Where We Lay Our Scene – Review

Where We Lay Our Scene

Where We Lay Our Scene is the latest visual novel by Cyanide Tea and was a project for NaNoRenO 2016. With four character routes and 13 different endings, it was an ambitious project, but you can tell from the very beginning that it was worth the effort. I want to highlight some things I really liked about WWLOS here:

All of the characters find themselves at some kind of crossroads in their lives and have to deal with certain issues concerning for example identity, profession, or a mixture of both. I’m sure many players will be able to identify with at least one of the characters, because the cast is extremely diverse. Not only do all of the characters have unique personalities, they also develop throughout the game and become realistic and palpable persons. Furthermore, the game features characters of different nationalities, sexualities, and body types.

The CGs fit to the tone of the respective character’s route perfectly and although I wish there were more CGs, I feel like they summarize the essence of the depicted relationship. Speaking of art: I just knew Auro wouldn’t disappoint! The art is top-notch; the sprites and backgrounds are detailed and we get to see the cast in many different outfits and poses, while the GUI looks nice and clean, making the game look very polished.

Where We Lay Our Scene Screenshot

It was very easy for me to fall in love with Christian, Oliver, Sacha and Viola, because they all showed certain features I find in myself, and although Rainier’s route wasn’t as engrossing for me as the other routes, it only proves that the game offers something for every taste. Personally, I liked that the game tackles important topics while being fun and engaging – I think it’s great for people who have to deal with similar problems in their lives, that they can identify with fictional characters and can take away something for their personal real life. There’s no better way to learn something new, to become a better, more open-minded person while experiencing something in a fun way, because like Oscar Wilde already knew, “life imitates art”.

Christian Marino has become a household name, what with his face and body always visible when you open a magazine or look out your subway train window. But now famous model Christian Marino finds himself at a crossroads. What will he do with his life once his well-known and much-cherished looks fade? Is there even anything more to him below the surface that everyone else sees? As he considers these issues of future and identity, he’s suddenly cast as the lead role in a film based on a bestselling novel. With fresh new challenges to face in an unfamiliar environment, this just might be the solution Christian was looking for—to more problems than one.

Do yourself a favor and play the demo of the game! With its $4.99 price tag it has a more than fair price. Also stay tuned for the upcoming Greenlight campaign, so the game can eventually be released on Steam.

Where We Lay Our Scene on itch.io

Cyanide Tea on Twitter

Cyanide Tea on Facebook

The Tale of the Talking Frog – German Translation

Today I have another free visual novel for you: The Tale of the Talking Frog by Ein is a really worth a shot for a debut work! The VN has animated sprites, three endings, and is a wonderful retelling of the Frog Prince.

I really liked how well-written the story is, and how detailed the frog and the other characters are protrayed. Take a loook!

Download

How To Take Off Your Mask – German Translation

How To Take Off Your Mask is the latest otome game by roseVeRte. You assume the role of Lilia (name changeable) who one day turns into a Luccretia – a being that is half human and half cat. You will find out within the game how she will manage her new life and if she can show her true face to her childhood friend Ronan.

Although you can only date one boy in this visual novel, it offers two different paths, many CGs, great art, and professional Japanese voice acting. If you like the games from roseVeRte, you will love this funny, romantic, and thrilling story.

How To Take Off Your Mask on the official website

How To Take Off Your Mask on Steam

How To Take Off Your Mask for Android

How To Take Off Your Mask for iOS

Always The Same Blue Sky… – German Translation

Always The Same Blue Sky…

Always The Same Blue Sky… is a commercial kinetic novel by Grant Wilde. Kinetic novel means that it is a pure story and the player cannot make decisions to change the outcome. The novel is an unique island adventure and a timeless love story full of mysteries.

“Due to mysterious circumstances you have been sent to finish studying on a remote Mediterranean island. Sure you’re used to moving around, but even you haven’t experienced an island quite like this a girl quite like Kira.”

This short novel invites you to a heart-warming love story of two young people. But some things are still unsolved and soon you will realize that Kira is not like other girls. A story which leaves room for interpretations with its vivid language, metaphors and philosophical thoughts. You can play the game in English and German, it works with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, and you can buy it for £2.49 (£2.99 for the HD Edition). There is also a free demo.

Standard Edition Download

HD Edition Download

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Kako no Koi

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Kako no Koi is an upcoming original German visual novel by Yume Creations.

“The protagonist Naoya Kiriyama is really depressed after his little sister Nagi killed herself. But he was encouraged by his friends especially by his childhood friend Chizuru Futami. They’re really good friends and do almost everything together. He also got help from Chizuru’s friend Tsukasa Hanamiya. Time went on and he fell in love with Tsukasa, but she turned down his confession. But he didn’t give up and finally she became his girlfriend. But the happiness didn’t last long because Tsukasa got in an accident and died. What will happen to Naoya? Will he see Tsukasa and Nagi again?”

