Kiss Me On Clover Hill’s Shokichi Kuramoto Season of Love Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: The MC starts college and slowly builds a romance with one of her fellow students.


  • I perked up every time Sho’s friend Daisuke appeared. He’s not the most interesting character ever written, but he had focus and goals.
  • A few of the situations felt believable.


  • Some of the secondary character’s faces are really bad.
  • Bored. SO BORED. I didn’t dislike the two leads. They and the story are just as bland as these:

unsalted saltines

Bottom Line: I don’t hate it, but I recommend Dreamy Days in West Tokyo‘s 3 Years Later routes over this particular one.

Voltage’s Kiss Me on Clover Hill is available on iOS and Android.

Serendipity Next Door His POV Impressions – Spoiler Free

Unlike the In Your Arms Tonight‘s POVs, the Serendipity Next Door‘s POVs contain no choices, no MC sprite options, and fewer chapters. As much as I enjoyed some of the stories for the insight into the secondary characters and how well the male lead’s voice came through, these are decidedly short stories rather than games with paths to puzzle out.

Individual Routes

  • Izumi POV: It’s cute and sweet, but I wanted to edit out a few lines that didn’t seem to click with the main route.
  • Jinpachi POV: It’s funny and believable and makes the main story both much sweeter and much creepier at the same time.
  • Keiichi POV: It won’t change your opinion of him or the relationship. He’s definitely consistent with the main story.
  • Masaomi POV: The shorter format makes Masaomi’s story work better, and Masaomi’s internal dialogue and nearly complete uninterest in those around him are really entertaining.

Bottom Line: Good content with a high price tag. Unless you absolutely adore a character wait for a sale.

Voltage’s Serendipity Next Door is available on iOS and Android.

Serendipity Next Door: Jinpachi Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: Two neighbors get to know one another while dealing with every-day life.

IMG_0161Well, I don’t necessarily want him, but I do want this story.

I cannot fully recommend it to everyone, but what this story gets right, it really gets right.

  • Stock elements are used. The main character’s often naive and acts before reflecting, the leading man must physically rescue her more than once, and convenient set-ups are utilized. Yet how all the characters react and speak are unique and consistent while still evolving.
  • The difference in personalities, experience levels, and ages all come through in all the characters without smacking the reader over the head.
  • The word choice and humor just work for me. Several times I faintly noted that intellectually something should bother me, but I was too busy snickering to actually care…



Bottom Line: Recommended to those who wish to see basic ideas become unique through good writing and localization.  Or to those who just need a good laugh.

Voltage’s Serendipity Next Door is available on iOS and Android.

Be My Princess 2 Ivan Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: Get smacked with a prince’s bouquet as you’re trying to sneak out of a ballroom. Find out that’s the precursor to a marriage interview:


On the main character: She’s kind and intelligent with a slightly goofy sense of humor. Her third option choices made me laugh out loud at times. I had to wade through the first few chapters of her being rail-roaded for the plot, but once that’s over she’s great.

IMG_0121Thank you, Sieg.

On Ivan: He’s just the right balance of commanding, blunt, considerate, and focused. He’s a heroic, flawed person whom I wanted to see victorious. Unless he’s wearing this.  This is just bad:

IMG_0097Yes. I need to stop giggling at that robe, but I can’t.

On the main relationship: The pacing is so nicely done, and these two work together well as team. The only time they have a misunderstanding in service to the plot it feels off; know that feeling lasts about half a chapter and you’ll get back to the awesomeness soon.

IMG_0105The MC is sweet, believable, and just perfect in this section.  Love it.

Bottom Line: Highly Recommended. While this route and Ivan certainly have flaws, the pacing and central relationship more than make up for it.

Voltage’s Be My Princess 2 is available on iOS and Android.

Queen’s Gambit Senator Lindsay Tom Walker V Impressions and Review – Spoilers

Tom All the AnswersOh, my dear MC, you have no idea.


If you’re looking for my thoughts on the game in general, please read the first section of my Joao Morais review.

The Good

The MC gets to operate almost completely on her own in this particular spy plot. It’s pretty cool.

Several characters from To Love & Protect are weaved into the story.

I like Tom. He’s not as subtly written as I wanted, and his simplistic views made me sigh at times, but he’s fun to challenge. And the route usually lets the MC do that.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the two leads when the MC isn’t being inconsistent. They’re equals intellectually and professionally, and it shows.

The rookie ending made me laugh SO HARD after playing Emmett’s route:

Emily Meets TrainSeriously?  That’s all it took?  HA!

