Title: A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986
Genre: Retro, Romance, Yuri
Long time no see, huh? But who would have thought that I’d just have to come back to review this gem of a game. Well, while I’m quite literally on the brink of bursting with all I have to say about this visual novel, I will try to compose myself as much as possible and start out the regular way, so here we go.
A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986 is a visual novel set in the mentioned year and in the mentioned city. Big surprise, I know.
The story follows young woman Michelle, who, after her father’s death, is living alone with her mother and working as an assistant in an esteemed company. One day, as a result of a broken heel, she meets Sam, daughter of the cobbler she’s visiting, and spends some time with her while waiting for her shoe to get fixed.
Title: Heart of the Woods
Publisher: Sekai Project / Studio Élan / Denpasoft
Length: About 8 Hours
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Yuri
Traveling to a remote village in the woods, Maddie and Tara have low expectations. The two run a popular online show focusing on the supernatural, but thus far it’s been nothing but smoke and mirrors. When they receive an invitation to the antiquated village of Eysenfeld, they’re expecting more of the same. But it soon becomes apparent that the locals are hiding a secret. Maddie sees unnatural beasts in the forest that she’s sure are products of her imagination. Lights in the woods flicker and sparkle but disappear if she gets too close.
In time she learns that the lights come from a girl named Abigail. Well, the ghost of a girl. She was sacrificed hundreds of years ago by the villagers to appease the god of the forest. Maddie devotes her time in Eysenfeld to getting to know Abigail, and eventually promises to break the curse that binds her to the woods.
What a visual novel! I know, this is a weird way to start out a review, but what can I say? I was not prepared for what this one had to offer.
Title: Love Ribbon
Length: About 5 hours
Genre: Romance, Incest, Yuri
Stepping up their game from having “just” some pseudo incest as seen in Citrus, for example, we’re now exploring a more… let’s call it intense territory with Love Ribbon, featuring the romance between two actual sisters. And what a roller-coaster ride of a story this was!
We’re introduced to our main character, Iris, who is in the middle of getting ready to transfer into a new school and finally live on her own. Just when arriving at her new home, her dad, however, decides to drop the bomb and tell her that she would not only be living with someone else, but she would be living with her own sister – whom up until this moment, Iris had no idea even existed. When said sister, Zoey, then arrives, she literally gives Iris hell for no apparent reason. What a nice way to start out this romance!
Zoey (left), Iris (right)
So, for my first guest review, I’ll review a title that has been mentioned on the site before and has been on my radar ever since. Sisterly Bliss -Don’t let mom find out- is its full title, but I’ll be referring to it as Sisterly Bliss to save keystrokes. I will try and keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but I will talk about a couple of the endings, so take that into account before reading.
Let’s start with the most standout thing for me. The artwork here isn’t as detailed as some other visual novels, but Sisterly Bliss uses this to its advantage. It certainly looks unique amongst the sea of other visual novels. This limited art style allows for flexibility and allows its characters to express a wide array of emotions and expressions—some not entirely pleasant—without breaking any immersion. The simplistic style allows for some incredibly beautiful CGs. Entirely though use of shading, a scene can be as detailed or simple as the artists want it to be.
A wonderfully delicious breakfast.
The art style also contributes to a few choice scenes to make them more… creepy. There is some rather disturbing imagery down some of the routes, and the art enhances the intended feel of these scenes.
Title: Wolf Tails
Length: 2 – 6 Hours
Synopsis: Moving far away from civilization, you hoped to live a life of solitude in a snowy cabin. Just as you begin to adapt to your peaceful new life, you discover an intruder; a wolf-girl, alone and shivering in your storeroom. Fearful for her life, you take the girl in for the night, offering her a place to stay until she recovers.
Once she has recovered, however, the wolf-girl shows no sign of leaving. In fact, she seems quite content to move in.
Soon after, yet another wolf-girl shows up, loudly accusing the “Princess” of running away from her duties to the pack. She wants nothing more than to bring the Princess back home with her and restore order – and despite your best wishes, you’re now stuck in the middle of it.
Story: 7/10 & Characters: 8/10
Firstly, perhaps full disclosure is in order: I love kemonomimi and think it’s a crying shame that we don’t see more of that in yuri. Perhaps we should find a way to get Itou Hachi to make his own visual novel…
Also, I’ll try and keep this review spoiler-free.
Do you speak the language “Juliamo”?
In this guest review, I’ll be talking about the yuri visual novel Kotonoha Amrilato. It’s a game that caught my interest the moment it was announced and has the special title of “The First Japanese Game I’m Playing Completely Through”. Overall, it’s a pure and sweet game with its own fun moments and quirks.
Thank you, YuriReviews, for this opportunity, and thanks a lot, Altair from The Zärtlichkeit du Yuri for proofreading and giving me many pieces of advice!
About this game: This visual novel is only available in Japanese, as of this review, and there’s no sign of a localization yet. It was released on August 25, 2017 (physically), with a digital release on Windows and Android on December 22, 2017. The iOS version is planned for release sometime in 2018.
Seeing how they keep releasing stuff for this, a localization is not impossible. I’ll keep this review as spoiler-free as possible.
It admittedly took me a while to finish this one, though I finally did, and even though I regret not having slowed down even more to enjoy this one a little longer, I’m happy I can finally talk about this with you~
Story: 8/10 and Characters: 7/10
Set in the American southwest, two girls, Marina and Amber, set their sails to take part in the big gold rush that has been triggered by the discovery of an old gold rush miner’s journal that talks about having bountiful treasures hidden around the area. Picking up the lost hitchhiker Marina, Amber more or less willingly gets herself involved in a life-changing adventure.