroine, so I guess everyone got tired of it by the third game. The suggested mystery is not appealing at all to check it out.
20. Heisa Byoutou no Megami-tachi ~Goddess of Close Ward~閉鎖病棟の女神たち ～Goddess of Close Ward～  Archive Our guy wakes up in a hospital without remembering anything. It seems he fell from a pedestrian overpass to the street. He is now in a hospital ward with 3 nurses and a female doctor. Can he remember his past and does he even want to?
It's a very confusing scenario. The theme is madness. There are many memory pieces flashes, but it does not get into integral story. Even in the ending there is no impact. The degree of H is medium.
21. Mahjong Mokushiroku Digital Novelまあじゃん黙視録デジタルノベル  West Gate Main character continues to live peacefully. But new threat arises. "Black shadow" company claims to be rightful successors of power. Once again protagonist rises to protect justice and freedom of common folk. There is not much information on the game... because noone really cares for this exciting mahjong adventure.
22. Amnesia no Hanataba o ~Parallel Story~アムネジアの花束を ～PARALLEL STORY～  Red star A secret is hidden in the holy barrier. A devastating epic nightmare is caused by a devil curse. This is the third part of the series of an evil spiritual disaster after Dawn The True Night and Cladlius' Beak. Dark wizard Nike is searching for traces of magic between the three cities. On his way he will need to confront a holy knight and meet a mysterious girl who lost her memory.
Game's totally obscure and comes from a virtually unknown developer. Moreover, previous two parts of the series are even more obscure. So, I stumbled upon a maze in my first 5 minutes of gameplay and just stopped there since could neither turn back, nor pass through it in another 5 minutes.
23. Enema 2えねま2  Manbou Goya Ema is a student council president, nominated by former student council and her very close friend president Seira. Main heroine Shibuki together other council members Ema and and Kimidori sets to explore the old school building to uncover the school ghost legend. There girls fall down through the rotten floor and appear in a room with unusual drawings. There they have strange visions and develop new experiences as a result. The next day an angel appears before Shibuki. The angel claims that the world is in huge danger - sex demon starts to possess humans. In order to prevent possession the belly should be cleaned from all the poop. And that task is mounted on the shoulders of Shibuki.
It's just Yuri+Enema. Really weird stuff, but character design and CG aren't bad.
Choose among 10 girls with different difficulty degree ranging form A to E. Clearing a falling bricks stage opens up CG.
This is NOT a visual novel. It has zero text apart of description of each girl blood type etc. Genre is puzzle/quiz.
25. Chooita ~Subarashiki Chounouryoku Jinsei~ちょ～イタ ～素晴らしき超能力人生～ 1 The story is about a guy that had an accident and from that got x ray vision. After having this supernatural power, unusual events start occuring.
There is an English review.
26. Deep Selen Main hero is a bartender on a luxurious liner. He drugs girls with beverages and takes them to his torture chamber.
27. Doll ~Denshou no Chikara~Doll ～伝承の力～  Forester Princess Fiona, who is trying to take back the throne, visits the church ruined by a secret strategy. There she was met by the betrayal of her own men and falls into a dilemma. Fiona is ready to die.
However, a man who travels by the Noel accidentally kills all the knights in a blink of the eye. Fiona who see's this requests his help to reclaim her castle with various rewards. Although, Noel replies, "I am not interested and I got everything I wanted ..." Even though it was a faint, Noel becomes interested when Fiona revels the tradition of the royal family. It is said in an underground labyrinth of the castle sleeps "the power of tradition", that can make any wish come true. With this information in tow Noel asks Fiona, "Do you believe such a stupid story? ... ... interesting, I will lend you my power."
First part is full of movie cuts and is quite intriguing to watch and occasionally interact with some objects. But the second gameplay part is horrible and short. Players were really unsatisfied with the small amount of erotic scenes which is a ripoff for the huge price of 9600 yen.
28. Drive Me Crazy!! ~The School of Pain~ドライブ・ミー・クレイジー!! ～The School of Pain～  PIL Main character is a delinquent who is sent to a SM school by the father of his fiancée. With his bully personality he is using beautiful girls as teaching materials there and letting students act casually towards them ...
SM game where actions are decided by roulette. There are 3 levels of sadistic lessons to get to graduation exam.
29. Floreal ~Suki Suki Daisuki~フロレアール ～すきすきだいすき～  13cm Jean Rotard is a lighthouse guard. He lives with a maid girl Merne for many years now. But Merne heart would spreads fracture by fracture with each day - should she involve Jean to heal her heart wound?
Story is written by a different author than the previous game, so they actually have next to nothing in common. First part of the game lacks excitement and the second part suddenly becomes SF and totally chaotic. The charm of the characters is not fully utilized.
Our guy transferred to a new school. He is just in time to save the school theater club from being canceled. He gets to pick his heroine out of 3 girls for their next play. He also has to set schedule for set building, customs making, and practicing. Well, no matter, he still has time to chase the 5 club girls and 2 others.
We need to pass preliminary theatrical competition and then participate in the main event and for that need the right choices. Parameters and schedule are still here, so there's a lot of work to do. Three obligatory parameters must reach 100% by the contest or it's game over. The story is orthodox and very thin. There are a lot of events to try and fix that. There is a huge number of choices - each between three lines - even on the most trivial matters, so clearing is difficult.
Masaki has 4 childhood friends – Yayoi, Michiru, Marika and Akira who are all sisters, they let him stay in one of their family’s apartments since he doesn’t live with his family. Masaki’s hobby is photography and one day, he meets a famous photographer who lets Masaki become his apprentice. Time passes, and Masaki also gets a girlfriend too and life couldn’t be any happier for him. However, one day he is asked to go to America to work in the huge photography business over there but he thinks that having a long distance relationship would be incredibly hard. He now has a life-changing decision to make – does he follow his dream or does he stay with the person who he loves most in this world?