Kako no Koi is a drama/mystery/romance visual novel. The game features character art by Deji and is supposed to be funded with crowdfunding. There is a short pre-alpha demo available in German and a English translation thereof by me. For more information and download links, take a look at the crowdfunding page on Indigogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/kako-no-koi

The Royal Trap – Review

The Royal Trap

The Royal Trap is the latest visual novel by Hanako Games.

“Madeleine Valois is a prince’s companion. Her job is to guide and advise him, to make him look good so that he can land a royal bride. It is her responsibility to keep him out of trouble – not to let him walk blindly into a political minefield, not to let him get arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, and definitely not to let him fall in love with her. Unfortunately, events are not going according to plan

The game is a mix between action, romance, and intrigue. While the first four chapters are similar for every path, the game divides into four completely different plots in chapter five. Playing as Madeleine, the player can decide which character to pursue. Madeleine’s prince Oscar, the moody prince of Gwellinor Callum, the mysterious Nazagi, and the strange prince Gaston.

But be warned! The game is called The Royal TRAP for a reason. It is full of plot twists and surprising events! The Royal Trap is available at a price of $ 19.95 and can be played with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. A demo, containing the prologue and the first chapter, can be downloaded for free on the official site.

Official Site

To The Moon

To The Moon is a commercial indie game created with the RPG-Maker XP by Freebird Games. Well, it’s not really a “game” as such; it’s more an interactive story. Here is a description of the game from the official site:

“There exists a technology that allows doctors to weave artificial memories, such that a patient can request attempts to alter their mind, and wake up with memories of things that didn’t actually happen. However, since these new memories are permanent, the conflict between them and the existing authentic memories clash in such a way that it ceases the person’s ability to properly function. Thus, the operation is only done to people on their deathbeds, to fulfill what they wish they had done with their lives… but didn’t.

The technology requires the doctors to step into the memories of the patient, which are reconstructed as interactive scenes. The doctors then gradually traverse backwards through memories of the patient’s life until they reach childhood — at which point, the wish of the patient in present time would be transferred over. Along with the doctors’ influence, the patient (as a child) could then lead an entire different life inside their head, working toward and fulfilling their dying wish themselves. And if all goes well, they would wake up, having lived the dream life they never had, and embrace a brief moment of blissful fulfillment. Shortly after, they’d draw their last breath.

This particular story follows Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts’ attempt to fulfill the dream of the dying elderly man, Johnny. In their mission to do so, they traverse backwards through the man’s memories, unfolding his curious life story before their eyes.

With each step back in time, a new fragment of Johnny’s past is revealed. And as the two doctors piece together the puzzled events that spanned a life time, they seek to find out just why the frail old man chose his dying wish to be what it is.”

The game uses art in retro style and has its own composed soundtrack. The music is perfect! It’s so emotional and every track fits perfectly to the scenes. Just listen to it and you’ll know what I mean. The soundtrack is available on Bandcamp and 50% of the profit goes toward charities for autism. However, the best thing about the game is the story of course. I have to say that I was never so emotionally touched by a game before. It is funny, sad, heartbreaking, and thrilling at the same time. The characters are full of life and the setting is impressing.

To The Moon was released on November 1, 2011 in English. On March 28, 2012, the game was officially translated and released in German. Unfortunately, this time I was not involved in the German translation but I’ll try to help with the second installment once it’s out. There are a lot of other translations in the works. I only played the English version so far but based on what I’ve seen, the German translation seems to be very well done.

If you love interactive heartbreaking stories, you definitely have to give this a try! There’s also a free demo on the website. Here’s the link to the official website: www.freebirdgames.com/to_the_moon

Sneek Peek & a little question

Shiro

Shiro

Those who know my book will recognize him immediately: Shiro!

As I mentioned before, I finally found someone who draws my characters. Thanks so much to this talented artist NoodleBrains.

Since I do not only want to use the characters for illustration on my website, I started with a new visual novel project today. Right! With all important characters from my books. The story will be of course different from the story of my trilogy. Some things will be similar, other things will be totally new. I’ll just say that the visual novel will take a romantic kind of way. At the moment, the project runs under the working title  Sakura and about 3,000 words are already implemented in the script. If all goes well, I think I’ll have about 100,000 – 130,000 words in the finished product. Quite a lot, and as you can see at a very early stage. Here are the already planned features; 24+ endings and of course English and German text. Furthermore, I would like to have English voice acting for the characters. And here’s the problem: This all costs a lot of money, I have to pay myself. Therefore my question; would you pay for additional content (aka voice acting, additional scenes, soundtrack, etc.), as to say a “Deluxe Edition”, and if yes how much? You can vote in the poll and leave a comment.

How much would you pay for a "Deluxe Edition"?

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