The Bad

  • The MC says she won’t sleep with Tom.
  • The MC and Tom are fighting. She gives no indication that she is attracted to him.
  • The MC jumps him in Chapter 3 without any option for me to stop her.
  • Me, yelling at the screen: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, GAME? He just KILLED somebody for the first time, and I don’t even like him yet! STOP IT!”

It doesn’t go with the story, it’s particularly jarring after Joao’s and Emmett’s routes, and I wanted a CHOICE not to jump Tom. I wanted to see a bad-ass, professional spy, not somebody who would take advantage of their charge. Blargh.

The Ugly

Tom Voltage PoliticsIf only the writer had done the same…

Nobody who comments upon the subjects has views on politics, government, bureaucracies, cabals, PMCs, America’s two party system, media, social issues, or businesses has nuanced or consistent opinions. Not the MC, not Tom, not the President…

It made my brain hurt every time it’s brought up. Swapping “democrat” and “republican” in the conversations wouldn’t help the story either (third parties aren’t mentioned at all). I’m baffled as to where the grayness of the setting and room for different opinions present in Joao’s route went.

And then having Tom and the MC go on like they’ve got it ALL FIGURED OUT with no options for the reader to express their opinion.

And then they’re not even consistent.

It’s rough, guys.

Oh, wait. I nearly forgot Emily. She’s consistent – completely bitter, but consistent. I cheered her speech near the end when she starts calling everyone on their crap:

Emily speech 1

Emily speech 2At this point in the story I was actually okay with the worst ending in which Emily wins.  Yeesh.

Bottom Line: If you can ignore the lack of nuance in the political/world view sections, this is a fun read. Try Act 1 next time it’s on sale and go from there.

Voltage Entertainment USA’s Queen’s Gambit is available on iOS and Android.

Finally, in Love Again Kazuki Epilogue, Sequel, and Sequel Epilogue Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Remember how I wrote Kazuki isn’t my favorite character, but untangling the relationship and the writing kept pulling me back to the story in the main route? I’ve played it again at least twice without taking notes for a review (quite a rarity).

Well, Kazuki’s sequels don’t have any of that untangling or tensions. The translation and pacing are still nicely done, but all three stories feel like they’re treading water. I’ve come to expect that in epilogues but was disappointed to find no real character development or relationship progress in the sequel…



You didn’t feel like this in the main route.  You’ve regressed.  And it’s frustrating.

Bottom Line: I wasn’t annoyed that I spent the money, but the sequels do not live up to the high standards set by the main route.

Voltage’s Finally, in Love Again is available on iOS and Android.

Metro PD: Close to You Yutaka Tennoji Sequel Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Okay, this review will need a bit of context. While I always enjoyed Tennoji in all the other Metro PD routes I played, his unprofessional and disrespectful attitude in his own route’s first three chapters kept me from purchasing it. I therefore may have missed some references.

Basic Premise: The MC and Tennoji track a criminal to New York City and attempt to prevent another murder.


  • The translation, pacing, word choice, and comedic timing work beautifully.
  • The grayness of the world creates real tension during the mystery and suspense plot. I really didn’t know how it would resolve, and there are no perfect “makes it easy” answers.
  • The MC is funny, intelligent, and fair without being perfect.
  • Tennoji is driven, rash, and funny with just the right balance of sincerity and dismissiveness.
  • The banter between these two made me laugh every chapter. Have a quote:

  • Tennoji and the MC are good detectives, good friends, and such good romantic partners while still being believable. I didn’t even play the main route, and I want to see these two married and in their sixties and still kickin’ butt professionally and teasing their grandchildren during Japanese holiday get-togethers. I would say “send help,” but I’m enjoying these two too much.


  • I wish more of the secondary characters had sprites.

Everything Else

  • A couple of “well, isn’t that convenient” moments happen in service to the plot but are so nimbly executed that I can’t mark it as a negative.

Bottom Line: Highly recommended. I love these two.

Voltage’s Metro PD: Close to You is available on iOS and Android.

Voltage Japan Sale PSA

Real life’s still eating all my reviewing time, but I did want to give y’all a heads-up.

This weekend Voltage Japan has discounted main routes, sequel routes, epilogues, and special stories for eighteen routes.

It’s a little overwhelming, quite frankly, but what surprised and pleased me the most is ALL the “Another Story” and “His POV” routes are only $0.99 in the US iOS store.  These routes rarely go on sale, and I’ve never seen them this inexpensive.