There is an English review of this game.
32. Kyoukan ~Eien no Inochi o Motome~兇館～永遠の命を求め～  Infinity In order to gain eternal life a young man made contract with a woman spirit to insult and train four girls in just 7 days time.
True ending if commit all four girls in 7 days, if fail there is a bad ending. There are also several normal endings. Short nukige SIM.
33. Utagoe淫声 ～うたごえ～  Apple Pie Main character is a president of an idol studio. Now he needs to choose one of the girls to debut as an idol. Soon the whole world will know about her!
Half of the game is actually H lessons for the idol girl, so it's kind of a baka nukige, but... with singing... and often singing while... doing H and with mouth full. Really nice eleven songs and good voicing. This is one of those games that gave a strong push to the voicing of visual novels.
Our guy trains with a famous author. As a test for him, he is sent to gather info from a performance group, with the author's daughter tagging alone. There seem to be rumors about how this group gets their donations. If he can chase one girl per chapter, he will find out what this all has to do with a big fire 18 years ago.
Taisho era. The flow is like this: first movement → lunch break (information exchange with the teacher) → second movement → evening automatic event → night. There are many H scenes with different characters, but romance relations are only possible with one heroine which is set right from the first chapter. One playthrough is less than 10 hours and all the mysteries are only poured in the last chapter that lasts about 30 minutes. There are multiple endings, including a bad one. But generally it's a one-way road with couple opportunities for mistakes. There is no distinguishing feature to call it a masterpiece, but overall a very solid work with beautiful CG centered on Tasho era.
35. Nise Taxi偽タクシー  Vision Main character runs a fake taxi that is specially equipped to insult the passengers.
Nukige, and since it's from Vision it's with animations.
36. Find Love EX ~Mind Blowing~Find Love EX ～マインドブローイング～  Lyceen Ninosaki Kanosuke is a private detective in Tokyo. One day he gets a request from the hospital to find the missing nurse Ai. Now the number of missing women has increased. One of the accidentally found girls in semi-naked state told about being kidnapped by a stalker. As the investigation proceeds, the existence of a huge criminal organization becomes evident.
Find Love was quite a notable title thanks to console versions, so now's the time to reap that success on a rape/insult nukige. It hardly has anything to do with original Find Love apart of title and somewhat same looking girls.
37. Gen'ei Choukyou Club 2幻影調教倶楽部2  J-Box Main character is an upcoming musician. He is asked to produce a song for a Japanese opera "Neo Imagine". But his beautiful partner suddenly dies, and main character looses the will not just to create, but to live. He got drowned into alcohol and drugs causing an incident in SM club. His friend advised him to join a secret club "Love & Peace" where it might be possible to share new experiences and find a true partner. Why... why this horrible game even got a continuation?
38. Gen'ei Gaiden: Shinkinkan幻影外伝 親近感  Omni-sha "Love & Peace" secret SM club for people with abnormal sexuality. Hero dives in the world sensual pleasures. However, he's not satisfied with the action...
This time it's a SIM. The synopsis and the release date is the same with the Gen'ei Choukyou Club 2 are the same and this title is nowhere to be found, so it's all very confusing.
Hero lost parents early and last year his grandmother also died. Since then he moved to distant relatives. Occasionally a mysterious memory of a girl crosses his head and the level of confusion gradually rises...
Play time is around 8 hours. Everyday scenes are substitute by the need to say something funny and those pseudo fun sequences last for a very long time, just to eat up players time. Then it gets only more confusing and ends with a fluke. Characters are totally unmemorable. Protagonist is one big hetare with amnesia. Even in the end he can't decide anything ... "because all the friends are precious to me". And it's a linear game with choices only for additional CG, so you can't decide on anything. A surprisingly tiresome story without any appeal points.
The game takes place in a Middle-Age western European town. At the daytime it is a very active and joyous town. However at night it's another story. After sun sets, monsters will lurk all around town which raises concern about the safety of the townspeople. As a result the town has set up a guild of hunters who go around at night and kill these monsters. Most of these hunters are doing so for money, and they rarely reveal their true identity to anyone. The player takes on the role of Wil, who in daytime is a geeky part-time history teacher, but at night is a strong hunter.
Makihara Kosuke works as a substitute janitor of woman dormitory, “Sazanami So”, while the regular janitor, who is his aunt, travels abroad. The contract term is almost over, but he has one thing worried about. Among the member of the dormitory, only Jinnai Mio doesn’t open out to him and doesn’t try to eat his dishes. Then, he makes the former janitor’s favorite dish to let her eat.
Moege. There is map movement to trigger events. Characters are cute and atmosphere is relaxed. But there are 12 heroines and the number of CG for each is small. Period is one year and intervals between the events are quite large. Play time is some 5 hours for first time and about 2 hours with skip for the next ones. The impact is less than the previous work. Nothing really stands out and such games are soon to be forgotten.
41. Graduation ~ Sotsugyouグラデュエーション～卒業  Joinac Corporation Graduation...for all of us it's something we experience once and from which we go to a new path in life.
It marks a turning point in life, from which our lives will set out on a new moment. It's also at the same time the point where we break up with people who are important in our lives. Somewhere in Tokyo, at Seiran Academy is our hero, second year student Shuntaro Hidaka. He's anticipating his upcoming graduation next year. Will Shuntaro confess his feelings of love?