Hanaemi ni Kuchizuke wo (花笑みにくちづけを) was originally announced back in 2015. The company putting it out, R-Infinity, made a pretty big deal of recruiting character designs and that it was being released as a Yuri dating sim. And it had a sign up, you’ll-get-all-the-news mailing list. I signed up.
I kept an eye on their website for a long time, but when a year had passed with no updates and I had never gotten any mail, I guessed that the game was dead in the water. As it happens, I was incorrect. ^_^ Because this week, the game launched! It’s not a download, you’re playing on the Internet, on your cell. Yurinavi has instructions (in Japanese) to play on your computer, and with a little bit of effort I was able to make that work. (I used browser translation, so you can too. Although Yurinavi says you should use Chrome I actually got it to work in Opera.)
The game is a SLG – a Simulated Life Game. The game makes no pretense to being anything life-like or realistic. And, I’m going to be super honest, I’m just sort of paging through the narration and dialogue quickly because it’s all really trope-y and silly and not particularly well written. (A problem I have with a lot of games, I guess.) ^_^
For every scenario you become embroiled in, there is a “happy end” or a “bad end” the game tells you. And then sets you down in town on your way to a private girl’s school s a second-year transfer student. The first person you meet is meant to be all princely and cool, but the uniform design is so clownish on her, I wanted nothing to do with her. ^_^
The game then shifts you into dress-up mode, where you pick your character’s looks from a choice of long hair, medium hair or short hair and choice of two uniforms styles. After every scenario, you’re offered a chance to do little mini-scenario “tea parties” for coins that are, amusingly referred to as “ma-ni,” that is, you get 3 money, 4 money, etc. You use the money to buy accessories. I got myself a nice schoolbag, but somehow the fetching blazer I bought later didn’t manifest. :-( You can of course, purchase ma-ni with real money, but I think I’ll see how far I can get without.
BUT ERICA, you are surely asking, WHAT ABOUT THE ROMANCE?
Well, as you can see with the main screen of the game home page, there are four characters. You will be asked to chose from them to go into a story. It turns out that I went for the “childhood friend.” After basically paging through the story and making a few random choices, I guess I got to a “happy end,” as we kissed. ^_^ I haven’t gotten to a bad end yet, but give it time.
So, this game is more of a curiosity for me than the VNs I’ve been reading. It’s conforming to rules I don’t understand (and legit have no interest in figuring out) , but it’s easy enough to play that blundering around as I am, I’ve managed one kiss so far.
My only genuine objection is that, sigh, we are the idiot new girl in school. Why can’t we play an interesting, cool character!? At least we haven’t tripped yet. ^_^;
Art – 7 Nice enough, but it’s stills on my phone. If I can play Sailor Moon Drops and get movement, how come I get powerpoint slides in my romance? Sheesh!
Characters – 6 Kinda trope-y and predictable No room to be interesting in this format
Story – 5 I was expecting a generic story and I have not been disappointed
Yuri – 7 So far, so good.
Service – 3 Kinda? I mean the character types are bit service-y and there’s some small things, but no baths so far.
Overall – 6 Pretty much in line with expectations
Back to the tea party grinding for me, and we’ll see if I can nab that blazer! (Update: Got the effing blazer.)