The In Your Arms Tonight Another Story routes are just as long as the main stories and some of them are really well done.  Many of the different His POV for different apps really add to the story too so I’d go ahead and give them a try as well.  Check out my review archive if you want more particulars.  🙂

Sword Daughter Impressions and Review

“Well, I enjoyed Hanako’s Long Live the Queen and The Royal Trap. I’ll give Sword Daughter a chance.”


  • Kim Sokol’s and Iacocca Khen’s art has a soft, oil-painting quality that fits the setting and is easily the best Hanako has used. I hope they continue to illustrate future titles.
  • The music fits.

Main Negative (or Positive of a Different Sort)

  • The base plot concept is sound: The protagonist’s traveling party is attacked by orcs, her father dies, and her fellow travelers are abducted. She’s found by the male lead and now must decide how to proceed.
  • Unfortunately the execution is so bad that at first I felt insulted. Her dad’s still fresh corpse is a yard away and the two leads are arguing – yet the protagonist is focused on how cute the elf is.  What is this?
  • Then I nearly started crying from laughing when the perfectly beautiful, eerily intelligent white horse shows up and somehow magically gives the protagonist the power to win a footrace.
  • Then I started crying from laughing in earnest when I spent the next playthrough doing my best to make the two leads hate each other (and they do express frustration without attraction) only to have them turn right around and snog each other and talk about how concerned they were.
  • The best part of all, however, came during one of the possible endings in which the fellow travelers have been rescued, the male lead has been jarringly mushy, then wanders off. Female lead: “Maybe I’ll see you at the warrior games some time?” Male lead: indifferent shrug.
  • The entire thing is both terrible and glorious.

Bottom Line: This is not a good story, but for $6.95 I definitely got my money’s worth. If you enjoy picking apart books or games MST3K-style, give it a try. It’s now on Steam so you might nab it at a good discount in the future.

Hanako Games, Hanabira, and Rhondi Vilott’s Sword Daughter is available on PC, Mac, and Linux from Hanako Games’ official site and Steam.

Queen’s Gambit Emmett Impressions and Review – Spoilers after the Jump


Basic Premise: As a top spy at Destrier, a private security agency, the main character must complete her assignments and protect her team at any cost. (And, if you work really hard, she might get to snog the character who appears in all the lovely stills.)

What Differs from Previous Voltage Entertainment USA Titles

  • = The player no longer receives messages directly to a personal email account. I miss getting content from secondary characters but do not miss having to close the app every chapter to see if a new one had appeared.
  • = Three acts of five chapters each net you more content than previous titles but also cost more at $5.97 total rather than $3.99.
  • + Each character has a unique prolog. It keeps the plot and characters voices consistent.
  • + All four endings unlock upon completing the route, and each ending differs significantly. It’s worth reading them all.
  • + Save slots, a rewind button, and a relationship meter keep the player from having to reread huge batches of text if they make a mistake or miss something.
  • + The sprites have many poses, and the MC’s expressions now appear in her dialog box.
  • + Sound effects and how the text pops onto the screen emphasize the action and mood of a scene well.
  • + As I noted in a previous review, Voltage USA’s gun illustrations up to this point have been terrible. Queen’s Gambit‘s illustrations are a huge improvement.  No sprites hold weapons that I remember – which keeps the description of a particular gun from clashing with the visual – and the few stills that feature guns have them held properly.

Overall I like Emmett better than João, but the main plot is not as strong. Since this comes down to a matter of taste, I’ll give a few general points before digging into more specifics and spoilers after the jump.

I really like Emmett as a character. He’s focused, intelligent, kind, and has a slightly goofy sense of humor. He has issues, but he doesn’t pity himself and has enough perspective to address his problems. He also ties into White Lies & Sweet Nothings (though none of those characters cameo like Speakeasy Tonight‘s Neil does, darn it).


The two leads may get together as a couple by the end, but for most of the route Emmett and the MC feel and interact like what they are: long-time, close, adult friends. I actually love the slower buildup, hesitation, and having the few little romantic interactions being able to be reasonably brushed off as friendship, but I can see players who expect more mush in their visual novels being frustrated.

The MC mentors Cameron (the team’s rookie) well.

The main plot ties into the MC and Emmett’s history. It starts unraveling towards the end though.

If inaccurate medical details can completely destroy your suspension of disbelief, you may want to skip this story. It reaches Master and Commander levels of unbelievable.


Continue reading